Following up his Red Bull confirmation with a solid points finish at Spa, Pierre Gasly concedes his ninth place was unexpected.
August has been a good month for 22-year-old Gasly.
Not only was he confirmed as a Red Bull racer for next season but he showed why he’s the man to replace Daniel Ricciardo with a P9 in Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix.
“Yeah it was really good,” he said of his result. “We knew we would struggle on this track, so to finally finish the weekend with two points, it is really positive. So I am really happy.”
It, however, could have been a very different story as the Frenchman also got caught out the incident that cost Ricciardo at the start.
“It was really close,” he said. “I didn’t see it at the time but I was alongside Daniel and he got involved in the crash so I was really close to it but luckily we managed to get away and to finish the race in P9 so it was good.
“We didn’t really expect to fight with them because we knew on such a track with all the long straights that we would struggle compared to the Ferrari power teams.
“In the end we are pretty happy.
“On the supersofts, I managed to stay quite close to [Kevin] Magnussen, but on the softs he managed to pull away and not much happened in my race. However, if you had told me before the weekend that we would get two points from the race then I would have been really happy.”
Gasly reckons Sunday’s performance, which came at one of Formula 1’s fastest circuits, is a clear indication that Toro Rosso’s engine partner Honda is getting it right.
He added: “I think everything is getting better, you know. The drivability, reliability, we don’t have any issues. We just need to get that extra performance to make us more consistent inside the top ten, but I think this weekend was really positive.
“I think next weekend will be a tough one but just looking at this weekend, it was good.
“I was fighting with him [Ericsson] and I managed to keep him behind so I think definitely that the Honda is getting better. You know what drivers are like, the more power they give us, the happier we are.
“I know we will have a couple more upgrades coming before the end of the season, but Honda is pushing flat out. To score points on a track like this is positive for the team.”