Pierre Gasly says Red Bull asked him for feedback on Honda’s engine performance before making its final decision over the future direction of its Formula 1 power units. 

The Milton Keynes-based squad announced earlier this week that it will join forces with the Japanese engine manufacturer from the 2019 season, ending its 11-year relationship with Renault. 

Red Bull had been in talks with Honda - which began supplying engines to its B-team, Toro Rosso, at the start of the current campaign - having grown increasingly frustrated by the lack of performance from current suppliers Renault. 

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“I didn’t push for it because I am not the one who takes the decision but of course they asked me for feedback since the beginning of the year about the engine,” Gasly said during the pre-race drivers’ press conference ahead of this weekend’s French Grand Prix. 

“I’ve tried to give them as precise as possible to help them in their decisions but I think it was much bigger talks behind it.”

Honda has shown promising signs of improvements with Toro Rosso in its bid to rebuild its F1 reputation following a disastrous three-year tenure with McLaren, with Gasly scoring the team’s best result of the season thanks to an impressive fourth place in Bahrain

The Japanese manufacturer provided the Faenza-based outfit with an upgraded-spec power unit in Canada, which Gasly believes has brought a positive performance step. 

“It’s a really good step. I think in terms of performance it’s clearly a good help as we saw in Canada we were able to overtake other cars; Force India, Haas. I think it’s looking pretty good,” he explained.  

“I think it’s super tight in the midfield. At the moment we still need to progress but I think we are improving in terms of consistency. I think clearly with the upgraded engine we have better chances to score points.”

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Red Bull will now turn its attentions on persuading Daniel Ricciardo to remain at the quadruple world champions, with the out-of-contract Australian said to be attracting interest from Mercedes, Ferrari and McLaren as he searches for championship-winning machinery in order to challenge for a maiden F1 title. 

But Gasly, who could be promoted to the senior team should Ricciardo leave, said he is remaining focused on ensuring he does a good job in his first full-season in the sport with Toro Rosso. 

“I think it’s pretty early in the season to talk about it. Of course, everyone is making speculations but at the moment there’s nothing really serious,” Gasly added. 

“Clearly, in Formula 1 you want to be fighting for the top positions and that’s what I want to be fighting for in my career and clearly my target as a Red Bull driver is to be in a Red Bull seat as quickly as possible.

“But at the moment I am only in my first season in Formula 1 so I just try to focus on my job and know that if I do good races opportunities will come up and that the only thing I tried to focus on at the moment. 

“We will see what Daniel does and first I think it’s a bit too early, I just try to focus on my performances and on myself to give my best.”

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