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'Helmut Marko relationship better now' - Pierre Gasly

2018-08-21 12:08

Image: AFP / Clive Mason

His relationship with Dr Helmut Marko all patched up, Pierre Gasly is now headed for the Formula 1 big-time.

The 22-year-old Frenchman has been signed up to replace Daniel Ricciardo at Red Bull Racing.

Water under the bridge

Just a couple of years ago, Red Bull F1 overlord Marko delayed Gasly's Toro Rosso debut, arguing he "could have had the title in GP2 three times if he had made fewer mistakes".

READ: F1: Pierre Gasly to replace Daniel Ricciardo at Red Bull in 2019

Instead, Marko sent Gasly to Japan.

"I didn't understand the language or where to go when I landed at the airport. It's a completely different culture. It was not easy.

But it definitely helped me to prepare for F1," he told Auto Motor und Sport.

'He demanded a lot from me'

Having impressed in 2018 and easily beaten Brendon Hartley, Gasly was the obvious choice to replace Ricciardo.

And he says the relationship with Marko is now better.

"When I was young, he demanded a lot from me. But I mastered every challenge as best I could. I wanted to show him that I'm a real fighter, that I never give up my dream and that I deserve this place," said Gasly.

Helping the matter, however, is the fact that the steady stream of talent in the Red Bull junior programme has dried up lately, leaving Gasly the obvious favourite for the plum seat.

Asked if that takes the pressure off, he answered: "No. I put pressure on myself so I don't need anyone for that. But it's true that there are fewer drivers than there were a few years ago."

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