Pierre Gasly, Red Bull, Circuit de Catalunya, 2019

“He’s been promoted perhaps a little early”: Gasly’s 12-race Red Bull career in quotes

2019 F1 season

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Pierre Gasly has been shown the door by Red Bull after just 12 races. How did it go so wrong so quickly?

The words of his team principal Christian Horner over the season so far reveal how it only took 20 weeks for Gasly’s dream drive to fall apart.


“It’s going to take him time to get up to speed. He’s still very young in terms of experience.

“Only one season with Toro Rosso, he’s been promoted perhaps a little earlier than we would have ideally liked but there is never a perfect time. You’ve got to grab that opportunity which he now has.

“He’ll have the full support of the team behind him. Of course we’ve known him for quite a few years already as a member of the junior program so he knows how we operate and what’s expected of him.”


Pierre Gasly, Red Bull, Albert Park, 2019
On his Red Bull debut, Gasly went out 17th in Q1, missing the cut by less than a tenth of a second

Qualifying: 17th (Verstappen: 4th)
Race: 11th (Verstappen: 3rd)

“After a difficult day yesterday his recovery was strong today. He raced very hard. He was competitive in the race at a track where it’s very hard to overtake at. It was a shame he didn’t get a point out of it but his time will come.”


Qualifying: 13th (Verstappen: 5th)
Race: 8th (Verstappen: 4th)

“Today will have been a good boost of confidence for him. He’s raced competitively, he’s raced hard, he’s had to overtake quite a few cars today and been competitive in the second half of the race. I think he can take a lot out of this weekend and carry that into future races.”

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Qualifying: 6th (Verstappen: 5th)
Race: 6th (Verstappen: 4th)

“I think he’s made a step forward this weekend. I think he’s still not totally comfortable within the car at the moment, not from a physical fitting. He’s in the process of needing to refine his style to optimise the best from the car, the characteristics of the car. And he’s making progress with that. I think it’s obviously proving to be a challenge for him but he’s making progress and the fastest lap at the end of the race there will give him a bit of confidence as well.”


Pierre Gasly, Red Bull, Baku City Circuit, 2019
Gasly had to start from the pits after missing the weigh bridge in practice

Qualifying: 20th (Verstappen: 4th)
Race: DNF (Verstappen: 4th)

“Whilst he doesn’t have the result on paper I think he’s pretty happy with his weekend. In Q1 he was quick, Friday he was quick, he’s driven a good race and should have been an easy P6 today from the pit lane which is a really strong drive. I think even more encouragingly than that his pace, certainly compared to a Ferrari on the same strategy, he was definitely quicker than. So I think a lot of positives for Pierre out of this weekend.

“I think the confidence that came out of China came into Azerbaijan and I think even though he doesn’t have the result to show it he knows it’s been a much stronger weekend for him.”

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Qualifying: 6th (Verstappen: 4th)
Race: 6th (Verstappen: 3rd)

“Pierre had another strong race, however he picked up some debris about half way through the race which got lodged in his front wing and cost him quite a bit of performance. All things considered, it was a very strong race again from him and he brought the team more important points.”


Pierre Gasly, Red Bull, Monaco, 2019
Monaco brought a step forward as Gasly scored his best result to date

Qualifying: 8th (Verstappen: 3rd)
Race: 5th (Verstappen: 4th)

“Pierre really made a great recovery having got the penalty yesterday and starting in P8. He kept his head, was quick when he had clear track and managed to move up the order.”


Qualifying: 5th (Verstappen: 9th)
Race: 8th (Verstappen: 5th)

“With Pierre we tried to get the undercut on Daniel during the pit stop, we nearly made it, but he unfortunately got stuck behind Stroll which pretty much ended his race, allowing Hulkenberg to sneak ahead.”

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Qualifying: 9th (Verstappen: 4th)
Race: 10th (Verstappen: 4th)

“On the hard tyre Pierre just didn’t have any pace and slipped down the order. Finishing P11 is frustrating as we are outside the points, so we will check everything on his car to ensure there are no hidden issues.”

