Pierre Gasly felt his Azerbaijan Grand Prix weekend was a lot better than his first three races with Red Bull Racing, even though it was full of penalties and ended in retirement.
The Frenchman was penalised four times during the weekend, with his initial misdemeanour of missing the FIA’s call to go to the weighbridge earning him a pit lane start. He was also handed a penalty for a gearbox change, a disqualification from qualifying for excessive fuel flow usage, and another penalty for Honda changing his engine settings to prevent a repeat in the race.
Gasly made the most of his track time to get his race set-up perfected and it was paying off as he had a strong car, and it was not long before he was running inside the top six, only for his driveshaft to fail just prior to his pit stop, ending his afternoon and causing a virtual safety car period that ironically but unfortunately halted the podium charge of team-mate Max Verstappen.
“This weekend has been a lot better than the first three races,” said Gasly. “I felt better with the car and I’ve been able to drive more the way I want to.
“In qualifying I managed to show some good performance with a good lap in Q1. In the race, starting from the pit lane, we knew it would be tricky to fight at the front but we had a car fast enough to come back and score good points. Things in the race went pretty well and we got to P6 but unfortunately we didn’t make it to the end as I had a driveshaft failure.”
Gasly felt his performance at the Baku City Circuit marked a step in the right direction in 2019, with the RB15 more reactive to his altered approach to driving, and it bodes well for the forthcoming races.
“Overall, I’m adapting myself and we’re going in the right direction,” said the Frenchman. “I think the car’s a bit more predictable and I’ve changed my approach in the car too.
“I still need to work on some things but each weekend it’s improving and together with the Team, we’re going in the right direction.”