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Red Bull confident Gasly has 'made a step forward'

  • 16 Apr 2019 16:23
  • comments 4
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner understands that Pierre Gasly is still not entirely comfortable with the RB15, but believes he made progress over the Chinese Grand Prix weekend.

Gasly has struggled to match teammate Max Verstappen throughout the first three races of the 2019 season, but picked up his best result in China, crossing the line in sixth place.

“I think he’s made a step forward this weekend,” said Horner. “But I think he is still not totally comfortable within the car at the moment.

"Not [in terms of] physically fitting, but he is in the process of needing to refine his style to optimise the best from the car, the car’s characteristics, and he is making progress with that.

“I think it is proving to be a challenge for him but he is making progress and I think getting the fastest lap at the end of the race gives him confidence.”

The Frenchman also bagged an extra point for setting the fastest lap, as he pitted for soft tyres at the end of the race.

“He knew what lap time he needed to beat as we told him going out of the pits.

"We saw after the pit stop Mercedes and Ferrari go back into a qualifying setting because, particularly with Sebastian, his one-lap pace was a 1:34.8s and then goes into the 1:36s, so there is one standout lap that looks fairly good.”

Red Bull struggled massively at the previous race in Bahrain, running well behind Mercedes for much of the race before a late safety car closed up the field, stopping Max Verstappen from snatching a podium from Charles Leclerc, who was limping home with a power unit issue.

Horner thinks that the energy drink squad has made big gains since Bahrain, and has promised that further upgrades will boost the team in the coming races.

“Definitely we’ve made a step forward since Bahrain and we are definitely more competitive this weekend,” he said. “When you look on the overlays in sector one and two, we are in good shape.

"Sector three we have some work to do but we have some upgrades which will help with that which are coming soon. So generally on that side, it was a positive weekend.”


Replies (4)

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  • f1ski

    Posts: 343

    Had he not delivered fast lap he and albon were going to be trading places

    • + 0
    • Apr 16 2019 - 23:23
  • Sorry, but so far I haven't seen it. I think he benefitted in part from having a different tyre strategy to the others, but that's on the team, not him. He was still miles away from his team mate in a high quality car. I'll reserve judgement for a bit longer, but I don't think he is RB-H material. If he is deemed not to be by Doctor Doom, I think/hope he'll call in Kvyat, and pit Albon against Gasly. Then, during 2020 or 2021 (preferably the latter so he gets enough time to git gud) if Albon keeps performing, he'll get the seat. That is, unless Ric somehow manages to go back (something that isn't necessarily unlikely).

    • + 0
    • Apr 17 2019 - 08:32
    • Agreed. Gotta say that Albon has been really impressive. I was one of those that wrote him off before the season started. He wasn't that impressive in F2. But he's delivering where it matters. Starting to get a leg up on Kvyat who, while oft-wreckless, is no slouch when it comes to speed.

      Gasly? I still think that he will continue to get better. I think being 600ths behind Verstappen is worse than any driver on the grid would do. But I'm sure it's down to some set up issue. However, I think that Gasly at his best will continue to be mediocre compared to Max. Also, the fact that it will take at less. 4 races for Pierre to get up to speed is pretty dreadful.

      • + 0
      • Apr 17 2019 - 15:48
    • Oh same here, same here, yet here we stand with egg on our faces. I'd dare say he is becoming a bit of a favourite for me. And it's kinda fitting that he is a Thai driver in Red Bull, since the brand has it's roots from there.

      Probably, he should be, but I don't think he'll improve enough for Doctor Doom to remain pleased. He ain't exactly renowned for his patience, that man.

      • + 0
      • Apr 17 2019 - 20:53

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12 - Apr 14
26 - Apr 28
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10 - May 12
23 - May 26
Monaco Monte Carlo
7 - Jun 9
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France Paul Ricard
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Austria Red Bull Ring
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United Kingdom Silverstone
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