Red Bull Junior Pierre Gasly may be relatively new to GP2 but he says he is feeling confident ahead of this weekend’s 2015 season opener in Bahrain.
The 19 year-old DAMS driver looked in good form in pre-season testing. The youngster set the pace on the final day in Bahrain and returns to the circuit this weekend to try and claim his maiden GP2 victory.
“The preparations have gone very well,” said Gasly. “We’ve made good improvements with the car both in Bahrain and at the Yas Marina test in March.
“I’ve also got more and more comfortable and work better and better with the team but we already had a good feeling from our first test at the end of last year.”
The Formula Renault 3.5 graduate may be a relative newcomer in GP2 (he had a brief spell with Caterham Racing in 2014) but he isn’t worried about getting up to speed against his more experienced rivals.
“It is a very competitive class of course,” said Gasly. “Some of the drivers have more experience in the GP2 car than I do but since I joined DAMS for last year’s end-of-season test our pace has been consistently good so there is every reason to expect that we should be fighting for the win.”
Gasly admitted that the Sakhir International circuit, where the opening round takes place, is not one of his favourites but is confident in his car setup there.
“I drove the Sakhir circuit for the first time at the preseason test and though I would not say it is one of my favourites it certainly isn’t a problem and there are some good straights and a technical section, we seemed to have the car well sorted for it,” said Gasly.
One of the big changes to GP2 this year is the inclusion of DRS (Drag Reduction System). The system, which is used in Formula 1, has been brought into to encourage more overtaking.
Gasly believes the inclusion of DRS will make drivers think more about creating a gap to the car behind and will give those in front something to think about.
“One of the key things is going to be the DRS and the way you make use of it,” added Gasly.
“It is a very interesting factor and there should be more overtaking. You have got to think of that if you are in front, you have to really push and make a gap as soon as possible so the other’s can’t use the DRS to get ahead.
“If you are starting from pole you quick to be fast on first two laps, to get a safe gap. Then with the plan for tyres and pit stop the DRS will also change things.
“If you restart in traffic it will be easier than before to overtake so this might effect the strategy that you use. These are all things we are going to be discussing as we see how practice and qualifying go.”