The Singapore Grand Prix has not started yet, but we are already at Marina Bay, warming up and eager to race around the streets of the city. Earlier today we attended the launch of Casio’s latest creations brought to life teaming up with Toro Rosso and Honda at the Conrad Centennial Hotel, where we had the chance to sit down with Pierre Gasly and discuss what is next for him, as he is going to join Red Bull.
As for 2019, the main concern is Honda’s competitiveness level, since the Japanese manufacturer is going to supply Red Bull as well. Amid the doubts that have been casted over Honda’s evolution, Gasly admits the constructor needs time but the resources show promise. “The progress is always there -he told MotorLAT- things are getting better in terms of reliability compared to the last three years. Driveability is good, performance is coming along and we still have a couple of updates to introduce before the end of the year. The gap is really big to the top teams and it takes time to catch up, we need to give them time but we have the resources, the facilities and the mentality to get to the top. So I am pretty optimistic.”
“I don’t know how much progress they are going to make in the next six months, but at some point I see them at the top and they have everything it takes to make it there.”
Asked if he is looking forward to pairing up with Max Verstappen, he told us: “It’s exciting. He is a good friend I know since karting, so we raced together. We have a lot of respect for one another and it is really important for the team. The spirit will be great inside the team, of course we will have battles on the track. We are both competitive, so everything we do we want to beat each other and that is part of racing, but as long as we can separate what happens on and off the track, then our relationship is always going to be good.”
As the press conference kicked off, Honda manager Yamamoto manifested his satisfaction towards the relationship between Toro Rosso and his team. “This year everything is different. We are having perfect communication with the Toro Rosso team and drivers. It’s not just the car, it’s also the talent of the driving. We are looking forward to a more successful future.”
We also took the chance to ask Pierre a question publicly, involving his and Charles Leclerc’s promotions to a top team.
“The future looks bright. I want to fight for the top positions, next year I will have a seat that will allow me to do so. It’s in my hands to do well with that package. If I’m in the sport is to be at the top, I’m just at the beginning of my career but I know exactly where I want to be in F1.”
“Charles got an amazing news as well, I think we are the happiest guys at the moment. He deserves it because he is a really good guy, talented, fast, hard-working and I have known him for a long time. We were teammates in karting, we have been on holidays together and we have dreamt about F1 together when we were kids. It is amazing to see where we are now and where we are going to be next year.”
Is Formula 1 in good hands for the future? “As for F1 we have two sides of it -he answered- as some talented drivers do not get the opportunities they deserve. Performance should be the only criteria and hopefully they will find another way to make their way into F1.”
*Pierre Gasly was speaking at the launch of the Casio Edifice Toro Rosso Limited Edition and Casio Edifice Honda Racing Limited Edition.