GP2 front runner Pierre Gasly had to conclude his run out with Toro Rosso early during day one of the post-Spanish Grand Prix test, denying him the chance to be “let of the leash”.
Gasly did 78 laps in total at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, but with system issues confining him to the garage late on, he ended the day seventh on the timesheets, his best lap a 1 minute 24.821s.
Despite that, however, the Frenchman was pleased with his latest outing in an F1 car: “It's always fantastic to drive a Formula 1 car and I'm happy with today. The most important was to do a good job for the team, as well as getting plenty of mileage under my belt,” he said.
“In the morning we completed aero tests and in the afternoon we focused on the car set-up. Unfortunately at the end of the day, when we were just about to go for some performance runs on soft tyres, we had a little issue, so we had to end the day a bit earlier than planned…
“But I'm still pleased, as we could anyhow complete many laps today, which is always important for me to gain experience.”
“This is my second time driving with Toro Rosso and I have to say I felt much more confident – knowing the team and the procedures better definitely helps,” he added.
“It doesn't mean it's less pressure on me, as you always need to deliver and do a good job, but the fact that it's not completely new to me any more makes me enjoy the driving more. I look forward to another outing with the team hopefully in the near future.”
Meanwhile, Toro Rosso chief race engineer, Phil Charles praised Gasly for his professionalism and admitted it was a shame he didn't get to do any flying laps.
“Last year Pierre did a good job for us in the young driver test days and he has done another excellent day for us today. We got most of the planned program completed with a large number of aero characterisation runs in the morning and then a set-up program accomplished just after lunch. His runs were consistent and his feedback was concise.
“We were just about to 'set him off the leash' for some performance runs at the end of the day when a systems issue stopped the car from running. We are currently looking into it – it's a pity we could not get to see what Pierre is capable of.”
Toro Rosso returnee Daniil Kvyat will now drive the car on Wednesday.