2019 Bahrain GP: Gasly vs Verstappen
Verstappen is one of the most talented drivers on the grid. His mercurial temperament makes him a “love me or hate me” type of driver. He has however proven his speed once and again during his already accomplished F1 career. Gasly, on the other hand, is a young driver who is still making his own way and trying to prove how fast he is. But how did he fare in his last battle in Bahrain against the young Dutch man? Let’s take a look at the data.
We know that Gasly had problems during his quali session and only managed to qualify in 13th position. Being in the middle of the field compromises lap times and makes a comparison between him and Verstappen, a driver who started in 5th position, difficult. However, Gasly himself is to blame for the poor quali session so we must analyze the data as it is.
An interesting take from the overall race chart is that Gasly started from the midfield with the soft tires. Normally you would expect drivers who do not qualify for Q3 to start with the medium or even hard compound, however Red Bull had something else in mind. The plan however appeared to backfire. Gasly was on average 1.254 seconds slower than Max during the first stint, and had to stop for new tires by lap 9.
For the second stint, Gasly again put on a new set of soft tires, while Max went onto the medium compound. Gasly managed to reduce the difference between him and his teammate, but was still outpaced by 615 thousands of a second. Note: This only includes laps until Verstappen stopped for new tires, that means until lap 31.
Verstappen stopped again in lap 32 and went again for the medium tires. In a puzzling decision, Gasly was left on the track until lap 39, and then switched tires for the mediums. The delta between the drivers during those laps was an incredible 2.546 seconds per lap, with Verstappen having the upper hand.
During the last stint, Gasly was able to beat Verstappen by an average lap time of 148 thousands of a second, with both Red Bull drivers using the medium compound.
Overall, Max Verstappen was on average faster per lap than Pierre Gasly by 743 thousands of a second.
Delta per lap
The delta plot shows how thoroughly Gasly was beaten by Max Verstappen in Bahrain. Gasly only managed to be faster than Max on 10 laps. Verstappen on the other hand was faster than Pierre on 33 laps.
But how faster was Gasly than Max when he was faster? Well, the answer is that he managed to be faster than Max by a total of 4.415 seconds over 10 laps. Max on the other was faster than Pierre by a total of 36.245 seconds over a total of 33 laps.
Average pace distribution
The average page distribution shows us that hte main difference was exactly in the number of slower vs faster laps done by each driver. Gasly and Verstappen’s fastest laps were very even, with Gasly actually taking the fastest lap of both of them (a 1:35.290 done by Gasly vs 1:35.311 done by Verstappen). However Gasly just did many more slower laps than Verstappen.
Pierre did 50% of his laps with a time of 1:38.019 or less, while Max did 50% of his laps with a time of 1:36.752 or less. That difference in the quartiles shows that Max was consistently faster than Gasly over the full race, even if Gasly was able to be just as fast as Max for a few laps.
This was a comprehensive beating. Max was just faster than Pierre in most of the stats you can think of. Gasly was able to match Max for a couple of laps, but overall the difference was huge.
I believe that Pierre Gasly deserves time to get used to the new team and new car, and I do believe that Gasly is much better than what his numbers showed in Bahrain. However, the overall delta over the race of over 7 tenths of a second is something that Red Bull must consider as unacceptable.
Max, on the other hand, has been doing a good job and must be relishing to keep the good streak of results. If he keeps the consistency, his main weakness so far in his career, then he will be very hard to beat.
I hope that you enjoyed this article, let me know your opinions in the comments below.