Pierre Gasly left the Hungarian Grand Prix as a driver for Red Bull Racing. Weighed down by the expectations of his team, the media, and himself, he hoped to come back stronger after the summer break.
However, only 8 days later, Gasly was dropped from the main team, and sent back to Toro Rosso, for the remaining nine races of the season.
The difference in results between his former teammate, Max Verstappen, and the 23 year old were too far apart for the team to allow him to continue.
Gasly was only able to out-qualify the young Dutchman once, and only finished above him at Silverstone. A gap of 118 points showed too much room for improvement, and his fate was sealed.
In stark contrast to this year, the young Frenchman had such a positive 2018 season. A fourth place at the Bahrain Grand Prix saw Gasly not only take his first points in Formula 1, to consolidate his obvious talent, but was only the second race for the team with their new Honda engines, after moving from Renault power.
From showing such promise he was given the promotion to the brand’s top team after Daniel Riccardo made his move to Renault.
2019 is only Gasly’s third year in Formula 1, one he started slightly down trodden after a crash in Barcelona testing.
SOUNDBITE (English) PIERRE GASLY,
F1 DRIVER, TORO ROSSO:
"I need to learn from these mistakes. You know, it wasn't the best end of the two weeks, but we remember the positives and work on the negatives.”
The mistake also upset Gasly’s new team principal, Christian Horner.
SOUNDBITE (English) CHRISTIAN HORNER,
TEAM PRINCIPAL, RED BULL RACING:
"Well, the team's very busy, obviously - with the first race being the other side of the world 10,000 miles away in Australia. Pierre [Gasly] has kept the team even busier after his incident last week.”
The immediate pressure on the young Frenchman appears to have been too much, where his on-track achievements were far from what was expected from the 2016 GP2 Series champion...
...who took four wins, five poles, and nine podiums in his title winning year with Prema Racing.
Results like this show, when Gasly is in a strong place, mentally, physically and emotionally, he’s capable of dominating.