Toro Rosso boss Franz Tost says he's surprised by Pierre Gasly's struggles at Red Bull but insists the Frenchman's talent should not be questioned.
Gasly was promoted to Red Bull Racing this season on the basis of his strong maiden year in F1 with Toro Rosso.
The Milton Keynes-based outfit wasn't expecting fireworks at the outset from its new recruit, especially with Max Verstappen sitting on the other side of the garage, Gasly has nevertheless disappointed.
The 23-year-old has been outpaced by his teammate in qualifying in every race bar one so far this season and trails Verstappen in the drivers' standings by 63 points.
While Tost is surprised by Gasly's under-performance, the Austrian believes his former driver's potential is there to unlock.
"I'm a bit surprised, simply because Pierre is much better and therefore much faster than he's currently showing. However, I don't know the exact circumstances," Tost told Motorsport-Total.
Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner labeled Gasly's performance in last weekend's French Grand Prix as "frustrating".
However, the Frenchman alluded to a possible technical issue impacting his RB15, a car whose characteristics may not suit its driver according to Tost.
"The car is unpredictable for him, light on the rear end, and that's something he does not like, he likes a solid rear axle," the Toro Rosso boss said back in Baku.
"There's no question about his talent, he can do it all, but he just needs his time.
"You have to give him the time to adapt to it all, he has the misfortune of being next to Max Verstappen who is now established in the team.
"But Max was also with us once and also had to undergo a learning process."