Among the most discussed events at the end of the last Turkish Grand Prix, what happened in the initial stages of the race did not go unnoticed, and in particular for the episode that occurred at the start between Pierre Gasly and Fernando Alonso. The Spanish driver from the Alpine has in fact spun around the first corner of the Istanbul track following a contact with the Frenchman’s AlphaTauri. The latter, found himself sandwiched between the two-time world champion and Sergio Perez’s Red Bull, did not have the necessary space to avoid the wheel-to-wheel collision with the Asturian, then turned outside the track, in the street escape.
At first, judging by the images and replays provided by the international direction, the transalpine actually seemed blameless for what happened, given the almost total impossibility of doing otherwise in that circumstance and in those wet track conditions. A completely different collective judgment than that of Race Direction, which subsequently punished the number 10 of the AlphaTauri with five seconds penalty, discounted by Gasly on the occasion of the pit stop.
But it is precisely on this aspect inherent to the reason for the penalty communicated by the stewards that the controversy that emerged immediately after the Turkish GP is concentrated. Interviewed at the end of the race on this topic, Michael Masi thus has its own version: “If there are several cars involved and partial blame is attributed to the driver – he analyzed – the penalty is usually waived. In this case, however, the commissioners concluded that Pierre is solely responsible for the collision “.
Yet, the verdict issued by the FIA after the accident reported the following motivation: “The commissioners have shown that Gasly has the most of the blame for the collision – it is read – since he didn’t give Alonso enough space outside. Stewards do not view this as an inevitable accident, as it can occur during a starting situation. Gasly was not sandwiched at the time of contact ”.
Three and a half hours after the communication of this document, however, the FIA itself corrected the shot by issuing one second version, containing a change in the reasoning that led to the penalty. Specifically, the part in which “most of the blame for the collision” was attributed to the French driver has been replaced with the following sentence: “The commissioners have shown that Gasly is completely to blame for the collision”.