Pierre Gasly narrowly avoids 'scary' 320 km/h crash in Q1 near-miss

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Pierre Gasly said he had visions of his car flying through the air before his terrifying 320 km/h near-miss with teammate Brendon Hartley during qualifying in Azerbaijan.

Gasly narrowly avoided a huge accident when he managed to avoid the slow-moving car of Hartley, which had sustained a puncture just after the high-speed kink leading to Turn 15. The Frenchman had to veer suddenly to the right of Hartley's car and was able to slow down in time to stop in the escape road.

Although the incident was prompted by a car issue Hartley took the blame for not getting out of the way in time.

"That happened really quickly and I should have been more aware to get out of the way so it's my fault," he said. "I clipped the wall, initially I didn't think I had a problem.

"I was still pushing then through the very fast left hander I realised I had some kind of big issue, I didn't know what it was so I slowed down immediately trying to understand, unaware that Pierre was really so close behind me and when I looked in my mirrors I tried to go the same way as him and I obviously owe him a big apology for getting in the way like that and almost causing a big accident. I am disappointed how that went down so not a good day."

Gasly was surprised to have avoided a collision with his teammate.

"It was pretty scary," he said. "On the second run I was behind Brendon.

"The lap was coming nicely, I was seven-tenths faster than my fastest lap in the end and then I don't know what's happened to Brendon but he slowed down massively before Turn 15 and I came, it's a really fast corner, it's 320 km/h mainly and honestly I saw he was almost stopped so I tried to avoid him but I was sure I was going to crash.

"I could already see myself in the air but I don't know, I don't really know how I avoided it but it was a pretty scary moment."

The Toro Rosso drivers had been running in close proximity, a popular tactic in qualifying at Baku's tight street circuit in order to give the following car a tow down the long back straight. Gasly admits this ultimately did not help the situation.

"If he has a puncture it doesn't help him. Of course I am sure he didn't do it in purpose that's for sure.

"Just the thing is he was on the line, I don't know if he was going to go left or going to go right but I am sure it wasn't on purpose. Just need to have a bit more of a gap between both cars. Just a shame as we could have been in Q2 easily but in the end we will start really far tomorrow."