Horner: We have to give Gasly time

31/01/2019
NEWS STORY

Much like 1st April in most western cultures and 28 December (Holy Innocents) in most Spanish speaking countries, there are times when one reads a story relating to F1 and immediately wonders whether it is someone's contribution to yet another day devoted to practical jokes and yarns.

Take today's story on Motorsport.com, where Red Bull team boss Christian Horner admits that, effectively due to Daniel Ricciardo's departure for Renault, Pierre Gasly has been promoted to the 'big team' a little earlier than planned.

"I think Pierre is a very quick driver and it is up to us to give him a little bit of time to get up to speed," says Horner, a comment that comes just a day after it was revealed how harshly Brendon Hartley was treated by Toro Rosso, the kiwi learning - from the media - that just a few races into his first (full) season in F1 his team was already making efforts to replace him.

At a time Daniil Kvyat prepares for his umpteenth stint with Toro Rosso, we are sure the Russian, like Scott Speed and a host of other drivers will agree that the Red Bull machine is not known for its patience, and if Gasly isn't putting his teammate, Max Verstappen, under pressure from the get-go, the French youngster may well find himself going the way of so many before him.

"It is faster than we would have originally liked to elevate him into the team," admits Horner, "so Max will be very much taking on the role of the experienced senior driver and Pierre is going to have to go up against a very competitive teammate.

"It is not going to be easy," he admits. "Of course it is not. But he knows what is expected of him. And in actual fact, for the team, it is a far easier scenario than it has been in previous years where we have got a clear difference between the experience in the two drivers and the expectations."

Of course, we fully expect Gasly to live up to expectations, indeed, based on the Frenchman's record we foresee fireworks from the pair that will make the Vettel/Webber and Verstappen/Ricciardo moments pale into insignificance.

Indeed, as we contemplate how Red Bull’s Lord High Executioner might react to any silliness between the two drivers, not forgetting his preoccupation with Honda, we wonder what on earth Mr Marko made of those early days of the Red Bull F1 programme when the team was noted more for its Formula Unas than its on-track aspirations… he must have hated every single minute of it.

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Published: 31/01/2019
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