Red Bull driver Pierre Gasly endured a poor qualifying session where he ended up a lowly 17th. As it turned out, the Red Bull team opted for a daring strategy of setting one timed lap. However, it backfired spectacularly in their faces.
The Frenchman managed to reach 8th position on the track after his timed run in Q1. However, they failed to take into account track evolution and Gasly was just a sitting duck. The funny thing was, teammate Max Verstappen was on the same strategy and he somehow scraped through.
To that effect, Red Bull motorsport advisor, Dr Helmut Marko confessed that an apology to Gasly was in order. According to Gasly, the strategy was “a bit optimistic” and they paid the price for the gross miscalculation.
Speaking to Motorsport.com, he said “A stupid mistake from our strategy people, and we have to apologise to him for this stupid mistake”.
Team principal, Christian Horner opted for a more tactful approach when questioned by Motorsport.com. He said, “Unfortunately his [Gasly’s] second lap [on the first set] was not quicker, as Max had gone”.
“We were relying on that first set of tyres to get him through – unfortunately it didn’t happen for him.
“With 20/20 hindsight it’s easy to say that we should have taken another set of tyres.
“Obviously it’s all very tight, it’s frustrating for him in his first quali, bit I’m sure he’ll race strongly from there tomorrow.”
There was a small moment of relief for the Austrian team, as Verstappen was able to stick his car into the Top 10. In the end, the Dutchman qualified 4th for Sunday’s race, splitting the two Ferrari drivers. But in the end, it was Lewis Hamilton on pole with teammate Valtteri Bottas alongside him on the front row and Sebastian Vettel 3rd.