Pierre Gasly has revealed his own personal goal for the 2019 Formula 1 season, and as it will be just his second full season in the sport after featuring for Toro Rosso last year, he simply wants to continue to grow and develop as a driver.
With Daniel Ricciardo having surprised Red Bull with his exit, Red Bull boss Christian Horner said the opportunity of a seat with the top team for Gasly may have come too soon.
Asked if that puts the pressure on, the 23-year-old Frenchman said: "I don't believe so.
"Objectively, it is my second year and in this sport you develop year after year. Experience is what makes you stronger.
"Yes it's also about pure speed, but it's also about understanding the car, adapting your driving style when necessary, working with the engineers. I will try to learn as fast as possible."
In the Barcelona tests, where teams only take a single new car, Max Verstappen and his father admitted that Gasly's two crashes were frustrating.
"Sure, we and Red Bull were not happy," Jos Verstappen told Blick newspaper, after the second crash meant Red Bull ran out of spare parts.
Gasly, though, is optimistic he is in the right place for 2019 alongside the mercurial Verstappen.
"I'm always an optimistic guy," he told Marca.
"My objective is to continue growing as a driver. It's only my second year and I have a lot to learn but I'm in the best place possible.
"A world champion team, with Max at my side who is one of the most talented drivers -- I'm excited to be here and I'll try to give the maximum for the team."
Feeling with the car is getting better day after day. Learning continues. Big respect to the guys who worked hard to put the car back on track after the incidents. Time to look forward & work hard for Melbourne. Can’t wait for the 1st race of the season! ???? (2/2) pic.twitter.com/kJl0FRk7o4 — Pierre Gasly ???????? (@PierreGASLY) March 2, 2019
However, Horner thinks Ricciardo 'ran' from a fight with Verstappen this year. Asked how he gets along with the Dutchman himself, Gasly answered: "We have not spent much time together so far, if I'm honest."
He does admit that there is more pressure at Red Bull compared to Toro Rosso, but said: "It's just part of the game."