Horner: Gasly “coming out” of early-2019 slump

After a rough start to the Frenchman’s Red Bull F1 career, Horner has praised Gasly for a “much stronger” showing in Baku.

Gasly felt he had made a breakthrough with the RB15 at the Azerbaijan-based street circuit, which was reflected in his charge from a pitlane start to a likely sixth-place finish – before a driveshaft failure forced his retirement.

Asked what Red Bull has been doing to help Gasly overcome his difficult start to the season, Horner said: “He’s coming out of it, I think, he’s had a lot of support from the team and he’s working with a good engineer, he has a good engineering team around him and he knows that we know he can do it.

“It’ll just take time, and of course he has that huge barometer next to him [in Max Verstappen] who’s one of the hottest properties in the pitlane.”

Gasly’s early difficulties with the RB15 have echoed a trend from his junior career, in which the Frenchman had often needed a considerable amount of time to gel with new machinery.

His four French F4 wins all came in the final five races of his 14-race 2011 campaign, and while he was only 10th in his rookie two-litre Formula Renault season the year after, he then took the won the drivers’ championship on his second attempt.

He had a similar path to his 2016 GP2 title, emerging as the series’ benchmark in his second full season after snapping a three-year victory drought.

Gasly, however, has rebuffed the suggestion that he had a tendency to adapt slowly, pointing to his run to runner-up in his sole Super Formula season two years ago.

“I think it kind of really depends on the sort of car I have,” he explained to Motorsport.com. “I know that I’m aggressive, kind of an aggressive driver, needs to carry a lot of speed, put quite a lot of stress on the rear.

“And yeah, sometime it works, sometime it doesn’t [and] we need to find ways to go around it.

“For sure me I can have an impact on my driving and I think the thing that worked last year [at Toro Rosso] probably needs to change a bit my style for this year to fully suit this car.

“But the thing is, Super Formula was a pretty difficult car and within one season, with high level [of drivers], I managed to finish second in the championship. It just really depends on the car and trying to basically get the max out of it.”