During the first few races of the 2019 Formula One season, Pierre Gasly struggled to keep up with his teammate. In fact, his pace was so far off, that some were wondering whether he would be replaced soon. However, the good news is that he is starting to find his feet at Red Bull and putting in competitive performances.
Now, Red Bull have seemingly come up with the answer to Gasly’s sudden and welcome good form. Some, like Red Bull motorsport advisor, Dr Helmut Marko, attributed it to Gasly adopting Max Verstappen’s setup and altering his driving style accordingly.
“There were many factors and changes,” the Frenchman admitted at the Silverstone race. “Altogether, they made a big difference.
“I don’t want to go too much into the details, but we now know what works. I see myself in an ongoing learning process, but we feel now that it is moving forward,”
Gasly’s turnaround was so sudden that, to Red Bull team boss Christian Horner, he seemed like a completely different driver.
However, Gasly had a different take on the situation and said, “I think I’m still the same. I always knew I was fast enough to fight with the best.”
There was even visual proof of Gasly’s improvement, with a career-equal best position of 4th in Silverstone. Granted, he was helped by the late clash between Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel, but held his own in a straight fight.
Speaking about how much he has improved in the car, Gasly said, “For sure it’s coming a bit more towards what I like. We’re extracting a bit more all the time. But I think Silverstone was probably a place where it probably felt the best. There were a couple of places where it felt good, but then it was a bit more inconsistent. So hopefully we can be a bit more consistent from one weekend to another.”
Another confidence booster was the fact that Gasly finished ahead of Max Verstappen for the first time. However, the Frenchman is not resting on his laurels just yet as he is still not fully comfortable with the car.
“It’s not like it’s the final result or the end result that I want,” he said. “My mentality is always thinking what we can do better to have this kind of result more often and even better results than in Silverstone. Even if it was better, it was still not perfect.”
“I enjoyed a lot more fighting at the top and feeling like I could drive as I wanted. I know I’m competitive, I know I can be fast, it’s just a matter of making everything work together and we just need to find what we need to put together to make this work, and I think now we have a good idea. We just need to keep improving things.”
Now, Pierre Gasly will be hoping that he continues his run of form in Hockenheim this weekend. Sadly, a crash in Friday practice 2 did not help matters and he ended the session in 15th. However, he can take comfort in the fact that in FP1, he was 6th and just under half a second adrift of Verstappen.