Pierre Gasly does not expect his experience with Honda to provide much of an advantage over teammate Max Verstappen at Red Bull this year.
Honda supplied Toro Rosso in 2018 but will also add Red Bull for this coming season, with Gasly making the step up to partner Verstappen following Daniel Ricciardo’s move to Renault. Although Gasly worked with Honda in Super Formula before last year’s experience at Toro Rosso, he says any benefit will be felt off-track rather than in the car.
“It is always easy after to say exactly how much [the experience] is going to bring,” Gasly said. “It is difficult. It is more in terms of trust, confidence and the fact that I worked with the team, so they know in terms of feedback what to expect from me. What I mean when we face certain issues and things, I want them to improve. So clearly in terms of communication that is the main point that will be useful for the team.
“After in terms of driving, I said it many times, at that level in F1 after three laps Max will be completely up to speed with the torque delivery, drivability of the engine. So, it is not going to change massively. But more the way to work with the Japanese, clearly this is a good thing.”
While the Toro Rosso-Honda partnership has largely been seen as a success, Gasly admits it took time for the new pairing to really work well together as the two sides learned more about each other.
“Some people you need to show them respect and trust to really build the confidence. When you start working with them at the beginning it is always a bit cold and you need to know each other. Clearly, I could see on their side opening up through the season, us giving them the trust to work together for the same targets.
“They came from quite difficult situation with McLaren the year before, so they were a bit on the back foot at the beginning. They got better through the season and now I’m really happy with the relationship I have with them.”