AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly says he had little warning that his car would be engulfed in flames after his power unit switched off during FP2 in Portugal.
Gasly’s day came to a premature end when he was forced to pull over to the side of the track, before quickly jumping out as a fire ignited.
Marshals rushed to the stricken AlphaTauri and managed to put out the flames.
When asked when he got a hint that something was wrong, the Frenchman said: “Literally five seconds before I stopped.
“I just lost everything – the steering, all the electricity – and we’re still investigating to understand what happened.
“Obviously, there was quite a lot of fire at the back of the car and things burning, so we need to analyse and understand what happened.”
Honda’s F1 technical director Toyuharu Tanabe said that Honda “know it was started because of an electrical blackout on the car”.
Tanabe added that the team is now “carrying out a full investigation on the Power Unit and chassis to try and identify the precise cause.”
With F1 at a new track this weekend, Gasly says he will have an “important” FP3 session in order to recover the lost laps.
“For sure it’s not ideal, especially because we could not run with the option tyre , we had only the base this morning, so, on a track like this, it’s never great,” he said.
“But that’s what we got, unfortunately, so we’ll try to get as much data as we can on Dany’s side.
“Base-wise it looked pretty decent all day long, but I’m still feeling not super comfortable with the car and we can improve it for tomorrow. FP3 will be an important one, because we need to recover these laps.”