Pierre Gasly says the Red Bull RB11 feels very similar to the Toro STR10 after driving both Renault-powered cars during this week’s Barcelona test.
The Frenchman enjoyed his maiden F1 outing on Tuesday when he racked up 131 laps with Toro Rosso to finish seventh on the opening day of in-season testing.
Having described his debut as “exceptional”, Gasly then switched to Red Bull for day two at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. After completing 75 laps, the GP2 racer set the third fastest time, just over 0.6s behind pace setter Jolyon Palmer.
“To be honest, the difference is really small,” replied Gasly when asked to compare both cars.
“In terms of lap time it is pretty much the same. So there were some small differences but also the conditions were a bit different to yesterday – the wind was not in the same way.
“Overall I felt better, so I am pretty happy about it, and about the balance of the car, I would say it is very similar between the two cars.”
Toro Rosso regular drivers Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz created quite a stir at Sepang earlier this season when they outraced the two sister cars of Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat in the Malaysian Grand Prix.
The all-rookie pairing then sprung another surprise when they outqualified both RB11s at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya last Saturday. These results led Ricciardo to claim that the Renault power unit was not the sole reason why Red Bull was struggling in 2015.
Although he had never sampled any F1 machinery before, Gasly’s comments seem to indicate that there is indeed little to choose between the two Red Bull-branded cars, despite Milton Keynes having a much bigger budget than Faenza.
Click here for Wednesday's gallery from testing at the Circuit de Catalunya