Infotainment Factory: 'Special' Grand Prix to answer burning questions

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Thursday, 14 March 2019

'Special' Grand Prix to answer burning questions


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There hasn't been an Australian Grand Prix with this much anticipation in some time.

In Melbourne this weekend, many of the biggest burning questions in Formula One will be answered, or at least, have a little more light shed on them.

For the past few years it's been a three-horse race - Mercedes on top, with Ferrari and Red Bull Racing their greatest competition. But some off-season personnel moves and engine changes has everybody uncertain exactly what 2019 will look like.

For Australian fans especially, this weekend at Albert Park all eyes will be keenly watching Daniel Ricciardo as he begins his stint at Renault, a team that hasn't finished on a F1 podium in three years, after a highly-publicised departure from Red Bull.

Ricciardo and Gasly

Similarly, the man that replaced him, Pierre Gasly, will draw a lot of attention as Red Bull race with Honda engines for the first time.

"Melbourne is always a special one, because it’s the first one of the year," Gasly told Wide World of Sports.

"It’s always a really long winter break with the last race in Abu Dhabi and the first one in Melbourne. As a driver you want to race every weekend and that time of the year you have to wait three and a half months before you get to Melbourne. So we’re all super excited to go there to begin the season."

Like Ricciardo, Gasly arrived at Red Bull after a brief F1 apprenticeship with Toro Rosso - Ricciardo had two years, Gasly just one year. But while Gasly is in prime position to make a statement as a fresh-faced newcomer in a top team, the Frenchman has had a rocky lead-up to the new year, crashing twice in testing.

Verstappen and Gasly

"It’s been a crazy 12 months for me from the graduation to Toro Rosso and then now to Red Bull. We have a big challenge ahead of us with Honda, so I’m really excited to get started and hopefully we’ll have a great year," Gasly said.

"Nobody really knows the real performance of the package [of all the big three]. We know ours, but compared to the others it’s too early to tell at the moment. I think we’ll have to wait until we race in Melbourne."

Gasly is still brimming with confidence despite his early hiccups and alongside younger but more experienced driver Max Verstappen, he is hoping to develop into a world championship contender.

"My main target is to be world champion in Formula One and there’s still a lot of work to do to achieve that. I’ll do my best and I’ll keep pushing until I get there," Gasly said.

Ricciardo takes Castrol Supercar for a spin

In Melbourne he's got a lot to prove too after a recent Netflix documentary revealed that within Red Bull Racing, though never admitted publicly, Verstappen is seen as the number one driver in the team.

For now though Gasly is relishing the challenge of the F1 season ahead and looking forward to tackling the 'difficult' Australian Grand Prix circuit.

" I know I still have a lot of things to learn. With the knowledge of Red Bull and of Honda, I’m probably in the best team at the moment to keep improving as a driver and show the best potential and my speed with the package we have here," Gasly said.

Verstappen and Gasly

"I’ll take it one race at a time and just deliver the best performance I can possible within the team and the car as soon as possible in the year.

"Australia is a really cool country. I’ve been there only two times. But what I love the most is the sense of spirit. People are so joyful there. You go in the street and everybody is smiling no matter what.

"The track is also pretty difficult. I’ve raced only one time there last year. It’s really technical and a pretty tough one, but as a driver you really love it when it’s challenging."

Pierre Gasly spoke to Wide World of Sports on behalf of DITA Eyewear's official launch of DITA Lancier

There hasn't been an Australian Grand Prix with this much anticipation in some time.

In Melbourne this weekend, many of the biggest burning questions in Formula One will be answered, or at least, have a little more light shed on them.

For the past few years it's been a three-horse race - Mercedes on top, with Ferrari and Red Bull Racing their greatest competition. But some off-season personnel moves and engine changes has everybody uncertain exactly what 2019 will look like.

For Australian fans especially, this weekend at Albert Park all eyes will be keenly watching Daniel Ricciardo as he begins his stint at Renault, a team that hasn't finished on a F1 podium in three years, after a highly-publicised departure from Red Bull.

Ricciardo and Gasly

Similarly, the man that replaced him, Pierre Gasly, will draw a lot of attention as Red Bull race with Honda engines for the first time.

"Melbourne is always a special one, because it’s the first one of the year," Gasly told Wide World of Sports.

"It’s always a really long winter break with the last race in Abu Dhabi and the first one in Melbourne. As a driver you want to race every weekend and that time of the year you have to wait three and a half months before you get to Melbourne. So we’re all super excited to go there to begin the season."

Like Ricciardo, Gasly arrived at Red Bull after a brief F1 apprenticeship with Toro Rosso - Ricciardo had two years, Gasly just one year. But while Gasly is in prime position to make a statement as a fresh-faced newcomer in a top team, the Frenchman has had a rocky lead-up to the new year, crashing twice in testing.

Verstappen and Gasly

"It’s been a crazy 12 months for me from the graduation to Toro Rosso and then now to Red Bull. We have a big challenge ahead of us with Honda, so I’m really excited to get started and hopefully we’ll have a great year," Gasly said.

"Nobody really knows the real performance of the package [of all the big three]. We know ours, but compared to the others it’s too early to tell at the moment. I think we’ll have to wait until we race in Melbourne."

Gasly is still brimming with confidence despite his early hiccups and alongside younger but more experienced driver Max Verstappen, he is hoping to develop into a world championship contender.

"My main target is to be world champion in Formula One and there’s still a lot of work to do to achieve that. I’ll do my best and I’ll keep pushing until I get there," Gasly said.

Ricciardo takes Castrol Supercar for a spin

In Melbourne he's got a lot to prove too after a recent Netflix documentary revealed that within Red Bull Racing, though never admitted publicly, Verstappen is seen as the number one driver in the team.

For now though Gasly is relishing the challenge of the F1 season ahead and looking forward to tackling the 'difficult' Australian Grand Prix circuit.

" I know I still have a lot of things to learn. With the knowledge of Red Bull and of Honda, I’m probably in the best team at the moment to keep improving as a driver and show the best potential and my speed with the package we have here," Gasly said.

Verstappen and Gasly

"I’ll take it one race at a time and just deliver the best performance I can possible within the team and the car as soon as possible in the year.

"Australia is a really cool country. I’ve been there only two times. But what I love the most is the sense of spirit. People are so joyful there. You go in the street and everybody is smiling no matter what.

"The track is also pretty difficult. I’ve raced only one time there last year. It’s really technical and a pretty tough one, but as a driver you really love it when it’s challenging."

Pierre Gasly spoke to Wide World of Sports on behalf of DITA Eyewear's official launch of DITA Lancier

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