A post-race penalty for Daniel Ricciardo promoted Gasly to the final points place.


Pierre Gasly, Red Bull, Red Bull Ring, 2019
Gasly finished a lap behind his race-winning team mate at Red Bull’s home track

Qualifying: 8th (Verstappen: 2nd)
Race: 7th (Verstappen: 1st)

“Pierre’s having a tough time at the moment. We’re doing our very best to support him. I think he just needs a reset. We know what he is capable of. I think we just somehow have got to go ‘Control-Alt-Delete’ in his head and start again. He’s a quick driver. The problem he’s got is obviously Max is delivering every week and that puts more pressure obviously on him to performance. But we’re sticking by him, we still believe in him and we’ll give him all the support that we can to try and nurture the talent that we know he has.”

Great Britain

Pierre Gasly, Sebastian Vettel, Silverstone, 2019
Breakthrough or false dawn? Gasly peaked with fourth at Silverstone

Qualifying: 5th (Verstappen: 4th)
Race: 4th (Verstappen: 5th)

“I think Pierre has done a very good job all weekend. Turning the page from Austria, that was a really tough weekend for him. I think coming here, just focusing on what he’s doing, not worrying about what his team mate’s doing and just getting back to basics, he’s been like a different driver all weekend. From the first session he’s been competitive. He’s built on that in [second practice], in all three elements of qualifying he was competitive. And the race again here he passed Vettel early in the race, he was racing hard with Leclerc. I thought he drove very well today.”


Qualifying: 4th (Verstappen: 2nd)
Race: 14th (Verstappen: 1st)

“It’s a bit up and down. I mean he had a strong qualifying. He had a difficult first pit stop. There was a problem with the right-rear wheel nut. And then they had to hold him because the whole queue of cars came in. But then he recovered well and he was recovering, recovering, recovering and then on the last restart he passed Vettel but then went wide on three consecutive laps at turn one and that’s where the other cars got past him. And then obviously racing with Albon they tripped over each other which was frustrating because it was a good opportunity today to take a lot of points out of Ferrari. So instead of taking 20-odd points out of them we’ve only taken seven or eight.”

Gasly in fact spun three times in four laps at turn one.


Pierre Gasly, Red Bull, Hungaroring, 2019
Ex-Red Bull junior driver Carlos Sainz Jnr beat Gasly in Hungary, where he was lapped again

Qualifying: 6th (Verstappen: 1st)
Race: 6th (Verstappen: 2nd)

“It’s been a frustrating weekend for Pierre. The start wasn’t great, the first lap wasn’t great and we shouldn’t be racing Saubers and McLarens. We need him to be racing Ferraris and Mercedes. Everything we can do to try and help them achieve that is what we’ll do.

“Our intention is to leave him in the car to the end of the year. But we desperately need to see him realising more of the potential of the car.”

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

2019 F1 season

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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35 comments on ““He’s been promoted perhaps a little early”: Gasly’s 12-race Red Bull career in quotes”

  1. when kvyat was at RB at least the midfield was far less tight and reliability was poor, for Pierre every weekend was embarrasing, his best career results is on the str.

    1. @peartree More precisely, he only managed to ‘match/equal’ his best-result from STR, never better it.

  2. ”Our intention is to leave him in the car to the end of the year.”
    – And yet only eight days after he said these words, a change of tone happened even though not a single race has taken place since those words.

    1. @jerejj
      Marketing geniuses; which team name is on the front page of every F1 outlet and which team name has been mentioned a million times on youtube and such.
      Gotta hand it to RedBull, the are the true kings of raising brand awareness through this sport.

    2. He didnt say “we will keep him in the car to the end of the year”. You cant always do what you intend. Horner chooses his words like a lawyer.

