Pierre Gasly, Esteban Ocon, Spa-Francorchamps, 2018

Gasly: Tough fight for Toro Rosso to keep Force India behind

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In the round-up: Pierre Gasly says it will be difficult for Toro Rosso to keep Force India behind in the championship.

What they say

Force India’s championship points were reset to zero after the team re-entered the championship under a new owner. But they scored 18 in Belgium, leaving them 12 behind Toro Rosso with eight races to go.

Well looking at how many points they scored today they will be tough as well. If they do the same in Monza they’re going to overtake us already after two races.

Clearly it will be important for the team to keep them behind. Once we pass Monza the coming tracks after that will suit our car a bit better, so I think probably we will be able to fight with them a bit more.

It will be important to try to keep them behind but I mean in Monza they’re going to score points obviously if everything goes well. After that it will be important to keep them behind on the next tracks.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Does Daniel Ricciardo’s move to Renault make more sense in the light of Max Verstappen’s comments about Red Bull being unlikely to feature in the championship fight next year?

Even Verstappen says they have no chance next year and I think everyone thinks that 2020 will be a stretch too.

Ricciardo wants to win the drivers’ championship so given that Red Bull isn’t realistically thinking of getting there next year why not go to a team that has full manufacturer backing and has been improving? The other two are closed for now.

From his point of view I don’t think he cares if he’s third or seventh – it’s not a win and that’s what he wants – Renault shares that goal and being with a new team might just increase his enthusiasm and enjoyment a bit. From what I’ve seen of his body language this year, I’d say Dan needed a move to revitalise his F1 life a bit.
DB-C90 (@Dbradock)

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22 comments on “Gasly: Tough fight for Toro Rosso to keep Force India behind”

  1. Is there a person out there somewhere who thinks red bull honda could be championship contenders in 2019? I doubt anybody believes in that possibility. Red bull needs lots of luck just to stay in third. Let alone become a championship contender.

    1. They’ll be third easily. There are no threats from behind.

      1. I would have to agree that third is a safe bet for Red Bull next season, their only real rival may be Renault and even then it may be a championship fight that comes down to the number of DNFs instead or number of podiums.

    2. If you look how fast Toro Rosso was at Spa I don’t think they’re so far behind Renault, if they’re already at Renault level I really think they can be closer to Mercedes/Ferrari next year than Renault ever was.

    3. @socksolid, there have been some rather hardcore Honda fans – not so much here, but on some other forums – who have indeed been predicting that Red Bull will be a championship contender with Honda in 2019, as well as rather aggressively and repeatedly attacking Renault (especially if Abiteboul says anything that implies that Honda are behind Renault, whilst at the same time tending to gloss over the statements made by Horner or by Honda themselves that indicated they were slightly behind Renault).

      1. Well i am definitely not a Honda fan. But i am a fan of the sound of that engine!

        Looking at the developments i think they will realistically pass the Renault powered teams next year.
        Looking at the loss of points RIC and VER had during the first half of the season they could have been contenders for WDC if things worked out.
        So in 2019 there will be a reasonably positive chance next year they will fight for the high podiums. If there are three teams fighting there are greater changes for a win. And you will need a lesser amount of points to become WDC.
        So, yes.. next year they will fight for the higher podiums and aoptionally a WDC

      2. It seems that Toro Rosso had its rear wing set for more downforce than any of the Renault powered teams. Still they were pretty decent considering top speed. Would then the Honda power unit still be less powerful than the Renault?

        Honda will step up its development yet again. It reportedly ordered a large quantity of Red Bull gear boxes so they can test their new engine concept extensively on their test beds in Japan.
        I’d be surprised if they won’t surprise us next year ;)

  2. Very clever by Ocon.
    The guy who beat now-Red Bull star Verstappen in F3 in 2014.

    1. Beating Verstappen, no as you could see this weekend Max overtook him the same as in F3

      Ocon wins F3 in 2014 due his team (almost no DNF) if you compare wins that year then you know why everyone wanted Verstappen.

