Belgian Grand Prix – Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly says he’s spending his Belgian weekend learning how to drive his new car after a mid-season swap of drivers.
Pierre Gasly is driving for Toro Rosso for the remaining races of 2019, having been replaced by Alex Albon at Red Bull Racing after a string of subdued performances. With no chance to drive the car before the Grand Prix weekend, Gasly and Albon are both learning how to drive their new machines during competitive session.
Albon admitted after Friday that he spent his first day at the wheel of the Red Bull ‘re-wiring his brain’ to learn the car, while Pierre Gasly has said that stepping back to the Toro Rosso is proving tricky. Despite having driven for the team last year, the 2019 aero changes and natural development over the intervening nine months means that the car isn’t at all like what he drove last season.
Gasly qualified in P16 with a 1:46.435, with some good news being that he was faster than teammate Daniil Kvyat by just under a tenth of a second.
“Today was a day quite busy discovering what I can do with this car – resetting all the references. We had a pretty good FP3 going in the right direction in the car and trying to find the right direction to basically to feel how to extract the most out of the car.”
“Lap by lap, I can feel it’s getting better and better and I feel there is more to come.” Gasly continued.
“It is massively different. Everything. Literally everything. Driving position is different, settings are different, the throttle , the steering assistance… – there are a lot of things to get used to. Lap after lap, I get a better feeling with the car. Friday was better and expect that to be the case for the race.”
As for whether the car itself suits his style better than his vacated Red Bull, he says he can’t really tell yet: “It’s too early to make any conclusions, but it is really different in terms of what you can do with it and also for me to set it the way I want for my driving. I still need to reset all my references from before, and I need to find out exactly where the limits are to everything. Comparing to yesterday, we made a stab in P3 clearly in right direction to suit it a bit more for me but for sure there’s more to discover.”
Additional reporting by Chinnye Chow.