Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda’s Piere Gasly believes that it will take his future teammate Max Verstappen just “five or six laps” to adjust to Aston Martin Red Bull Racing’s switch to Honda power. But admits that getting used to Honda’s “Japanese approach” could give him a “clear advantage” over the Dutch driver.
Speaking ahead of this weekend’s United States Grand Prix, the 22-year-old admitted that he will start next season with a slight advantage over his teammate thanks to his relationship with Honda and an understanding of the way that their Japanese engineers respond to feedback.
Gasly told F1’s Tom Clarkson: “In terms of driving, I think Max [Verstappen] will be used to Honda after five, maximum six, laps.
“The feeling. The response that you feel inside the car. The driveability. All these things. When you are as good as he is in Formula One you do not need much time to that feeling.
“It is more about the way that I have learnt to communicate and work with Honda. It is a different culture.
“The Japanese culture is very different to the culture in Europe. The way that they work is slightly different and you need to get used to this. This will be a clear advantage for me.
“But inside the car I do not expect him to take more that five or six laps to get used to it.”
Red Bull’s switch of Engine supplier from Renault for 2019 means that Gasly will enter his third consecutive season working with Honda.
During a season away from Europe in 2017, Gasly finished runner-up in Japan’s Super Formula series driving a Honda powered Team Mugen car after missing out on an F1 seat the same year.
“Super Formula was a great year for me on the track and personally, too,” he said.
“The Japanese have a lot of respect and you really need to understand that. It is all about respect.
“You can not tell them that they are doing something wrong or that they do it in the wrong way. You must explain it and find a way to lead them to where you want them to go.
“You can not be as straight forward as you can be in Europe with English, French or Italian speakers.
“You really need to objective with them and find a nice way to explain things.
“For sure, when you go head to head with them things will turn out in a pretty bad way.”