Pierre Gasly has revealed that he spent his weekend off in between the British and German Grand Prix relaxing and watching France lift the World Cup, but the Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda driver was happy to be able to recharge his batteries after three consecutive weekends behind the wheel.
He heads into race at the Hockenheimring refreshed and ready to attack, with the Frenchman eager to return to the points for a third time in 2018 having finished fourth in the Bahrain Grand Prix and seventh in the Monaco Grand Prix, although he did finish tenth in the British race two weeks ago before a post-race penalty relegated him to thirteenth.
“It was really nice to have a rest,” said Gasly. “I went back to my hometown in Rouen, and got to watch the World Cup Final with all of my friends while having a BBQ.
“I watched the game intensely, I was so stressed! It was almost as if I was playing or even about to start an F1 race! I’m super happy that we’ve put the second star on our jersey!
“To be able to enjoy a weekend off with my friends and family after three weeks away was great, it gave me time to recharge before we go again for two more races in a row.”
Gasly has mixed memories of the Hockenheimring, qualifying second there in Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup back in 2012 before being disqualified from a strong third place in the Feature race of his championship winning GP2 Series season in 2016, although he fought from the back of the field to claim sixth in the Sprint race.
“Now we head to Germany,” said the Frenchman. “I had my first Renault 2-litre race at Hockenheim, where I qualified second on the front row alongside Stoffel Vandoorne.
“The last time I was there was in GP2 in 2016; I was having a good race but my fire extinguisher went off going down the straight and the cockpit filled with smoke so I was disqualified on safety grounds. It had been a really good race up until then.”
Gasly hopes to get the opportunity to visit the old part of the Hockenheim track that was last used in Grand Prix racing in 2002, but he feels the current, much shorter layout is fun to drive, with the stadium section his favourite part of the 4.574-kilometre track.
“The Hockenheim track has plenty of character with a lot of history behind it,” said Gasly. “The stadium section is the part I like best, it is very technical with not much in the way of straights and it’s the most fun to drive.
“I’d like to go and see the old part, as I gather it was really impressive with the very long straights and the chicane before it turned back towards the pits.”