Pierre Gasly is hoping for a stronger result in the French Grand Prix after struggling to eighth place due to a combination of strategy and car concerns in Canada.
The Frenchman has endured a challenging start to life at Red Bull so far this season, with a best result of fifth coming at the Monaco Grand Prix. In Canada, he started from fifth but was outqualified by Daniel Ricciardo’s Renault, and faded to eighth in the race after being tasked with making it to the end of the race on hard tires following an early pit stop.
“We changed a lot of settings on the car because I was not comfortable,” Gasly said. “Progress was huge in FP3, and in qualifying we tried to do three runs to get the most out of the car. However, by doing this, I was alone on the track without the benefit of a tow and the circuit had not yet reached its full evolution. Therefore, fifth on the grid was satisfying, even though I thought we could have aimed for the top three.
“It was a difficult and frustrating race! We had the potential to aim for fourth and, at the beginning, the car was quite efficient on the soft tires despite the heavy fuel load. The team tried to get me past Ricciardo by pitting early, but unfortunately the opposite happened. I found myself behind (Lance) Stroll as soon as I got closer to him, my engine and brakes were overheating and we had to reduce the power so I could make it to the end.”
While unhappy with the final result — especially given the fact that teammate Max Verstappen started ninth and finished fifth — Gasly says his home race is already his focus as Red Bull is planning on bringing a number of new parts.
“(Canada) is a disappointing result and one that does not reflect our true potential, but we knew that the characteristics of the circuit didn’t really suit our car. I hope that success will be on our side at Le Castellet where we should have some interesting upgrades.”