  3. Regarding the “3rd or 7th” comment in COTD… I remember people saying similar things about Alonso’s move back to McLaren and that went well…

    1. @gusty

      Still today I can’t understand how Alonso could say those words and how blind – or he was just lying to himself? – could he be putting Ferrari and McLaren on the same level those days. I understand the frustration and all, from not winning and having to deal with a turbulent team leadership, but had he managed better maybe things would have been different today for him, and us. Don’t burn bridges, they say.

  4. COTD is incredibly naïve.

    1. It’s essentially saying, Red Bull are accepting finishing third, so he might as well finish fifth? Either way, people who genuinely believe Renault will be beating Red Bull next year are gonna be very let down come next year. Ricciardo is jumping into the deep.

      1. My opinion to, red bull with Renault next year wold end in 3rd place. With Honda they will end in 3rd place, but have the chance to improve much more then with Renault.
        And there is something people don’t talk about and that the Honda engine is smaller and lighter then the Renault engine, and that is something red bull always wanted, and the fact it’s got the turbo placed like Mercedes means that red bull can have a longer wheel base car (if the engine improves next year). That’s what made Ferrari a much better package this year, the longer wheel base made them as fast if not faster then Mercedes in high speed circuits, but fast enough at low speed circuits to stay ahead of Mercedes.
        I think that with red bull and there experts helping Honda they will get a competitive engine next year, not at the level of Merc and Ferrari, but easily ahead of Renault

      2. @hahostolze, the COTD is discussing Ricciardo’s move from a longer-term perspective – it’s not about next year at all. If it’s going to take 2 years at least for Red Bull to catch Ferrari and Mercedes, then he might as well be at Renault where he will have number one status and the backing of a manufacturer.

  5. Good move by Ferrari. Great to give Leclerc a taste of the Ferrari car and gauge his potential, while trying out a couple of updates for the Monza weekend. They’ve been pretty relentless in finding performance this year… and I’m kind of disappointed Mercedes hasn’t been doing their own ‘promotional’ tests during the year.

    1. @todfod I’m starting to think that Mercedes – not Lewis, the team – is simply satiated. They won everything and maybe you need to be very very hungry in every department to win in F1: if you start losing momentum here and there it costs you a little and that little is what makes the difference at the end of the day. I see Ferrari hunger rising, they are covering everything, like this promotional event. If they don’t win this year, it will be next year.

      What was the longest streak of dominance in F1? By heart, I would say 4-5 years is the right amount: recently, Vettel with RBR or Michael with Ferrari.

  6. Well thats not true. Max Verstappen said something completly different on Dutch talkshow Peptalk last monday. He said he expected that in 2019 in the second part of the season Red Bull Honda would make considerable steps and they will be fighting for the championship in 2020. He didnt literally say it but he is totally fed up with Renault. Also: Honda budget is way bigger.

    1. Of course Max is going to put that kind of a positive spin on it, especially on a Dutch show. What he is describing would be awesome and a best case scenario, but I think even Max would agree we will have to see it to believe it.

  7. Regarding the Crash.net-article: Doesn’t Grosjean know that in-race refuelling was detrimental to on-track overtaking? I think he should take a look at the historical overtaking statistics which support that fact, and then I bet he’d change his mind on that topic. Furthermore, the aerodynamics are behind the long-standing difficulty of following another car closely, though, not the tyres.
    – Regarding the Autosport-article: That isn’t news anymore, though, since it’s been part of the plan concerning the aero alterations for next season since day one anyway.
    – COTD: His decision to switch to Renault for next season has nothing to do with the potential of Honda, though, as he’s pointed out a few times already. It’s purely about him wanting a change, nothing to do with Honda, the team, his current teammate, etc.
    – Rossi’s tweet, and Ocon’s Instagram post, as well as the image of Bottas, though. BTW, It seems that Massa still needs to improve certain small details in his grammar despite having been racing internationally since forever, LOL.

  8. Mr Zanardi, you are by no means normal. You’re a legendary hero.

  9. ‘Leclerc had secret Ferrari test’

    Err, is it really secret if the FIA were informed and Pirelli supplied demonstration tyres?

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