Pierre Gasly says Red Bull can be satisfied by progress at the opening Formula 1 pre-season test despite not threatening the outright quick lap times.

The French driver notched up 238 laps over his two days in Red Bull’s first Honda-powered F1 car at the first pre-season test, with teammate Max Verstappen producing 237 laps, but neither opted for single-lap performance runs to leave the team third-bottom on the combined timesheet in terms of fastest laps.

Gasly says Red Bull stuck to an extensive run programme and feels significant developments were made as the team adapted to Honda power.

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Two rear support columns appeared on Gasly’s RB15 during the final afternoon of the pre-season test, thought to be related to vibrations felt from Honda’s power unit which team bosses denied were causing a problem, and the French driver feels despite not lighting up the times key gains have been produced this week.

“It was a really productive day, we managed 146 laps, a lot of long runs, a lot of tests done for the team,” Gasly said. “The overall feeling for the car is really good even if it doesn’t show it on the lap times – we are testing and we know what we’re doing so I’m pretty happy and there a lot more tests coming next week.

“I managed to do a lot of laps in the car which is important to me, get used to it and get comfortable as well with my new engineer and do some productive work for the team.

“So far we managed this good work and to analyse all the data from this week, stayed focused, a lot more work for next week and try to be as ready as possible for Melbourne.”

Red Bull is expected to step up its performance push at the second pre-season test next week in Barcelona having completed strong mileage, with no reliability issues reported from its Honda engines, while also trialling a development rear wing.

“We spent much of the [final] day on the C3 tyre and focused on longer runs but it wasn’t just about piling on the miles,” Red Bull’s Head of Race Engineering, Guillaume Rocquelin, said. “There was plenty going on in the background that will aid development of the car.

“Overall we’ve had a very successful first test. We’ve been able to tick off all the items on the run plans and this test has thrown up a few interesting things that we can factor into development.

“We’ve had great support from the factory too, as shown with the rear wing we ran yesterday, so it’s been a very consistent and productive week. We got to where wanted to be and beyond.”

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