Pierre Gasly has no trepidation as he prepares to partner Max Verstappen at Red Bull next year and says measuring himself against the Dutchman provides him the perfect chance to prove exactly how good he is after serving his apprenticeship at Toro Rosso.
Daniel Ricciardo's departure opened the door for Gasly to make his Red Bull graduation after several years in the team's junior programme.
Reports suggested that the Australian's exit was partly fuelled by the team beginning to put more stock into Verstappen's efforts – although he later claimed it had not had a bearing on his decision.
Dr Helmut Marko has said that Gasly and Verstappen will start the season on an even keel, something the Frenchman is looking forward to with relish.
He said: "I get on with Max - except when he beats me on FIFA, but all the rest is fine!
"We have a really good friendship together with a lot of respect, and we've know each other many years, so everything is good.
"It is not like I have nothing to lose, but I have a good opportunity to show great things. I know the speed I have and I know the experience, and I know I am going to keep getting better and better.
"It will be my first season with the team so there will be quite a few things to learn and get used to but I see it as a great opportunity. Max is probably one of the most talented on the grid at the moment, so to be next to someone like this is always a good opportunity to show I have good potential.
"I am really excited for next year and hopefully we can have a good car and fight towards the top of the rankings."
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