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Horner: Gasly needs to tweak driving style to suit RB15

Gasly has had a difficult start to the campaign, but managed to score his best result of the season with sixth place – plus grab fastest lap – in the Chinese Grand Prix.

But although Gasly still has some way to go before he is able to properly challenge teammate Max Verstappen, Horner has faith that the issues the Frenchman is suffering from are being overcome.

“I think he has made a step forward this weekend,” said Horner. “I think he is still not totally comfortable within the car at the moment, not from a physical fitting, but I think he is in the process of needing to refine his style to optimise the best from the characteristics of the car.

“I think it is obviously proving to be a challenge for him, but he is making progress and the fastest lap at the end of the race will give him some confidence as well.”

Gasly was pitted late for soft tyres in China so he could gun for the fastest lap of the race – which he took by just one tenth on the final lap.

Asked if Gasly could have gone quicker to be more sure of bagging the extra point, Horner said: “He knew the laptime he needed to beat because we told him when he went out of the pits.

“But we see after the pit stops, both Ferrari and Mercedes, it looks like they go back into a qualifying setting, particularly Sebastian [Vettel]. His one lap pace showed he did a 34.8s and then suddenly he is in the 36s. There is one standout lap.”

Gasly said his lonely run to finish sixth in China did at least allow him to experiment more with his driving style to try to extract more from the car.

“I think there’s still a lot of work to do,” he said. “I was quite alone for all the race, so I tried many different things with the driving, trying to understand what I can do inside the car to go around the main thing I still struggle with and get some more answers.

“But I think we know what to improve, I know what to improve also on my side. So hopefully we’re going to do a step better each weekend.” 

Additional reporting by Edd Straw

Pierre Gasly, Red Bull Racing RB15

Pierre Gasly, Red Bull Racing RB15

Photo by: Zak Mauger / LAT Images

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