Pierre Gasly feels Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda has managed to get some performance back with their STR13 this weekend at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, which he says is a positive after two off-key weekends in China and Azerbaijan.
The Frenchman qualified twelfth for the Spanish Grand Prix, and although the team knew the weekend was going to be tricky due to upgrades from some of their rivals, it was encouraging for them to end under four-tenths of a second off making it into the top ten.
“I’m pretty happy to make it to Q2 and qualify P12,” said Gasly. “We’ve got some performance back which was important after the last two weekends in China and Baku, so I think there’s positives to take from today.
“We knew coming here it would be a bit tough because we saw some teams with big updates, but the most important thing for us was to understand our package, and I think we got some good answers.
“We still need to analyse our performance but overall we’re pretty happy. Things have been working better this weekend, we were in the top 10 twice in FP1 and FP3, and in qualifying we weren’t so far off the pace, so it’s encouraging to see we are coming back into the fight.”
Gasly feels strategy could play a key part to race day, and with a free choice of starting tyre, it gives Toro Rosso options as they target a return to the points.
“The race will be long and we know how tyre choice and strategy can make the difference,” said Gasly. “We will have free choice with the compounds for the start of the race, so I think it’s a good position to be in.”