Revitalised since returning to Toro Rosso midseason, Pierre Gasly insists he didn’t forget how to drive while at Red Bull and suddenly relearn it back at Toro Rosso.
Gasly has gone from zero to hero this season.
He stepped up to Red Bull at the beginning of the campaign, elated with his promotion.
That, though, didn’t work out for him.
Struggling to match team-mate Max Verstappen, he was dropped after the Hungarian Grand Prix, demoted to Toro Rosso.
However, Gasly refused to let that get him down and immediately scored points for his old team at the Belgian Grand Prix.
Seven races later, he secured his maiden F1 podium with a runner-up result at the Brazilian GP.
He told RaceFans.net: “As a driver you never forget how to drive within a couple of weeks, a couple of months.
“Between Budapest and Spa I think there were four weeks. You don’t learn to drive again within four weeks.
“I’ve won Formula Renault 2.0, finished second in (Formula Renault) 3.5, I won GP2, I finished second in Super Formula, I was strong in the Toro Rosso last year.
“And in my career it’s been only these six months that we were not competitive.
“That’s why I said I realised how much of a team sport Formula 1 is over the last couple of months.
“I just feel like we were far from the full potential that we had.
“It’s just a shame that we didn’t make this work because I think we had, if we wanted, all the things we needed to make it work.”
The Frenchman, who will stay with Toro Rosso for the 2020 campaign, added that he felt during his time at Red Bull that he was always at “80 per cent” of his potential.
Clearly his Brazilian podium indicates he’s back at 100 with Toro Rosso.
“As a driver you always want to be in the fastest car possible and fight as high up on the grid possible but in Red Bull it feels like we were 80 per cent of the potential we had most of the races, for different reasons.
“Since I joined Toro Rosso this has changed a bit and every weekend and I feel I’m able to put stronger performances.
“This is of course more enjoyable.
“But ultimately as a driver, you always want to be the fastest car possible.”