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Pierre Gasly believes Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen is the “perfect reference” to have in his first season with a front-running Formula 1 team.
The French driver completed his first full campaign in the sport last year, racing for Toro Rosso, before he was promoted to Red Bull Racing for 2019 after Daniel Ricciardo decided to leave for Renault.
Although Red Bull is convinced Gasly will be able to perform, team boss Christian Horner admitted the promotion came earlier than they would have liked.
Gasly reckons racing alongside Verstappen, a five-time Grand Prix winner, will help him raise him game this season.
“I think Max at the moment, based on the performance he showed last year he’s clearly – it’s difficult to compare with Lewis [Hamilton] or Seb [Vettel] – but he’s clearly one of the best and most talented guys in the paddock at the moment,” Gasly told Autosport.
“So for me it’s perfect to have a reference like him.
“I’m sure it’s going to be useful for myself to keep learning in Formula 1 and achieve a better performance for myself and I always find it good to have a fast team-mate because that’s how you manage to extract the best of yourself as well.”
Gasly also reckons his ability to qualify strongly will stand him in good stead as he prepares to join the sharp end of the Formula 1 pack.
“I think I’m a quite objective guy and I know when I do things right and when I do something wrong,” he added.
“And then I always learn from these kind of situations.
“I always question myself about what can I do better to improve myself as a driver, to make the best of the package I have.
“And then after I believe that I have good speed, I’m able to extract everything over one lap, which is important in qualifying.
“We all know that if you have a good starting position, it makes the race a lot easier, and I think that’s one of my strengths that I will have to try to make the best out with Red Bull if we have a good performance over one lap.”