Pierre Gasly says he hopes to end his stay at the Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda Formula 1 team “on a high note”, ahead of his promotion to Aston Martin Red Bull Racing in 2019.
Just under a year after he made his grand prix debut in the 2017 Malaysian Grand Prix, Gasly was selected by Red Bull to earn promotion to the seniorRed Bull squad, replacing Daniel Ricciardo, who opted to join Renault Sport Formula One Team for ’19.
The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will mark Gasly’s 26th grand prix start for Toro Rosso, where his best result to date was fourth place in this year’s Bahrain Grand Prix, and he is hoping that his good track record at the Yas Marina Circuit will aid him in finishing strongly with the Faenza-based team.
“It will be a special weekend, my last one racing with Toro Rosso, so Sunday will be emotional as we tackle our last race together,” said Gasly. “I’ve really appreciated our time together and I hope we can end on a high-note. I plan to give it my very best shot, especially as it is on a track that I really like.
“I’ve always gone well [at Yas Marina] with two poles and a win in GP2. It was at this track that I clinched the GP2 championship title [in 2016]. I like the track and it is always a special feeling when you are racing in the dark.
“The track itself provides some challenges, especially in the final sector,” he explained. “[It] is very technical with many changes of direction where you need to get into a good rhythm. The circuit has two distinct characters, with the first two sectors featuring long straights, but it’s that final technical part I like best and it is where a driver can make the difference.”
Toro Rosso family
Gasly will follow Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, Daniil Kvyat, and new 2019 team-mate Max Verstappen in graduating to the senior Red Bull team and he was full of praise for the team for which he had scored 29 points this season.
“Once you have been part of this team, you are always a part of the Toro Rosso family,” he said.
“I’ve really appreciated our time together. I hope the weekend will be good for us, it would be a great way to say bye bye to everyone.”