Gasly giving "120 percent" after Red Bull demotion
Pierre Gasly says his mid-season demotion from Red Bull to its sister Formula 1 team Toro Rosso has spurred him on to give “120 percent” over the rest of the 2019 season.
Gasly had been promoted to the main Red Bull team for his second full season in F1 to replace Daniel Ricciardo, but was forced to make way for Alex Albon after a thoroughly underwhelming 13-race stint.
Yet the Frenchman’s relative form has improved since he found himself in an STR14, as he scored points in two of the three races so far and has matched up well against team regular Daniil Kvyat.
Asked by Motorsport.com how he’d been able to maintain a positive mindset despite losing a top drive, Gasly said: “I think I am a positive person in general. I am also, let's say, not someone that gives up easily.
“And yeah, basically I don't feel I really had the full chances to prove my full potential during these first six months [with Red Bull]. So of course I feel there is like unfinished business.
“Now in Toro Rosso, I have basically everything I need to deliver the best performance I can and that's why it's important for me, if I was giving my 100 percent before, to now give my 120 percent to make sure I've got everything I need to deliver the best performances.
“I know for sure it wasn't easy during these six first months, but you don't get into Formula 1 by chance, and this is something important to prove now.
“It feels like in Toro Rosso they are really giving me everything I need - of course we didn't have much time to adapt, we didn't have much time for me to get used to the car, but still it's important for the team - based on where they are in the team championship - but also for me to just perform straight away.”
Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko appeared to narrow down the choice of Max Verstappen’s 2020 teammate at Red Bull to Albon and Gasly during the Singapore Grand Prix, and the Frenchman said he “hoped” this was a boost to his chances of reclaiming the drive.
He said his relationship with Marko had “not changed so much” since the demotion, stressing that “everything is still really good”.
Gasly’s struggles to make clear traffic in races had proven a major source of frustration during his Red Bull stint, but he has looked more robust in wheel-to-wheel action at Toro Rosso – his stint already including an audacious overtake on Kevin Magnussen in Singapore.
“I think it's more the fact that we managed to get a car that suits the way I drive a bit more,” Gasly explained. “So, I just feel like I can really push the way I want naturally without really trying to copy someone.
“I think it's many factors put together that meant that I could show that I can race, as I've always raced before.
“I think the fact that, basically the [Toro Rosso] car of this year is designed on what we did last year, and for sure the input and the feedback I had last year were involved in the development of this year's car - so probably that's why it's a bit more natural for me to drive that one.”
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