Gasly says he had only five second warning before blaze

Portimao (Portugal) (AFP) –


Pierre Gasly said he had only five seconds warning on Friday before his Alpha Tauri car burst into flames at the Portuguese Grand Prix.

The Frenchman, who claimed a dramatic maiden Formula One victory for his lowly team at last month's Italian Grand Prix, said the car suffered a total electrical 'blackout'.

"Literally five seconds before I stopped, I just lost everything -- the steering, the electricity in the car," he explained. "We're still investigating what happened.

"Obviously, there was a lot of fire at the back of the car and things burning so we need to analyse things and know what happened.

"For sure, it's not ideal, especially because we could not run the option tyre -- we had only the base this morning and on a new track like this it's never great, but that's what we've got unfortunately.”

Gasly's blazing retirement from the session resulted in the session being red-flagged to a halt as the circuit marshals tackled the fire and extinguished it.

The rear of the Alpha Tauri machine was badly damaged in the blaze which has left Gasly facing a possible grid penalty for using more than the permitted limit of six Honda power units.