|Max Verstappen is destroying Pierre Gasly already|
(GMM) Boss Christian Horner has backed new recruit Pierre Gasly after a difficult start to 2019 for the Red Bull driver.
Promoted from Toro Rosso to replace Daniel Ricciardo, Frenchman Gasly crashed twice in testing, had a dire qualifying session in Melbourne, and may be showing signs of feeling the pressure of life at a top team.
"There is always pressure in formula one, but it's too early to draw conclusions," Horner said when asked about Gasly.
"Pierre fought hard in the race after a difficult Saturday, but what he needs is a weekend without any problems. From Friday, he gradually made progress and provided the engineers with quality feedback.
"He was actually very competitive on this track where it is difficult to overtake. We know that he has enough speed, and the results will come with time," he added.
However, some are already starting to wonder if Gasly might eventually be replaced by Daniil Kvyat, the more experienced Toro Rosso driver who had a solid return to F1 in Melbourne.
"I don't think you can talk about that yet," Igor Yermilin, a top Russian motor racing official, told Sportbox.
"Pierre's situation in this race is related to the team's error in qualifying, and we know there are few opportunities to overtake in Melbourne.
"But he has the speed," Yermilin said.