Verstappen the 'perfect reference' for Gasly in 2019

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing and Pierre Gasly (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso
© XPB 

Newly promoted Red Bull driver Pierre Gasly says that comparing himself to his 2019 team mate Max Verstappen will be the ideal way for him to determine how good a job he's doing.

Gasly explained that he had a high regard for the Dutch driver, and that Verstappen would therefore be the ideal benchmark to compare himself to in his first season with the team.

"[Max] is clearly one of the best and most talented guys in the paddock at the moment," the 23-year-old Frenchman told "So for me it's perfect to have a reference like him.

"I always find it good to have a fast teammate because that's how you manage to extract the best of yourself as well," he explained.

"I'm sure it's going to be useful for myself to keep learning in Formula 1, and achieve a better performance for myself."

Gasly - a former GP2 champion in 2016 who made his Formula 1 début with the Toro Rosso junior team in Malaysia in 2017 - is taking over the race seat formerly occupied by Daniel Ricciardo. He is keenly aware that he will have to establish himself quickly in his new role.

Although he's yet to make it onto the podium in F1, Gasly did finish an impressive fourth place in Bahrain last year when he started from fifth place on the grid.

"I believe that I have good speed," he commented. "I'm able to extract everything over one lap, which is important in qualifying.

"If you have a good starting position it makes the race a lot easier," he continued. "I think that's one of my strengths that I will have to try to make the best out of Red Bull.

Team boss Christian Horner admitted that Gasly had been promoted to the senior squad earlier than Red Bull would have liked, because of Ricciardo's unexpected decision to move to Renault in 2019.


Ricciardo won two races last year in Shanghai and Monaco, and never finished outside the top six all year - although he did suffer eight retirements during the course of the campaign.

It means that Gasly himself is very much aware of how much work he will have to put in this year to show that he deserves the early promotion into one of the sport's top teams.

"I think I'm a quite objective guy and I know when I do things right and when I do something wrong," he insisted. "I always learn from these kind of situations.

"I always question myself about what can I do better to improve myself as a driver, to make the best of the package I have."

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