Pierre Gasly crashed the Red Bull RB15 heavily during the penultimate day of testing at Circuit de Catalunya, credit to him for admitting his mistake but, at the same time, he has to raise his game as twice in the two weeks of testing he has bent metal on the team’s 2019 challenger.
It is early days but be sure that in those pit garages the chess game between drivers is happening, one of the big sideshows of the season ahead is how Max Verstappen and Gasly will perform as teammates, some predict fireworks, others believe Verstappen will destroy him while few believe the Frenchman will seriously trouble the Dutchman.
Hence Gasly, a fiery and feisty youngster, has a point to prove, even in testing as he integrates into a team which is second only to Ferrari in terms of polemics. He knows he can ill afford mistakes with the spotlight on him stronger than ever now that he is a driver in one of the ‘Big Three’ teams.
After his high speed off, caused when the RB15 clipped the grass during a “performance” run, causing him to lose control of the car which skidded through the gravel before crumpling into the wall.
Gasly explained at the end of the day, “I made a mistake in Turn 9 and lost the car. It was a pretty big crash, but I’m fine, a little bit shaken, but generally OK.”
“I’m feeling more sorry for the guys in the garage. They have a long night ahead but the most important thing is that Max is back in the car tomorrow and we’ll focus on the positives. It’s not an ideal way to end the final test, but over the four days we managed to get lots of laps in and that was positive.”
“We looked a bit more at performance today and we learned a lot. We still have a lot of work to do but overall we’re pleased. I’m feeling good with the car and the package in general – the chassis and engine are really good.”
“We have good performance and we just need to understand how to maximise the package, so we bring the best car we can to Melbourne,” added the 23-year-old who makes his debut for Red Bull at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix on 17 March.
A day earlier, at the Spanish Grand Prix venue, Sebastian Vettel crashed the Ferrari SF90 when a rim failed.