Christian Horner is predicting ‘big things’ from Pierre Gasly in 2019 as the Frenchman makes the move from Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda to Aston Martin Red Bull Racing, and he feels he will be up for the challenge.
Gasly was picked to replace the Renault Sport Formula One Team-bound Daniel Ricciardo alongside Max Verstappen earlier this season, but Horner, the team principal of Red Bull, feels he is the right man for the job and is deserving of the drive.
“I think it will be a challenge for Pierre but one that he’s up for,” said Horner to Motorsport.com. “He’s come through the same programme as Max and he’s here because we believe he’s the best upcoming talent and he deserves that opportunity in the car.
“So we’re expecting big things from Pierre next year.”
Horner says Gasly will be given time to impress, particularly as he is likely to come in against an in-form Verstappen, but some of the performances he has put in during 2018 in his rookie campaign with Toro Rosso has shown him to be a driver with a lot of potential.
“I think it would be unfair to expect him to be immediately challenging Max,” said Horner. “I think you got to give him time to settle into the team. I think Max has hit a very rich vein of form and he’s one of the most outstanding talents in Formula 1 at the moment.
“Obviously Daniel has struggled in qualifying against Max this year, but their race pace has been very comparative. Next year we need to give Pierre time, but I think that he has great ability.
“He’s only one year into F1, but he’s put some great drives in. If you look at Bahrain, Monaco and Hungary in particular, he has had a number of stand-out races.”