Toro Rosso's chief race engineer Johnathon Eddolls says that Pierre Gasly has raised his game in key areas ahead of his move to Red Bull next year. The energy drink-backed outfit confirmed in August that Gasly would be joining as Daniel Ricciardo's 2019 replacement.
The Frenchman has scored a majority of Toro Rosso's points this year and kicked off his scoring campaign with a fourth-place finish in Bahrain earlier this year. But Eddolls believes that Gasly has become even stronger since confirmation of the move to Red Bull.
“He was good already at the start of the year," he said. "As we know these Pirelli tyres are very difficult to understand in all of the conditions. Every race is different, every race presents a different challenge – graining, blistering, overheating. I think that’s one of the areas he’s worked on and developed the most.
“He’s still had a couple of races recently where it’s shown that we haven’t fully understood the tyres but the good thing with him is he’s happy to sit down after the race and go through everything – he’s massively keen to learn. The most recent races, he’s shown that in tyres management he has made big steps there.”
Eddolls added that Gasly has learned how to adapt to the changing grip conditions on the circuit at any given time: “Maybe at the start of the year, let’s say, it was a surprise to him how much the grip would come up through qualifying. It can be quite difficult to track that run to run. But that’s another area that he has improved a lot.”
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing