German GP: Pierre Gasly practice crash 'annoying' for Red Bull
Gasly apologises to Red Bull after crash, while Sky F1 team believe Frenchman is on a 'downward spiral' and seat is under threat
By Matt Morlidge
Last Updated: 26/07/19 5:54pm
Red Bull boss Christian Horner has described Pierre Gasly's German GP practice crash as an "annoying accident" - while the Sky F1 team believe the pressure is ramping up on the youngster.
Two weeks after his best performance of the season at Silverstone, Gasly endured a sloppy opening day in Hockenheim and smashed into the barriers towards the end of Practice Two.
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Gasly was only 15th when he made the error at the final corner.
"It's frustrating to lose a car at that point in the session," Horner admitted to Sky Sports F1. "Off the back of a good result in Silverstone it's not the start to the weekend you want.
"It's an annoying accident."
That mistake compounded a poor Friday for Gasly, who finished 0.5s behind team-mate Max Verstappen in first practice before lapping one second slower in the hot afternoon session.
"I lost the car exiting the final corner during a long run and hit the barrier," said Gasly.
"Fortunately I wasn't using my race engine or gearbox, but more importantly I'm really sorry for the boys in the garage and I want to apologise to them as the repairs will make for a long night."
'Gasly on a downward spiral'
Although Gasly secured his best Red Bull finish at the British GP, fourth, that was the first time he had beaten Verstappen in a race all season - and the Dutchman had a damaged car after being hit by Sebastian Vettel.
Gasly, meanwhile, has only out-qualified team-mate Verstappen once, and that was when his team-mate was unluckily knocked out of Q2 in Canada.
A practice crash in Germany was the last thing Gasly, who joined the senior team from Toro Rosso for F1 2019, needed.
"This is a guy that needs confidence, had rebuilt that at Silverstone, but he's on a downward spiral again," said Sky F1's Paul Di Resta. "I'm sure that pressure is going to ramp up [on Saturday]."
There has been intense speculation about Gasly's future at the often cut-throat Red Bull throughout the season, though so far Horner and team advisor Helmut Marko are backing the Frenchman.
But Di Resta added: "Where would Red Bull be without Verstappen at the moment? How much of a difference is he making? His team-mate's not performing.
"Who could they put in there after the summer break? It's only Fernando Alonso, probably, who is of a current breed who could step in there and do a very good job for them.
"Would the politics be good in there between Max and Fernando? I'm not sure but [Red Bull are] bold enough.
"They're going to have to make a decision because they can't have somebody finishing P15 and the other car being up there because that does not get the work done and does not allow them to take the fight to these big teams."
Sky F1's Karun Chandhok agreed: "F1's not a finishing school, especially if you're in a top team. It's a high-pressure environment and you've got to deliver.
"A top team like Red Bull with Christian Horner and Helmut Marko in charge, they're used to success and they're used to drivers delivering. And the guy on the other side of the garage is delivering superbly.
"Unfortunately they're not going to cut him much slack."
Sky Sports F1's German GP schedule
Saturday, July 27
10.45am: German GP Practice Three build-up
11am: German GP Practice Three
1pm: German GP Qualifying build-up
2pm: GERMAN GP QUALIFYING (Simulcast on Sky Sports Main Event)
4.30pm: The F1 Show (Simulcast on Sky Sports Main Event)
7.30pm: IndyCar Mid-Ohio Qualifying
Sunday, July 28
11.20am: Porsche Supercup
12.30pm: German GP: Pit Lane Live (Simulcast on Sky Sports Main Event)
1.30pm: German GP: On The Grid (Simulcast on Sky Sports Main Event)
2.10pm: THE GERMAN GRAND PRIX LIVE! (Simulcast on Sky Sports Main Event)
4pm: German GP Paddock Live (Simulcast on Sky Sports Main Event)
5pm: German GP: The Notebook (Simulcast on Sky Sports Main Event)
5.30pm: German GP Highlights (Simulcast on Sky One)
6.30pm: German GP Race Replay
8.30pm: IndyCar Mid-Ohio Race
Watch the German GP live only on Sky Sports this weekend. Find out more here to watch the 2019 season live