Pierre Gasly admits he is struggling to understand why Toro Rosso has not been able to recreate the level of performance it showed in Bahrain at the last two races.
After a strong pre-season, Toro Rosso had a disjointed race weekend in Australia but bounced back with an impressive performance in Bahrain as Gasly excelled to finish in fourth place. The car has been much less competitive in China and Azerbaijan since, with Brendon Hartley picking up a solitary point in Baku, and Gasly says there are no clear answers as to why the car has been so inconsistent.
“I don’t understand how it is possible to be so competitive with a car which is that good there balance-wise, also in terms of potential, and then just to have such a big delta as soon as you go to another track,” Gasly said.
“Definitely the windy conditions for us are really something which doesn’t suit our car. But we need to really understand if we went to a different direction compared to Bahrain and see where the difference in performance comes from. At the moment we don’t really understand why.”
Both Toro Rossos dropped out in Q1 in Baku after nearly colliding during qualifying, but Gasly felt there was more potential over one lap. In race trim, however, the Frenchman believes the track characteristics of the Baku City Circuit showed a lack of top speed at the end of the longest full throttle section on the calendar.
“When we don’t use DRS, we seem to struggle even more. At the moment energy management is quite difficult for us. [In Baku] it’s really critical in terms of energy, and in the race, I was I think around the Williams, but I think I got overtaken by [Sergio] Perez. I was in front of him at the beginning of the race. After Turn 20 he was already next to me, and at the end of the straight he was past.
“Energy management, we need to have a look at what we could have done better. Since the beginning of the year we didn’t struggle that much, and [in Azerbaijan] it was a much bigger delta that usual.”