British Grand Prix – Red Bull Racing’s Pierre Gasly says that things are going in the right direction for him at last after a strong race at Silverstone.
Having had a miserable time at the previous rounds in France and Austria, Gasly appeared a happier man when he touched down for the British weekend. Stating on Thursday that he was ‘aiming for a breakthrough’ at Silverstone, he appears to have succeeded in finding what he needed to do so. A decision from Red Bull to switch him to using setups approved by the other side of the garage seemed to steady the ship for Gasly and, for the first time ever, he topped a Formula 1 session by setting the quickest time in FP1.
Remaining competitive throughout practice, Gasly was outqualified by Verstappen at the end of Q3 but still managed P5 to stay ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
During the race, Gasly proved strong too. Initially passed by Vettel at the start of the race, Gasly recovered to overtake the Ferrari on track before pitting on Lap 12. This triggered pitstops for Verstappen and Leclerc, with Gasly coming out behind both of them. However, the Safety Car intervention saw Max and Charles pit again but Gasly, fitted with the Hard tyre for a one stop strategy, stayed out and moved up to P4 behind Hamilton, Bottas and Vettel.
Once Verstappen cleared Leclerc and caught up on Gasly, the Frenchman eased off to let his teammate past. He was then caught by Leclerc, who overtook him around the outside of Turn 3, but gained positions back when Vettel and Verstappen collided. Gasly thus finished P4 and was much happier with his race weekend after racing in the positions expected of a Red Bull driver: “This whole weekend has been strong from Friday to Sunday, with today being my best Sunday of the year. We’re fighting with the guys at the front which is where we should be and I’m really happy with fourth today.”
“Of course as a competitive guy I’m disappointed not to get on the podium as it was so close but we’ve made a big step this weekend and we’re working in the right direction. I had some good battles with Seb and Charles and there was quite a lot of action throughout the race. I still need to work on the little details to improve and make the last step on to the podium, but overall we are not too far away and we will keep pushing. If we can have this kind of Sunday every weekend then things should be exciting.”
Team boss Christian Horner said: “Pierre’s race was the continuation of a very strong weekend, running hard with the Ferraris and doing a very long stint on the hard tyre to get to the end of the race to achieve his best finish of the year. This has been a great confidence builder for him and hopefully he can use this to get some momentum going for his next race.”