Toro Rosso Formula 1 teammates Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley insist there are “no hard feelings” between them following their clashes at the start of 2018. 

The pair nearly crashed in a scary high-speed near-miss during Azerbaijan Grand Prix qualifying, as both drivers were eliminated in the opening segment in Baku

After Hartley picked up a puncture, an unsighted Gasly caught up to the back of his teammate on quick run down to Turn 14 while running at around 200kph. The Frenchman was forced to take avoiding action, and thanks to some lightning-quick reactions, narrowly missed making contact with Hartley. 

Reflecting on the near-miss, Gasly - who feared he would end up being launched into the air - said he does not blame Hartley and believes the New Zealander will learn from the incident. 

“After China it was all fine. Even now, I’m not going to blame him. It’s that sort of situation,” Gasly said. “I understand that in his position, he had so many things to do and to deal with. 

“But just I think it arrived in a really bad place where the speed is really high. Maybe if it happens to him next time, probably if he has a puncture he will go completely out of line because the lap is over anyway. 

“Maybe they can take this lesson from it, and if it happens again. But for sure it’s not an easy situation to deal with.”

 

Hartley believes the incident was a “completely different story” to their collision at the Chinese Grand Prix and said Gasly understood his mistake. 

“He completely understood the situation. There was no hard feelings,” Hartley explained. “He knew I didn’t do this to compromise his laps. 

“It’s better you ask him but I think he understood the situation and that I was going slow and trying to work out what was going on with my car and I didn’t see him coming. He knows there was no intention.

“This is a very different situation to China. This has happened because I had an incident, a flat tyre. I slowed dramatically. It happened very quickly. I wasn’t aware he was so close behind but also did a poor job getting out of the way. 

“I don’t think there is any relationship between this and China. It was a terrible day for me. I don’t think there’s anything to talk about from China. It’s a different story.”

 

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