Pierre Gasly has made rapid progress in two key areas during his Toro Rosso spell, according to the team’s chief race engineer Jonathan Eddolls.
The 22-year-old, who is coming to the end of his first full season in Formula 1, will join Red Bull at the end of the year. He has risen to the role quickly after being passed over by the team for promotion to F1 immediately after he won the 2016 GP2 title.
Gasly didn’t arrive in F1 until the latter stages of 2017. But Eddolls is impressed by what he has seen of Gasly during that time.
“Firstly he is very confident in his ability,” said Eddolls. “He is a very fast driver and I think that confidence has grown throughout the year.”
Gasly took time to adjust to the peculiarities of Pirelli’s tyres when he moved into GP2. He then switched to Super Formula in 2017, and had to readjust to the Pirelli rubber when he returned to F1. Eddolls says tyre management is one of the areas he has improved the most.
“He was good already at the start of the year. As we know these Pirelli tyres are very difficult to understand in all of the conditions. Every race is different, every race presents a different challenge – graining, blistering, overheating. I think that’s one of the areas he’s worked on and developed the most.
“He’s still had a couple of races recently where it’s shown that we haven’t fully understood the tyres but the good thing with him is he’s happy to sit down after the race and go through everything – he’s massively keen to learn. The most recent races, he’s shown that in tyres management he has made big steps there.”
The other main area Gasly has improved is in his qualifying performance, says Eddolls, particularly in how he reads the changing grip levels during the session.
“Maybe at the start of the year, let’s say, it was a surprise to him how much the grip would come up through qualifying. It can be quite difficult to track that run to run. But that’s another area that he has improved a lot.”
Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and