Red Bull Formula 1 team principal Christian Horner believes Pierre Gasly’s “life will get a lot easier” once he manages to turnaround his qualifying form. 

A strategy mishap in Australia saw Gasly eliminated from Q1 and left him starting from 17th, while he could only manage the 13th-fastest time in Bahrain, as teammate Max Verstappen secured fifth on the grid. 

Gasly has struggled to adapt to Red Bull’s 2019 challenger in the opening two rounds, though he turned in a solid drive to score his first points of the season by finishing eighth in Bahrain. 

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“I think it was important for Pierre to have a strong race, he did that,” Horner said. 

“I thought some of his overtakings, particularly on Perez which I don’t think went on the main screen, were very impressive. His pace in clear air, particularly in the second half of the race, was strong so I think he would’ve taken a lot of confidence out of that. 

“I think once he starts qualifying further up the grid then life will get a lot easier for him. 

“Today will have been a good boost of confidence for him,” Horner added. “He’s raced competitively, raced hard, he’s had to overtake quite a few cars and you know, being competitive particularly in the second half of the race.

“I think he can take a lot out of this weekend and you know carry that into future races.” 

Gasly admitted to struggling with an “unpredictable” RB15 during qualifying, which he said had prevented him from driving in the way he would like to. 

“It was quite a difficult race and I’m still not completely comfortable with the car,” Gasly explained following the race. 

“As soon as I try to push, I struggle a lot with the rear and the traction. For sure, I need to see what I can improve to get the maximum out of the car and work with the engineers to see what we can do to make me feel more confident, because at the moment I feel I cannot really push. 

“I need to make an effort and adapt, because each car is different, and I will work with the team to find a set-up which fits my driving style better.” 

Asked about Gasly’s car struggles, Horner replied: “I think the car - it’s a tricky car at the moment. Our operating window looks quite narrow. 

“I think Max has coped with that extremely well and I think obviously it’s been harder for Pierre. But that will come I’m sure.” 

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