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Gasly not going to be "second driver" at Red Bull

Gasly not going to be "second driver" at Red Bull

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Gasly not going to be "second driver" at Red Bull

Gasly not going to be "second driver" at Red Bull

Pierre Gasly insists that he has not made the move from Toro Rosso to Red Bull just so he can be viewed as the team's "second driver" next to Max Verstappen, but did praise his new team-mate, calling him one of the best drivers currently performing in Formula 1.

When it was announced during the summer that Daniel Ricciardo would be moving on from Red Bull after a 10-year association with the team, management decided that Gasly, who had impressed at Toro Rosso, would be his replacement for 2019.

Speculation mounted that Ricciardo left the team because Verstappen was perceived as the 'golden boy' of Red Bull, which has led some sections of the sport to question whether Gasly will not be treated with as much importance also.

He is adamant, however, that this is not the case.

"For sure I'm going to be next to one of the best drivers on the grid at the moment and for me it's a great challenge," Gasly told Autosport.

"So I will take the time I need to be competitive, but I'm not going to be there to be second driver, that's not what I want and not going to be satisfied with that.

"If I have the car to win then that's what I would love to do. And if I have a car which is only good for the top five, then that's going to be the target.

"But at the end of the day it was only my full first season in Formula 1 [in '18] and for sure I'm going to get better and better, season after season, because experience plays quite a big part.

"So I know that I didn't reach my full potential, but that's my only motivation and I'm fully dedicated to do everything I can to reach my best level as soon as possible."

After making the move from Toro Rosso to Red Bull, Gasly reckons it is important that he quickly acclimatises to the "more English culture" within his new outfit.

"For sure I will probably need some time to get comfortable with the team, to get used with the car, with the people, the way of working," the Frenchman continued.

"Coming from Toro Rosso to Red Bull is, as I say, different targets, different culture also, a more English culture in Red Bull.

"So this is the kind of things that take a bit of time, but for sure Max is one of the fastest guys at the moment in the paddock and for me I'm super excited to go alongside him because that's how you also raise your game.

"So I find it a really exciting time for myself and I'm really looking forward to starting, and we will see how I perform straight away.

"But for sure I will get better through the season and that's fair to say."

MORE: 'Racing purists' Red Bull have no interest in Formula E
MORE: Kubica admits he is a 'rookie' going into 2019 season

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