Formula 1 Azerbaijan GP: Smoke pours out of Pierre Gasly's car (VIDEO)
Pierre Gasly's running in the one and only practice session for the 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix and Sprint ended early with his Alpine's engine going up in flames, News.Az reports.
Licks of flames were visible through the rear of Gasly's car 15 minutes into the session and soon there was a thick plume of smoke pouring out of the Alpine. The French driver eventually came to a stop, and red flags were flown.
A loss of hydraulic pressure was the reason given by Alpine for the fire. Later in the session the team also said that they were investigating an issue at the rear of Esteban Ocon's car as a precaution.
That was just one of a number of incidents that peppered the early stages of FP1 with AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda tapping the wall and puncturing his tyre, while Haas's Kevin Magnussen came to a halt just after Gasly's car hit trouble.
For Magnussen it was a loss of fuel pressure that brought his session to an early pause, as he was left walking back to the team garage.
With qualifying to come, and a Sprint Shootout and Sprint on Saturday, Friday's FP1 session was all the more crucial – and that red flag cost drivers valuable running time.