Three races into the 2019 Formula One season, Red Bull’s Pierre Gasly has managed to secure 13 points for his team, currently placing him 6th in the Driver Standings.
While being the 6th fastest driver on the grid makes sense on paper (team mate Max Verstappen, plus both Mercedes and Ferrari drivers ahead of him), those 13 points aren’t anything to write home about, especially since Verstappen, who drives the same car, currently has 23 points more. And as everybody knows, despite the “team spirit” speeches that usually make it into public interviews and press releases, every driver’s team mate is his number one rival.
“I think he has made a step forward,” said Red Bull team boss Christian Horner. “He is still not totally comfortable within the car at the moment, not from a physical fitting, but I think he is in the process of needing to refine his style to optimize the best from the characteristics of the car.”
Horner could be right about Gasly making strides, as the French driver managed to pull off the fastest lap of the race at the end of the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai.
“I was quite alone for all the race, so I tried many different things with the driving, trying to understand what I can do inside the car to go around the main thing I still struggle with and get some more answers,” said Gasly, as quoted by Autosport.
To be fair, his fastest lap came after he pitted for a set of fresh soft tires, which allowed him to deploy the car’s qualifying mode and net the newly introduced extra point.
Next up on the F1 Calendar is the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku, which is a very complex street circuit featuring loads of tight corners as well as an ultra-long pit straight. Even though this is his first year in the team, Gasly needs to acclimatize fast for Red Bull to keep up with Ferrari and Mercedes in the Constructors’ Championship.