      1. Pretty much every interview in F1. They always leave themselves an out.

    3. It was his ‘intention’, @jerejj.
      But as much as Horner runs the team, it is Dr Marko who decides (if needed single-handedly) which driver gets which seat.
      I understand that all drivers are contracted to Red Bull and they are seconded to either of the teams.

      1. I’d imagine it is not marko alone who makes those big decisions. Fore sure horner and tost is in that group with maybe newey having an input as well along with mateshitz occasionally.

      2. I understand that all drivers are contracted to Red Bull and they are seconded to either of the teams.

        Which makes a mockery of the whole thing of what being a team and a competitor means.
        Here we have a situation where one competitor (Torro Rosso), releases their driver (Alex Albon), in exchange for what is perceived a lesser driver (Gasly), to their direct competitor (Red Bull). Basically prioritizing the well being of their competitor instead of themselves, which in the turn amounts to match-fixing, albeit match-fixing in the open.

        1. I’m curious – would you view it differently if the teams were owned by different corporate entities? I’m thinking back to 2017 when Carlos Sainz moved to Renault, and TR were forced to recall Kvyat (before starting a game of musical chairs). I’m sure it wasn’t out of the generosity of Dr. Marko’s heart that he gave away a good driver to a team that happens to supply their engines.

          I wouldn’t call either of these actions match-fixing, but rather horse-trading, something we’ve seen in other team sports as well.

          1. Or Leclerc to Ferrari and Raikkonen to Alfa Sauber.
            And don’t forget that Ocon always seemed to be fighting harder for Mercedes than for Force Point.

            It’s never been a clear cut 10 independent teams with their dedicated drivers fighting each other.
            At least Red Bull has always been crystal clear about this.

          2. @phylyp, mind you, the indication is that relations between Sainz and Red Bull were rather strained by that point in time and Sainz was getting to the point where he just wanted to get out of Red Bull’s grip and didn’t care how it came about.

            To me, it seems more of a convergence of desires – you had Renault on one side seeking to get rid of Palmer, and on the other Sainz was likely to accept any offer on the table that took him out of Red Bull.

            From Marko’s point of view, he probably thought of it more as getting rid of a problem – it sounds as if he was causing most of the friction between Red Bull and Sainz – rather than being a problem.

        2. Matchfixing is it when a second rated team with a Mercedes driver takes out the race leader to let a Merc driver win.
          even Flavio did not think of that one.

          1. Neither did Mercedes or Racing Point, else the FIA would have been onto it as soon as they could get evidence for it (which would not have been difficult considering how loose-lipped everyone involved regarding their motives was to the press in the following days – contrasing Singapore 2008, where everyone kept quiet until it suited Nelson Piquet Jr to reveal all).

          2. @alianora-la-canta, the problem is that you are trying to apply reason to a problem where erikje, being a hardcore Verstappen fan, does not want to accept it – he has already decided on the narrative that he wants to believe in, where it is preferable to believe a conspiracy than to accept the possibility that the man he worships so much might be fallible in some way.

  3. This is a great article @DieterRencken; it shows that a good journo can also do wonders without writting long essays.

    PS: (explaining my repeated criticism of the ‘What they say’ section of the round-up) A good (set of) quote(s) can do wonders as long as it is used in the right setting.

  4. Sometimes it feels a bit like a roulette at RedBull: if Gasly was promoted too soon after a full year at STR, why are they replacing him with someone even less experienced? I’d hate to see Albon demoted if he doesn’t exactly deliver after just half-a-season, but it’s almost bound to happen against such a strong teammate and high expectations from Horner & co.

    1. Very true, but if you look at it logically Red Bull need information to be able to decide what to do about their 2020 driver lineup.

      By the end of this season, they will have pretty good info on all 3 drivers (Albon, Gasly and Kvyat and should be able to make an informed decision on whether to put one of the 3 permanently in the second car or go out to the market and try to get an experienced driver from outside the Red Bull ranks.

      Seems like a smart decision to me.

