Such is the praise for Pierre Gasly’s drive to fourth place in Bahrain that Helmut Marko says that drive “made a man out of him.”
Competing in only his seventh grand prix in his fledgling career, Gasly raced from fifth on the grid to fourth at the chequered flag in Bahrain on Sunday night.
His driver not only 12 points but also the attention of Red Bull’s motorsport advisor Marko.
“That made a man out of him,” Marko told Autosport. “His reward is the fourth place. All our drivers have a very good bonus system. This will more than please him.
“I didn’t expect a fourth place that early – but it’s a positive development. It was the target to challenge the midfield with this engine. Not here, but in the first half of the season.”
His team boss at Toro Rosso, Franz Tost, was also full of praise for the young Frenchman.
“Pierre has done an incredibly good job, I must say,” said Tost. “Also in qualifying he got everything together.
“And today [was] a good start. [It’s] fantastic how he fought at the beginning against Magnussen, defending very, very hard and he brought it home without any mistakes, nothing. Very good job.”
And while Gasly’s result may have come as a surprise to many given that Toro Rosso have bagged just seven top-four results in over 200 grands prix, Tost says it was “expected.
“Otherwise, he would not be a Red Bull Junior driver and he would not be at Toro Rosso.”