Pierre Gasly says his improved performance at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix was down to modifications to his driving position, and he expects further progress in Spain.
The Frenchman has struggled since being promoted to Red Bull from Toro Rosso, with his first Q3 appearance coming in China – a race in which he also set the fastest lap. However, Gasly remained a long way off team-mate Max Verstappen until last weekend in Baku, where a strong recovery drive after a pit lane start was ended by a driveshaft issue.
“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 explained. “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’s pit lane start was the result of missing a call to be weighed by the FIA at the end of FP2, with Red Bull also failing to realize he should have gone back to the pit entry and carry out a practice pit stop.
“I was concentrating on a race simulation and on the upcoming pit stop and I did not see the lights,” Gasly said. “The team didn’t either, because they were working on Max’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.”