Post race in France, Red Bull’s Pierre Gasly is certainly feeling the heat after a disappointing race at Paul Ricard.
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner described his French GP result as “frustrating”, then praised Gasly’s Dutch team-mate Max Verstappen as having “driven the wheels off the car”.
Gasly started his home race ninth on the grid but, starting on the soft tyres, was one of the first to pit which dropped him well down the order.
The Frenchman then spent much of the 53-laps struck in a DRS train, making overtaking exceptionally difficult, finishing a lap down in 11th place. However, team boss Christian Horner described the situation to the press claiming the team had got him ‘track position’ after pitting.
“He did a good job in the first stint on the red tyre, and then we got him track position,” Horner told Sky Sports F1.
“A fantastic stop by the boys, the fastest of the afternoon, I had it at 1.9 stationary.
“So we got him track position to Daniel [Ricciard] and then he just didn’t get going on that harder tyre.
“And then lost out to the other guys as well.”
Obvious is the frustration of how far behind Gasly is compared to teammate Max Verstappen, and telling is the clear delineation drawn by Horner between the team and Max, versus the youngster Gasly.
“We managed to split [the Ferraris] which was the maximum Max could do today,” Horner added as the Dutchman claimed fourth.
“He drove the wheels off the car, another very mature drive.
“We’re just missing that sort of two or three tenths at the moment, but hopefully it’s in the pipeline.”
The writing on the wall for the Red Bull junior perhaps? It has happened before with former Red Bull Racing driver Daniil Kyvat ousted to make way for Max Verstappen mid-season in 2016. Kyvat then returned to Toro Rosso before leaving F1, only for the Russian to make his F1 comeback to Toro Rosso this year.
Throwing more fuel onto the fire was the fact that Kvyat’s manager Nicolas Todt was seen talking in earnest to Helmut Marko at Red Bull motorhome after the race in France, possibly making a claim for a comeback of the Russian driver to the Red Bull senior team.
All speculation, but one thing is clear and that is Red Bull and Marko are ruthless with their young drivers.
Do you think we might see Daniil return to Red Bull? Or would it be somebody else? Comment below.