Rollercoaster 2019 my toughest season, says Pierre Gasly

Toro Rosso driver Pierre Gasly

Pierre Gasly has asserted that he will emerge stronger from the 'toughest year' of his career, in which he started at Red Bull, returned to Toro Rosso, and suffered the loss of a close friend.

Gasly joined Red Bull in place of Renault-bound Daniel Ricciardo but struggled for performance and results through the opening half of the campaign, and mid-season was demoted to Toro Rosso.

Gasly’s first event back at Toro Rosso, in Belgium, was marred by the death of close friend Anthoine Hubert in the supporting Formula 2 round.

Gasly went on to achieve five points finishes from nine attempts with Toro Rosso, including a shock podium result at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

“Yeah, for sure,” Gasly told on whether 2019 was his toughest season.

“I was with some friends and they were like “your year has been like a Hollywood movie, a movie you think it can’t be true, there are too many things that happened to be true.”

“And that’s a bit the way I feel it as well.

“I just went through all sorts of emotions and feelings, from frustration to anger to one of the saddest moments of my life at Spa with Anthoine and then two months later to one of the happiest moments of my life with the first podium in F1.

“It’s just like such a roller-coaster but at the same time I’ve learned a lot from these situations on a personal level but also as a driver.”

Gasly had been assured after the Hungarian Grand Prix that his seat was safe through the end of 2019, but eight days later Red Bull enacted the change that left him at Toro Rosso.

“When I got the news I was really shocked and kind of angry,” he told Motorsport Week.

“I don’t feel it was fair, because these first six months were nowhere near what we should have shown.

“I was kind of… angry but at the same time I’ve turned everything into positive energy.

“There were many things that didn’t go in the right way.

“At the end of the day this was the situation, it was done, it was passed, I couldn’t change it.

“I thought okay I have these nine races where I’m going to show my skills, my speed, my consistency, the things I’ve shown since I started in single-seaters until I got to Red Bull.

“I’ve been fast in every season in every car in every different category and these six months [were the] only six months of my career where things didn’t go right.

“Suddenly everyone questions ‘ah does he know how to brake, does he know how to turn the wheel’ and all these things, and all these silly [comments] because the information stays confidential within the team.

“It was like ‘okay now I’m going to work harder than ever to prove this point and for these nine races I want to be at the best level ever without changing anything.’”

An in-depth interview with Pierre Gasly will be available on Motorsport Week on Sunday