Pierre Gasly felt the performance from his Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda team was better than expected during Qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix, with the Frenchman only just missing out on an appearance in Q3 in eleventh.
Gasly, who during the summer break was announced as Daniel Ricciardo’s replacement in the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing team for 2019, missed out on the top ten by half a second but will move up to tenth thanks to the grid penalty of Valtteri Bottas, and will have a free choice of starting tyre.
Gasly felt he got as much out of his STR13 as he could have during the session at Spa-Francorchamps, so he believes eleventh was always going to be the best result possible.
“P11 was a really good result today, it was much better than we expected because we knew Spa is a track that doesn’t necessarily suit our car,” said Gasly. “In the end we were right behind the top 10, so I’m really satisfied with the result.
“We definitely extracted the most out of the car today; I think the gap to the Haas was five-tenths to get into Q3, so I think it was too much of an ask for a better result.”
Gasly says it is exciting to go back racing after the summer break but knows moving forward will be difficult for Toro Rosso, even with good tyre life he feels they have this weekend at Spa.
“I’m excited to go racing again, I think our tyre degradation was very good which is a positive factor for tomorrow,” said Gasly.
“The cars in front of us are really fast, so it’s not going to be easy to overtake them, but if we get a good start then we can give it a big push!”