Red Bull Toro Rosso head into the 2019 Mexican Grand Prix weekend looking to close the gap to the Renault F1 Team, who they are now within six points of in the Constructors’ championship following the disqualification of Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hülkenberg in the Japanese Grand Prix.
Since his switch from the Aston Martin Red Bull Team in Belgium, Pierre Gasly has recorded three top-ten finishes, with seventh place in Japan last time out being the best finish at Toro Rosso this year. He is currently only one point behind McLaren F1 Team driver Carlos Sainz Jr. and nine points ahead of Alexander Albon with whom he swapped race seats with earlier this season.
Heading into Mexico Gasly commented, “The whole weekend has an amazing atmosphere. That stadium area is so impressive, with so many people in it and when they all start shouting it gives you goosebumps. The whole circuit has a big crowd, and that’s great to see.
“The track is quite slow with plenty of slow corners, but then you have the esses section in the middle of the track, which is what I prefer because the faster it is, the more I like it.
Since his debut in the 2017 season, Gasly has experienced the Mexican Grand Prix on two previous occasions, finishing thirteenth on his first attempt and tenth last year for the Toro Rosso team.
“I’ve never had much luck there, as I had to take engine penalties which dropped me down the grid, although last year I came from the back row to finish tenth and score a point.”
Teammate Daniil Kvyat is locked in a championship battle with Sergio Pérez, who is currently in ninth place, and three points ahead in the championship standings. Lando Norris is one point ahead and the two Renault drivers who are both on thirty-four points, with Alfa Romeo driver Kimi Räikkönen three points adrift of the battle.
In Japan, Kvyat benefitted from the Renault team disqualification, taking the final point scoring place for the first time since Belgium. The Russian is unlikely to match his best finish in Mexico when he took fourth place in 2015, but with that said he finish on the podium earlier this year in Germany due to the crazy weather conditions.
“The thing that impressed me most about the Mexican GP the first year I went there was the circuit and the crowd. When you go through the stadium section on the drivers’ parade, and you hear the roar of the crowd, it’s an incredible noise, everyone is cheering,” said Kvyat.
“As for the actual track, it’s mainly slow corners requiring lots of full lock on the steering wheel. The layout is still quite technical, there are some medium speed chicanes in there, and the final part flows a bit more while you hit very high speeds down the very long main straight.
“Overall, it’s an enjoyable weekend. I have some good memories here and had a good result a couple of years back, finishing fourth.”