Pierre Gasly has revealed his Bahrain Grand Prix recovery drive was made more difficult by a damaged floor on his AlphaTauri.
Gasly was one of the standout performers of last season and the Frenchman carried this form through pre-season testing and the early stages of the weekend, qualifying his AlphaTauri fifth for the first race of the year.
In a chaotic opening few laps, however, Gasly dropped back behind both McLarens before a faint touch with Daniel Ricciardo on lap four resulted in him losing the front wing of his AT02 which disintegrated underneath the car.
Although a new front wing was fitted, the Frenchman later confirmed further damage sustained as a result of the collision wrecked his hopes of scoring points, with the team ultimately retiring him late on with a suspected gearbox issue.
“I don’t really know what happened," said Gasly. "I need to review the footage to know whether I just braked too late or exactly what happened and then the race was pretty much over.
“I broke the front wing, I had floor damage and was a minute behind after one lap so I am very disappointed.”
In the hands of both Gasly and rookie team-mate Yuki Tsunoda, the AlphaTauri has appeared to be one of the stronger packages of the midfield runners.
With third in the constructors' standings again up for grabs - as Mercedes and Red Bull appear set to claim the top two positions - Gasly knows he can ill afford such disappointments in the future.
“Obviously, I’m very disappointed because we had a very strong weekend since we arrived," added Gasly.
"Starting in P5 I was hoping for some good points but then it was pretty much over after the contact with Daniel on lap one."
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