Pierre Gasly admits he was shocked to be dropped by Red Bull ahead of this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix after previous comments made by the team.
Red Bull has promoted Alexander Albon to partner Max Verstappen for the rest of the season, with Gasly returning to Toro Rosso after failing to score a podium in his 12 races at the senior team. With team principal Christian Horner publicly stating the intention was to keep Gasly in the car until the end of the season following a disappointing result in Hungary, the Frenchman says his subsequent change of teams a week later came as a surprise.
“I found out the morning it had been decided, and yeah of course it was kind of a shock and I was disappointed because it’s not what I had been told before and also after Budapest,” Gasly said. “I think everything was pretty clear and discussed the last few weeks.
“I don’t know (what changed), and anyway, it’s not going to change the decision right now. This is the past, and I just need to focus on the present and the future and the things I can change with Toro Rosso now.
“Whether I understand it or not is not going to change it, so I didn’t spend too much time thinking about it. Now the only thing I need to focus on is performing in these nine coming races with Toro Rosso at my best.”
Gasly still believes there will be a chance for him to regain his seat at Red Bull in 2020, adding: “I am not thinking about it now, but that is what they said, and for sure I think there will be other opportunities.”
While the Frenchman is aware of the challenge he will be faced with as a result of the mid-season switch, Gasly says he has experience of adapting to new teams.
“It’s always different, coming from one car to another. Everything feels a bit different. In the last seven or eight years in single-seaters, I’ve never been more than one year in the same team. I think you always need to adapt.
“For sure there will be new things. Being at the factory since the beginning of the week was quite hectic. I tried to get on top of most of the things before the weekend, and to get up to speed as fast as possible.”