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Pierre Gasly and Lance Stroll had a fierce fight at Silverstone during the British Grand Prix, which was won by Max Verstappen. The battle ended in tears though, as the Alpine’s rear suspension was damaged and put a premature end to the Frenchman’s race.
Two major moments highlighted the controversial fight for eleventh, both taking place after the safety car intervention. The first came at Stowe Corner, which the pair entered side-by-side, with Gasly defending on the outside and Stroll trying to gain a position on the outside. The Alpine squeezed the Aston Martin towards the edge of the track, forcing Stroll to go off the track.
The Canadian kept his foot on the throttle though and rejoined the track ahead of the Frenchman. Gasly was clearly unhappy and complained about the move on team radio. The stewards investigated the move, but decided it was not worth penalising.
The battle resumed with five laps remaining. Gasly came back to regain the eleventh spot at the Vale chicane as the pair went side-by-side at the braking zone, with the Frenchman on the inside. Stroll resisted but went off track again in doing so. This time, as the pair turned right to head towards the start-finish straight, they collided.
Here is a video of the incident that ended Gasly’s race:
— F1 Live Clips (@f1liveclip) July 9, 2023
The rear-right suspension of the Alpine suffered terminal damage and Gasly slowly drove his car back to the pits and retired, while his opponent was able to carry on. Stroll this time was found guilty and was handed a five-second penalty, but it cost him no points, as it only dropped him from eleventh to fourteenth.
Gasly made his frustration clear in the post-race interview with F1 TV, when he was asked about Stroll’s penalty by Lawrence Barretto:
It is not going to change my race. Thanks for that. What do you want me to tell you? I am here talking to you, I didn’t finish the race though. Five seconds? I got a ten-second penalty last week, five hours after the race. Now he is taking him out of the race and he gets a five-second penalty. That’s racing nowadays, so we will race how he wants to race in the future and make sure we score points next time.
Interestingly, Gasly -as he mentioned- was penalised for abusing track limits in the Austrian Grand Prix. He had finished ninth during the race and dropped to tenth. The beneficiary was none other than Stroll!
Today he was chasing Fernando Alonso for eighth for most of the race, but was unable to overtake the Spaniard. The safety car came at just the wrong time for the Frenchman, who had pitted moments before it came out. As a result, he dropped outside the points -and into the clutches of the other Aston Martin driver.
Stroll, on the other hand, had a different view on the incidents with the Alpine driver, when he also spoke with F1 TV:
Well, I got pushed off the track both times, so it is pretty simple for me.
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