Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says he “desperately” needs to see more performance from Pierre Gasly after the summer break.
Gasly has struggled since being promoted from Toro Rosso to replace Daniel Ricciardo this season, scoring a best result of fourth place at Silverstone. The discrepancy between Gasly and Max Verstappen is highlighted by the fact Verstappen has scored more points over the past four races in Austria, Great Britain, Germany and Hungary than the Frenchman has managed all season, and Horner says the car is capable of much more.
“Our intention is to leave him in the car until the end of the year,” Horner said. “But we desperately need to see him realizing more of the potential of the car.
“I think he really needs to take some time out during the summer break, reflect on the first half of the season and take the lessons from that into the second half of the year. It’s vital for us if we are to stand any chance of catching Ferrari that we have him finishing further ahead.
Horner says examples such as Sunday’s race in Hungary — where Lewis Hamilton was able to take a free pit stop from second place and fight back to beat Verstappen — highlight the need for a second car running more competitively.
“It was a frustrating weekend for Pierre. The start wasn’t great, the first lap wasn’t great, and we shouldn’t be racing Saubers (Alfa Romeo) and McLarens, we need him to be racing Ferraris and Mercedes, and everything we can do to help him to achieve that is what we will do.”
“The problem is he is not in the mix at all, so it’s not like if Lewis pitted he was going to come out behind him or anything like that. But (on Sunday), both Mercedes and Red Bull had one-legged races with the teammates out of contention.
“Even if Valtteri Bottas or the Ferraris had been a bit closer. Obviously not having two cars running at the front does hurt us, particularly in the constructors’ championship where we scored the same amount of points as Ferrari on a track where we should have taken more out of them.”