Pierre Gasly lavished praise on Max Verstappen following the Dutchman’s record-breaking 2023 season, but with the caveat that with the hope that Red Bull will have a challenge in F1 sooner rather than later.
Verstappen, who was teammates with Gasly at Red Bull in 2019, can clinch his third world title at the 2023 Qatar Grand Prix if he picks up three more points in either the Sprint Race or Sunday’s Grand Prix.
Red Bull have already clinched the 2023 constructors’ championship following Verstappen‘s dominant victory in the Japanese GP at Suzuka, a circuit owned by the team’s engine supplier, Honda.
“So another season of breaking records,” explained Gasly to the press. “Big congratulations to him and his team. I think it’s no surprise to anyone that he is very talented.
“Red Bull is just performing at an extremely high level, So yeah, you can just respect and appreciate the work and the results they’re having.
“But hopefully, that domination can come to an end sooner [rather] than later.”
Keeping an eye on aggressive kerbing
After a year away, Formula 1 returns to the revamped Losail International Circuit for only the second ever Qatar GP.
Since F1 last raced at Losail in 2021, the circuit has undergone vast changes, including a new paddock and new kerbs, likely to be sharper than those used in 2021.
Gasly became a victim of the kerbs during qualifying for the 2021 race after he ran wide at Turn 15, picking up a puncture and destroying his front wing, bringing the session to an abrupt end.
“It was a challenge last time out in 2021, so I think we’ll have to keep an eye on these aggressive kerbs],” told Gasly. “I think some of them have been changed.
“So it’s not something we [are] too worried about. But obviously, it stood out on that particular track compared to others.
“Last time out. I started in second with a great qualifying. It was a positive weekend. Alpine had a very good race, with Fernando finishing on the podium and Esteban in the top five.
“So we know the team has good records here on this track, and hopefully, it can still be the case this year.”