After his third impressive performance this season, Pierre Gasly has become “a mature driver”, says Toro Rosso boss Franz Tost.
Gasly finished fourth in Bahrain, took the seventh place in Monaco and in the recently concluded Hungarian Grand Prix, he came sixth.
The Frenchman has scored 26 points for his outfit till date and is ranked 13th in the driver’s standings.
Speaking of the Hungarian race, Tost said: “From FP1 we were competitive. Pierre was nearly always within the first 10, and I was quite convinced that we could do a good job, and that we could score points.
“That we could finish in the sixth position in qualifying, I was not sure about this.
“But we did a very good qualifying in difficult conditions, which showed that the car in the wet was very competitive. Both drivers did a very good job, I must say.
“Pierre had a good start, and defended his sixth position, and brought it home without any troubles.
“He controlled the race – when he had to go a little bit faster he did it immediately and he had no problem with the tyres or fuel saving.
“He showed a fantastic performance, and he’s become a really mature driver.
“He’s improving his performance, his understanding. F1 is complicated, but he’s using all the tools to his advantage, and I’m really impressed.”
Monaco and Hungary are two tracks well suited for Honda-powered Toro Rosso as both of them do not punish the power deficit of the Japanese engine.
“We took the chances – these tracks fit to us,” he said.
“The next two races are completely different – Spa and Monza are high-speed races – and we will see how we look there.
“From our side, we have improved the performance, but the main problem for us is that our direct opponents like Haas and Sauber have improved even more.
“They are really strong, very competitive, and [in] the next two races it will be difficult to get them under control. But for Singapore, I’m quite optimistic.”
After the season restarts, Toro Rosso will continue its progress, Tost assures.
“We knew from the very beginning that this season will not be an easy one,” he said.
“It’s a preparation for next year, and up to now, I must say we are going in absolutely the correct way.
“Stuff is coming, but the others will also bring new parts. It depends which team is developing in a more efficient way.”