Pierre Gasly said he ignored Toro Rosso’s orders for him to let Brendon Hartley past because there was “nothing to play for” in the race.
Gasly was told repeatedly in the closing stages of the race to let Hartley through, for a period of approximately eight laps. The pair eventually swapped positions with two laps to go.
Hartely claimed he had to put a move on his team mate to get by, but according to Gasly he did eventually follow the instruction to cede position.
“I had to do it two laps to the end because I was running out of fuel,” he said. “I didn’t have any fuel left for the end of the race I was just cruising the two last laps.”
Toro Rosso should have let the two drivers race because they weren’t running inside the top 10, said Gasly.
“I just think if you are in this position you should race. Plus he was on new super-soft tyres, I was dying with my mediums.
“I just told them OK, if he is faster he can overtake me but for some reasons I don’t know he didn’t do it for 10 laps. But then after we were in such critical situation with the fuel that in the end I did it two laps to go.”
“I think it’s different if you are in the top 10, there is something to play for,” he added. “Today there wasn’t anything to play for in P11, P12, P13
“At the end I’m a racing driver, I’m here to race, that’s what I want and that’s what I like and that’s my perception of motorsport and how it should be.”
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Hartley said he didn’t try to force his way past Gasly because the team told him he would be let through.
“I was catching my team mate a great rate of knots and I asked what would happen. So there’s obviously three different answers I’m going to get. We’re racing each other, hold position or he’ll let you by. So I got the call that he would let me by.
“I’m also defending the car behind and trying to look after my tyres. So I didn’t attack, expecting to be let by on four or five occasions which didn’t happen. The rest I don’t know.
“But in the end I made the overtake cleanly, destroying my tyres in the meantime. But nevertheless it didn’t bring a point.”
Nonetheless Hartley, who finished over 20 seconds behind the last of the points-scorers, said he was pleased with his performance.
“I’m really happy with the effort and did the overtake regardless. But P11, it’s a bit frustrating not to finish P10. There wasn’t many retirements today in front of us and. Honestly I’m really proud of this race it’s just annoying not to have a reward for doing a good effort.”
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Excerpts from Hartley and Gasly’s team radio messages
|Hartley:||OK I’m getting pretty close to Gasly guys.|
|To Hartley:||We’re looking at it, stand by.|
|Hartley:||If I don’t get by I’ll get passed by Sainz.|
|To Hartley:||Driver swap, driver swap.|
|Hartley:||Yep, he didn’t do it.|
|Hartley:||What’s going on, guys.|
|To Hartley:||Turn fourm driver swap, turn four.|
|To Gasly:||Driver swap turn four now, we need to do it. Stay in front of Sainz.|
|Gasly:||I can’t they’re [censored by FOM] too close, can’t you see?|
|Hartley:||Mate is he going to let me by? What the [censored by FOM]’s going on? Mate he’s holding me up so much.|
|To Hartley:||Use anti-deploy middle sector. Use anti-deploy middle sector. Get close to him.|
|Hartley:||Mate I’m right up his [censored by FOM] [censored by FOM]!|
|To Gasly:||You have to let Hartley by as soon as possible.|
|Gasly:||[Unclear] cannot race. It’s not like we are fighting for the win. He can overtake me if he’s faster than me. I’m medium tyres, he’s on super-softs, sorry but he can’t overtake me, my tyres are completely damaged.|
|To Gasly:||Pierre, swap at turn one.|
|Hartley:||So what’s happening guys? I’m not attacking him because you say he’s letting me by and then he [censored by FOM] doesn’t do it.|
|Hartley:||Mate I’m so close to him guys come on.|
|To Hartley:||We are asking for turn four again we are asking for driver swap turn four.|
|To Hartley:||Good job…|
|Hartley:||Sorry about the language on the radio but the thing is…|
|To Hartley:||That’s OK, leave it behind you, don’t worry.|
|Hartley:||Otherwise if you said we would race I would ahve attacked but anyway.|
|To Hartley:||Turn the car off, that’s OK.|
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