      1. That reads as sensible @dbradock, but, as @gechichan mentions, there is a problem there:

        By the end of this season, they will have pretty good info on all 3 drivers (Albon, Gasly and Kvyat and should be able to make an informed decision

        may not be true if both Albon and Gasly got too little time to prepare for that seat, and too little time to prove themselves in it as well. All their data that’s reasonable will be from Albon’s first 12 races in the STR, and the sport, and a comparison of how a demotivated Gasly races against a now stable Kvyat (but the latter might not be a useful bit of data, anymore than how Gasly fared against Hartley).

        So, potentially, they one thing they know is that Kvyat is doing quite okay now after a time not with Red Bull, but at a job where he seemingly was valued for his work in the Ferrari simulator (not an easy team either, by all accounts), but that they (dr. Marko) would sort of admit being wrong in how they dealt with him if they put him in, so they do not want him.

        Effectively, it then ends up with them hoping that the winter test next year works out any kinks, unlike this year where it instead showed the faultlines, without the team and driver apparently able to fix them for half a season (at least).

    2. The difference between Gasly and Albon is that the Albons have lots of millions, at lest is before they paid taxes and fines.

  5. I came in thinking this will be an article of cherry-picked quotes intended to make Gasly look bad.

    However, I am impressed with the nice selection of quotes that show how the picture evolved over the season.

    I count 5 races where Gasly finished P6 or better. While not ideal by the front-runners standards, I think the more damning stat is the time gap that has often existed ahead of Gasly to the next driver from the big three teams. Far too often that has been a pit-stop sized gap or more. And that has meant that RBR were denied an opportunity to steal the FLAP point (and deny it to a competitor).

    In this month’s decision, I think that (i.e. the gap, not just the lost FLAP point) is probably what weighed more on RBR’s leadership than just his finishing positions.

  6. It’s the ‘he’s been promoted a little earlier than we would have ideally liked’ bit from pre-season that gets me the most, given they’ve essentially demoted him for a guy with less than half his experience. That said Gasly never looked comfortable in the Red Bull – generally slow, nervous in defending and overtaking and the gap between him and Verstappen and the other ‘top 3’ teams was so large he was fighting the midfield rather than the front.

    1. I think he tried to hard to match/beat Max and was ‘overdriving the car’ (sorry, cannot find a better description), @rocketpanda.
      The best advice for Albon is probably to drive his own race weekends. If his speed is ‘only’ a quarter of a second slower than Max, with a little progression, then he might very well be seen as a worthy occupant of that cockpit.

      1. @coldfly “Overdriving” is a good word for it.

  7. Has there been a single quote from Pierre Gasly since his demotion?

    1. @pinakghosh As far as I’m aware, not only has Pierre made no coments since his demotion, he’s not even “liked” a tweet since 25th July. I think he’s deliberately avoiding social media for the moment, and I can’t blame him for that.

      1. You can ‘like’ tweets? @alianora-la-canta
        And I always hoped that Twitter would save me from seeing selfies, baby pics, cat video, and food shots ;)

  8. Looks like Germany was where the damage was done. His showing in changeable conditions perhaps raised too big a question about his talent. And the final nail in the coffin was hammered in when Max was overtaken by Lewis in Hungary. RBR must really feel that Pierre wasn’t there for them when they needed him. They don’t need Pierre to be winning or even on the podium, but they do need him to be racing the Mercedeses and the Ferraris.

  9. “He’ll have the full support of the team behind him.”

    Do not believe his lies.

    1. Lewisham Milton
      14th August 2019, 17:04

      He’s got a great future behind him.

    2. Which team?

  10. “Redbulls a low down, ruthless Vato… but I like that Holmes. I like that.”

  11. Marko – 8 races, 0 points career average = 0 points
    Gasly – 33 races, 63 points 9

  12. Marko – 8 races, 5 points (in todays scoring) career average = 2.8 points per race.
    Gasly – 33 races, 93 points career average = 2.8 points per race.

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