Pierre Gasly has admitted that he “didn’t come close” to the level he was capable of during his short stint with Red Bull.
Following Daniel Ricciardo’s switch to Renault, Gasly received the call to step up from Toro Rosso to a Red Bull seat at the start of 2019.
His stint would prove to be a disaster though, often left fighting the upper-midfield rather than the top five.
And Red Bull had seen enough come the summer break as they sent the Frenchman back to Toro Rosso, with Alex Albon coming the other way.
Gasly’s times compared to team-mate Max Verstappen were also a huge concern, but Gasly knew how strong Verstappen was in all departments.
“I’ve known Max since our time in karting. I know how fast he is on a single lap and in the races,” he told Dutch publication Formule1.
“He performed very well during those first twelve races, at the level I expected of him.”
But while Gasly knows he wasn’t “even close” to his level, he also thinks that Red Bull could have helped him turn the situation around, and questioned whether they wanted to.
“I think that if we had wanted, we had everything we needed to make it work,” he admitted.
“For the past seven years I have always been super competitive, except for those six months at Red Bull. That’s why it’s a bit frustrating that we were not able to make the changes that were needed.”
Gasly will remain at Toro Rosso, now known as AlphaTauri for 2020, and after scoring points in five of his nine races with the team in the second half of 2019, Gasly thinks he “deserved” to keep his place.
“Based on the results I have achieved with Toro Rosso since Spa, I think the seat is completely deserved,” he said.