Pierre Gasly’s first race with Red Bull Racing did not go to plan, with the Frenchman unable to break into the points despite being in one of the front-running cars, as proved by team-mate Max Verstappen’s third place finish.
Gasly had started the Australian Grand Prix down in seventeenth after a misjudgement of track evolution in Qualifying on Saturday, but the Frenchman found it difficult to make any gains on track, finding himself stuck with very little chance of overtaking due to the nature of the Albert Park track.
He also revealed that he struggled to see the start lights due to the bigger rear wings ahead of him, and ultimately, he lost ground at the start.
“It was a pretty difficult race,” admitted Gasly. “With the new bigger rear wings, I couldn’t see the lights on the grid so I had to react with the cars around me and I lost a couple of places.
“Then I got stuck in traffic and even with the DRS, it’s super difficult to overtake here plus I had some debris in my front wing which didn’t help. I spent the whole race five tenths from the car in front but my tyres were just sliding and I couldn’t get past.
“I pushed as much as I could and I tried everything but it wasn’t enough to make it into the points.”
Despite failing to score points and being eliminated at the first hurdle in Qualifying, Gasly felt the pace of the RB15 was good all weekend, and he hopes to have a much better weekend next time out in Bahrain, the venue where he took an excellent fourth for Scuderia Toro Rosso in 2018.
“In general, the pace over the weekend was really good,” said the Frenchman. “In qualifying, we got knocked out of Q1 but I was happy with my first lap and it was just unfortunate that we didn’t make it through.
“Bahrain is a race I really like and we’ve seen the car is competitive so we’ll keep our heads down, stay focused and give a big push in two weeks’ time.”