Red Bull Racing’s Pierre Gasly feels Max Verstappen will get used to the Honda engine in three laps in 2019 F1 season but getting used to the Japanese culture will be his task.
After years of using the Renault power unit, Red Bull moves to Honda in 2019 alongwith Toro Rosso to become a ‘works’ outfit. For its new driver Gasly, the Frenchman comes with the experience of Honda unit from the 2018 season.
In fact, he also worked with the Japanese people when he competed in the Super Formula series in 2017. Considering what happened between McLaren and Honda, communication is said to be the key point in strengthening and maintaining relations.
Gasly has stressed on the same from his experience. While talking about Verstappen getting his first taste in 2019, the Frenchman believes the Dutchman will get used to the power unit in three laps time but learning the culture will be his task.
“As I said many times, it is more in terms of communication and working with Japanese people,” started Gasly when answering FormulaRapida.net. “In terms of feel and driving, it is not going to change anything and Max will get to used to it in two or three laps.
“It is more the Japanese culture [where I might have the advantage], which I know already for two years. About the engine, yes we have spoken but about the culture, not yet. I don’t mind talking about it with him for the combination working with Honda.”
Elaborating more on working with Honda, he added: “It is always easy after to say exactly how much [the experience] is going to bring. It is more in terms of trust, confidence and the fact that I worked with the team, so they know in terms of feedback what to expect from me.
“What I mean, when we face certain issues and things, I want them to improve. So clearly in terms of communication that is the main point that will be useful for the team. Some people you need to show them respect and trust to really build the confidence.
“When you start working with them at the beginning it is always a bit cold and you need to know each other. Clearly, I could see on their side opening up through the season, us giving them the trust to work together for the same targets.
“They came from quite difficult situation with McLaren the year before, so they were a bit on the back foot at the beginning. They got better through the season and now I’m really happy with the relationship I have with them.”
The Frenchman also revealed his first-hand experience of the passion he could see from the Japanese people citing an example of his trackside engineer Keisuke Minatoy, who he saw crying after the Suzuka qualifying where Gasly ended up P7 when he could have been P5.
Regarding his own targets and expectation at every step, from a Red Bull junior to a Toro Rosso driver and now in the senior team, Gasly doesn’t want to put too much pressure on himself but the Frenchman said he will use his Red Bull reserve driver experience in 2019.
“I didn’t want to think too much about it [move to Red Bull] because the targets will be completely different and I don’t want to mix my mind with different expectation or target I would have for 2019 compared to 2018,” he said.
“I didn’t really think about it but of course when I was reserve driver, I was really looking at many things in the drivers behaviours like the way they work, the way they approach the weekend. I saw Seb working with the team, I saw Max, I saw Daniel.
“I could see a bit of different personality of everybody and kind of know what worked for each of them and what wasn’t so great, the team didn’t like so much so much, I would like to take the positives from each one and work with that.”