Gasly 'wasn't racing the same race' as Verstappen in China

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Pierre Gasly admitted he opted to not challenge Max Verstappen early on because he wasn't in the same race as his Red Bull teammate.

The Frenchman enjoyed his best qualifying so far this season by making the top six and would eventually run a lonely race to finish in that position on Sunday.

Rather than get potentially sucked into trying to take the fight to those ahead though, Gasly insists it was better to just drive his own race.

"We rode side-by-side, but I knew we were not racing the same race. There was no point in taking many risks," he said to Holland's Ziggo Sport.

"It was better for the team to let Max fight the Ferraris. So I tried to stay behind him, save tyres and improve the feeling with the car."

There would be a small moment of delight though as Gasly pitted with two laps to go for soft tyres and would post the fastest lap, earning the additional point.

"We saw that I could do a free pit stop and so we decided to go for it. It felt good."

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The focus now is also on making results like that in Shanghai the norm.

"We do everything step-by-step," Gasly added. "We still have to take many steps, but the good thing is that we know exactly where I can improve. I will also focus on that in the coming races."

Red Bull boss Christian Horner also indicated the team will be far from standing still.

“I think we had a good weekend here – the chassis made a good step forward, Honda made progress on the straights, there’s stuff in the pipeline that will help us with the sector three power with that in the near future,” he explained.