Pierre Gasly and Lando Norris touched each other at the exit of turn 8, when there were 18 laps to go until the end of the Miami race, with the McLaren driver who turned around, hitting the wall and being subsequently forced to retire.
This happened after Gasly went wide at Turn 7, allowing Mick Schumacher and Kevin Magnussen to pass him before Norris also tried to pull him out, but touching the AlphaTauri’s front left with his right rear.
The commissioners noticed the incident, but ultimately decided not to take action. In fact, Gasly also retired immediately afterwards, explaining that something had broken in the rear of his car, which forced him to go wide.
When speaking to the media after the race, Gasly explained that he had suffered the damage a lap earlier, in contact with Fernando Alonso’s Alpine, which had tried to squeeze inside without actually having the space to to do it.
“We tried to do another lap to see if we could continue, and the car was too damaged, I couldn’t even stay on track or turn left anymore,” Gasly explained.
“Then on our last lap, as we got back to the pits, I was going slow after turn 7, and yes, all the cars passed. I was trying to turn right to give space, and Norris came and touched my front tire. left”.
Marshals remove the damaged car of Lando Norris, McLaren MCL36, from the circuit
Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images
Gasly felt there was no need to apologize to Norris for what happened: “I was trying to give space. I probably could have moved to the left. But I was swerving to the right, you can see the onboards. I don’t know where I could have gone.”
When Norris was briefed on Gasly’s explanations, he accepted that his retirement was just unfortunate.
“He leans right and the track goes in that direction, only he was coming straight,” Norris said. “If it’s because of the damage, I don’t know what I should have done, drive right next to the wall and hope for the best or something. So I’ve just been unlucky, I guess.”
Alonso was sanctioned with a 5 “penalty for contact with Gasly. The Spaniard sought out the Frenchman after the race to apologize and take all the blame for what happened.
“I was very optimistic with that move,” Alonso said. “I took a 5 second penalty that I deserve: it was my mistake, I braked too late. We were ready to return to the position, but he was at the pit stop at that moment, so I have to pay those five seconds.”
Alonso then received another 5 “penalty after the race for going off the track and taking advantage, which relegated him to 11th place, denying him the points he would have scored after crossing the line in eighth and being he has already been set back in the ninth behind his teammate Esteban Ocon for the first penalty.