Pierre Gasly revealed a piece of debris bypassed his Halo Formula 1 cockpit protection device and hit his visor on the opening lap of the Russian Grand Prix.

The Frenchman, whose race ended prematurely due to a suspected brake failure, said a piece of debris from Daniel Ricciardo’s damaged Red Bull car entered his cockpit and made contact with his helmet.

Gasly described the incident as being “really scary”, admitting he feared the piece was going to penetrate his visor and enter his eye.

COTA #2 - Tremendous Turn 1

“I think Daniel lost a piece of carbon that went straight into my visor – this was really, really scary because I thought it was going through and straight in my eye,” Gasly said.

“But it hit my visor and fell in the cockpit, so in Turn 4 I had to take the carbon piece and throw it from the cockpit.

“At the time I had like 0.5s to see it flying and hitting the visor. It was like a winglet that maybe came from somewhere from contact with Daniel, but it came pointing towards me and straight at my right eye.

“When I saw it coming I thought ‘Fuck it’s going through the visor’ but the visor is really strong because it just hit it and fell into the cockpit.”

When asked how it got past his car’s Halo device, Gasly replied: “It came under it. I will have a look at the helmet, it was pretty scary.”

Gasly praised the strength of the F1 visor but said further improvements can be made, adding he was lucky the piece hit him at a low-speed corner.

“The visor seems to be pretty strong. Maybe we need to keep trying to improve the thickness of the visor and try to make it as strong as possible,” he explained.

“For sure the speed has an effect as well on the impact, at that time I was coming out of Turn 2 so I wasn’t so fast. So maybe the impact with it was luckily not as big as if I had been at 300km/h.”