Pierre Gasly was admittedly caught heavily off guard when he was demoted to Toro Rosso. According to the Frenchman, he was under the impression that he would keep his drive until the end of 2019.
Apparently, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner told Pierre Gasly after Hungary that the “intention” was, to keep him for the rest of the year. Evidently, Red Bull lied through their teeth, because a week later Alex Albon was promoted in place of Gasly.
Speaking to the media following his demotion, Pierre Gasly admitted that he was informed by Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko, a few hours before the news broke.
“I found out in the morning at 8.42am it was decided,” said Gasly. “Of course it was kind of a shock and [I was] disappointed because it’s not what I had been told before or after Budapest.”
“The team said I was going to drive until the end of the year, and that’s what I believed.”
When Gasly was hurriedly drafted in after Daniel Ricciardo’s shock move away, Red Bull promised to be patient. The French youngster was clueless about what changed the status quo. Whatever the case, Pierre Gasly was resigned to his fate.
“Whether I understand it or not it’s not going to change it,” Gasly said. “I’ve not spent too much time thinking about it.
“The only thing I need to focus is on is performing in these nine races with Toro Rosso at my best.”
Gasly’s Red Bull career got off to a poor start with a crash in pre-season testing. Then, the situation got worse when he was overshadowed by Max Verstappen in the first 12 races. His best finish of fourth came after Verstappen was taken out in the British Grand Prix. Meanwhile, the Dutchman romped to two victories and three podiums.
“There are things I could have done better over that first half of the season, I’m partly responsible,” said Gasly. “I think all of us were responsible for the lack of performance and points we ended up having.”
The gulf in points between Verstappen and Gasly is hurting Red Bull’s ambition to beat Ferrari in the constructors’ championship, which Gasly acknowledged is the team’s objective.
“There were many things going in the right way even though we still had a few issues,” said Gasly. “Now there is no point to discuss about it and I don’t really want to talk about it because it’s over.
“I’ve had some good lessons that’s going to be useful for the rest of the season, but I need to focus on what I can change and what’s going to make me faster in the coming months.”