Pierre Gasly insists he does not feel under pressure ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix — Red Bull’s home race — despite his difficult start to the season with his new team.
Red Bull Racing promoted Gasly after one year at Toro Rosso as it needed a replacement for Renault-bound Daniel Ricciardo. In eight races so far, Gasly has a best finish of fifth place in Monaco, while teammate Max Verstappen has finished in the top four in all but one of the races as he was classified fifth in Canada. The French Grand Prix saw Gasly (pictured at right, above, with Verstappen) promoted to 10th place by a post-race penalty for Ricciardo, but the Frenchman insists he is not fearing for his seat.
“No, not really,” Gasly said when asked if he is worried he could be moved back to Toro Rosso. “I think at the moment, clearly, no one is happy and I’m the first one not happy with the performances. I’m a racing driver, I feel we are far from showing the potential we have… and then that’s not pleasant and no one is happy about it.
“So, at the moment just trying to focus in putting everything together. It’s the same on my side — there are things that I can do better as well, we can all do better. But we’re clearly not showing the potential, so I think that’s the main thing we need to focus on at the moment.”
Gasly appeared to be making progress after the opening few races but attributes his ongoing struggles to not having a car he is comfortable with throughout a weekend.
“I think at the moment it’s a bit inconsistent — some sessions we are fast, some others we are not. So it’s just a matter of finding a consistent base, that’s the main thing. Sometimes we manage to be fast, just not to be as consistent as the other car, for different reasons. I think it’s really important for us to find what works, building from that base that at the moment we’re struggling to find.”
Gasly says the team has a few potential explanations after dismantling his car in search of any underlying problems.
“We have ideas, but… I think for this weekend it should be fine. I’m not going to go into details but we’re all working and developing to make sure we extract the full potential, and this weekend that’s what we’re going to do, as every weekend.”