190309 Pierre Gasly
Pierre Gasly Image Credit: AFP

Tokyo: Red Bull driver Pierre Gasly is keeping his new team busy ahead of the 2019 Formula One season, team principal Christian Horner said on Saturday.

Frenchman Gasly, who replaced Daniel Ricciardo at the team, crashed twice during pre-season testing in Barcelona last month, restricting teammate Max Verstappen’s time on track.

Ahead of the start of the new season in Australia next weekend, Gasly is already under pressure to prove he can compete for his new team.

“The team is very busy, with the first race being on the other side of the world, 10,000 miles away, in Australia” Horner said at an event with new engine partners Honda in Tokyo.

Pierre has kept the team even busier after his incident last week.” Gasly, who was seated next to Horner, said: “I need to learn from these mistakes.” “It wasn’t the best end of the two weeks but I will remember the positives and work on the negatives.

“I think overall, the package, the first feeling with it was great.

“Obviously, I am not feeling as comfortable as I would like with the car and it is my job to set it how I want with the team around me.” Verstappen and Gasly also thrilled fans by performing doughnuts on the streets of the Japanese capital during a Red Bull promotional event. The drivers were in Tokyo in support of Honda, who will be supply the team with power units this year.

Max Verstappen said he was “very positively surprised” to test his new Honda-powered Red Bull ahead of the season-opening Formula One race in Melbourne later this month.

“We had two very positive weeks of testing” in Barcelona, said the Dutchman, tipped to be one of the challengers to dethrone world champion Lewis Hamilton this year.