Pierre Gasly has said that his Red Bull Racing Formula 1 team boss Christian Horner and Red Bull‘s motorsport advisor Helmut Marko have supported him, despite a tough start to the 2019 season.
Gasly’s performances in 2018, his first full year in F1, with junior team Scuderia Toro Rosso earned the Frenchman a promotion to the Red Bull squad after Daniel Ricciardo announced that he would join the Renault F1 Team for ’19.
But the Frenchman has been convincingly beaten by team-mate Max Verstappen in the first ten races of the season, only finishing ahead of the Dutchman in one race – last Sunday’s British Grand Prix.
An incident with Scuderia Ferrari‘s Sebastian Vettel put an end to Verstappen’s podium chances and left him to finish fifth behind Gasly, but the Frenchman had been faster in all three Free Practice sessions at Silverstone.
Verstappen also claimed Red Bull’s first win of the season at the team’s home race in Austria, lapping eighth-placed Gasly in the process.
Gasly’s seat at Red Bull has been threatened already, with Marko urging him to improve his pace, but the 23-year-old says that he is still learning about how to extract the maximum from the RB13.
“Being in a top team is the best position you can be in Formula 1,” Gasly said in an interview with Red Bull technical partner ExxonMobil.
“I’m 23 and in my second season in F1 with Red Bull, a team fighting for podiums. It’s a brilliant place to be.
“For me personally, it’s about trying to understand how I can get the full potential out of myself to deliver the results on track and that’s what I’m working hard to do, together with my team.
“As a brand, I really like the Red Bull ethos. It’s great that they create an amazing environment for you to grow as a driver.“
Despite the rumoured discontent between the driver and senior management, Gasly said that Horner and Marko have been “great” so far.
Horner praised Gasly for his improvement during the British GP weekend, believing the comprehensive defeat to Verstappen at the Red Bull Ring encouraged him to “turn a page” in his performances.
Gasly said that the pair are heavily involved with both drivers throughout and after the weekend, and believes that his promotion to Red Bull has improved the relationship – rather than soured it.
“They have been really good in helping me and telling me more about the team, how everybody works, giving me tips on creating relationships with engineers and the new guys I work with,” Gasly added.
“During the weekend, they are really involved in our performance and understanding how we feel.
“In the week, we also have a call with each other, reviewing the weekend and looking at what could have been better, what was good and what we have to work on for the next races. They have been great.
“I also know them better now. Before I joined the team, it was a different relationship with them as a young driver, but now, driving for the senior team has developed our relationship and I’m happy with how things are going.“