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F1 - Verstappen won’t stop championship goal - Gasly

"Our friendship does not have to suffer"



Pierre Gasly says even Max Verstappen can’t stop his target of winning the world championship.

Red Bull is open about its ambition of making 22-year-old Verstappen the youngest champion in F1 history.

But next year, Verstappen’s teammate will be 22-year-old Frenchman Gasly, who is getting a promotion from the junior team Toro Rosso.

The pair know each other well.

"I remember Max behind me at the start in all four heats and two times he pushed me into the grass," Gasly said, recalling a kart race between the pair as young teenagers in 2010.

"He was as aggressive then as he is now.

"We had a different route here, but we always kept contact. Initially we were not very close, because there was a rivalry. But when we got to know each other a bit better, it turned out to be very good," Gasly told Algemeen Dagblad newspaper in Brazil.

For instance, at the start of this year, Gasly stayed at Verstappen’s Monaco apartment for a week and they played a lot of video games.

"Of course Max is a strong personality and a class driver," he said. "And he has a very strong entourage around him. And yes, I needed a little longer to get here.

"But what does that ultimately mean? The world doesn’t know Pierre Gasly too well, but that will definitely change next year," Gasly added.

He said his goal is "like Max’s: becoming world champion".

"Red Bull Racing is a brilliant step towards that goal. They are always competing in the top three and hopefully with Honda we will be able to finish even higher than the last two years."

Some think Gasly could even have an advantage over Verstappen next year, given that he has been using the Honda engine at Toro Rosso all this season.

"Max will get that engine and after three laps understand how it works," Gasly predicts.

And he vowed to fight Verstappen hard with that Honda engine.

"Our friendship does not have to suffer, as long as there is respect. I think we are both smart enough to distinguish between what happens on and off the track," said Gasly.

And he thinks Verstappen’s passionate Dutch fans will also support him.

"I enjoy that atmosphere. They are really crazy and bursting with passion for the sport. That’s exactly what formula one needs," he said.

11 November 2018 - 12h15, by GMM 

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