Pierre Gasly suffered a heavy crash during the penultimate day of pre-season testing in Barcelona, ending Red Bull’s running prematurely.
On a race simulation in the afternoon session, Gasly lost control at the high-speed Turn 9, and swapped ends, heavily damaging the rear of the car when he hit the barrier. The crash stopped him adding to his 65 laps, and after admitting he made an error, Gasly says there will be a lot of work for Red Bull to do overnight ahead of the final day of testing.
“Yeah I made a mistake in Turn 9 and basically lost the car,” Gasly said. “It was a pretty big crash, one of the biggest crashes I had so far. It will be a long night for the mechanics, so I’m sorry for them. What’s most important is we can get Max (Verstappen) in the car tomorrow. Focus on the positives — we managed to do a lot of testing and have things to analyze.”
The incident came in the afternoon session while Gasly was attempting a race simulation, having done some lower fuel running in the morning. Gasly’s fastest lap — set on the softest compound — was over 0.8s slower than Charles Leclerc managed on the same tire and the Frenchman says Ferrari set a pace Red Bull can’t match at this stage.
“Honestly, no (we can’t do that time). To be fair I think they are really fast — they show some good pace. We try to focus on ourselves and not focus too much on the others. We have some potential — we tested a lot of things, we have good performance, but we have to work hard as well as they seem really fast.
Despite seeing a deficit to Ferrari, Gasly is encouraged by the work being done by power unit supplier Honda, having worked with the Japanese manufacturer at Toro Rosso last season.
“I would say overall I’m really happy with the step Honda have done so far. In terms of reliability so far it has been really good; in terms of performance we can feel an increase of performance, hopefully it can keep going like this. In terms of development they are pushing massively which is great, there is still a gap but I would say a lot smaller than last year.”