Pierre Gasly has credited a change in his driving position within his new Red Bull car for the improvement in performance at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on Sunday, which he claims gave him his “best feeling” of the 2019 season so far.
The Frenchman has found it tough at Red Bull since being promoted from Toro Rosso last year, failing to qualify to Q3 in his first two races. The third race in China was better as he finished sixth and recorded the fastest lap for an extra point.
Despite not finishing the next GP in Baku due to a driveshaft issue, Gasly thinks he is beginning to get to grips with his Red Bull thanks to some new modifications.
“At the end of the stint, we were faster than the Ferrari and it looked like we were going to score big points and try to get the fastest lap of the race when the transmission failed,” Gasly suggested.
“But there are a lot of positives to take from Baku; it is the best feeling I have had since the start of the season because the changes made were in the right direction, including the change to my driving position.
“I am much more comfortable with the pedal; I can attack easier and the first laps were really exciting with attacking and overtaking every lap. A new seat will arrive soon, and we will also have improvements for Barcelona.
“The team is very motivated, my work with the engineers gets better every day and I’m sure it will pay off soon. I hope that the Spanish GP will really launch my season and that for once, nothing will get in our way! If that’s the case, we should be able to fight at the front as it should have been in Baku.”
Gasly made an impressive start to the race at the weekend even though he started from the pit lane – a punishment by the FIA for failing to report to a weigh-in after FP2. He says it was simply an overlook from himself and the team.
“I was concentrating on a race simulation and on the upcoming pit stop and I did not see the lights,” he continued.
“The team didn’t either, because they were working on Max [Verstappen’s] pit stop before mine. We had 10 seconds to react, but when the team saw the screen the clock was already at 12 seconds – it was too late.”
After four races in the 2019 campaign, Gasly is seventh in the driver’s championship, level on points with Sergio Perez of Racing Point.