Pierre Gasly needs to take some of the blame for being dropped from the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing line-up after an under par first half of 2019, according to Helmut Marko.
Gasly was promoted to Red Bull ahead of the 2019 campaign as Daniel Ricciardo’s replacement but failed to impress his new team sufficiently, with the summer break seeing him return to Scuderia Toro Rosso as Alexander Albon went the other way.
Marko, an advisor for Red Bull, felt Gasly was only focused on team-mate Max Verstappen and attempted to adapt his driving style to try and close the gap on the Dutchman, which ultimately became a ‘complete disaster’.
“It seems to me that Pierre should take some of the blame,” Marko is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com’s Russian edition. “He came to Red Bull and saw only one goal in front of him – Verstappen, no one else.
“If he had accepted from the very beginning that Max is still faster, and tried to gradually get close to him – but he tried to change his style, tried to reduce the gap in other ways, change something, try to attack harder. And this led to complete failure.
“However, his return (to Toro Rosso) was amazing.”
Marko ‘Did Not Expect’ Gasly to Blossom on Toro Rosso Return
Gasly’s return to Toro Rosso saw him impress once more, with a maiden podium finish coming in the Brazilian Grand Prix, and Marko admits that the Frenchman took the blow of being dropped by Red Bull a lot better than his current team-mate Daniil Kvyat did back in 2016.
Kvyat was dropped after only four races of the season in favour of Verstappen and was devoid of confidence thereafter, finding himself out of a Formula 1 drive completely before making a return in 2019.
“At such moments, you understand how important psychology is,” said Marko. “If I would have said that I expected such a return from him (Gasly), I would be lying.
“But unlike Kvyat, who was completely broken, Gasly blossomed. Which was fortunate for himself and for us too. Pierre returned to Toro Rosso and instantly became the same Gasly that we invited (to Red Bull).
“I think he learned a lesson and made the right conclusions from those six months at Red Bull. I think he can achieve a lot in the future,”
Marko says moving Gasly from Red Bull to Toro Rosso was never a ‘downgrade’, and it should be thought as a positive move for the Frenchman to still be a part of Formula 1.
“We are talking about Formula 1,” said Marko. “Do you know how many thousands of drivers dream of getting a place here?
“He still makes a lot of money, and is still in the best championship in the world. I would say this is a chance, a new opportunity, but not a downgrade.”