MAY 18, 2016
Gasly hopes for Toro Rosso seat in 2017
Pierre Gasly says the success of the Max Verstappen story is a boost to all up-and-coming young drivers.
However, not everyone agrees with that.
"Max is a bad example for the next group of young drivers," smiled Mika Salo, a former F1 driver who now works on developing young drivers from Russia.
"I'm really happy for Jos and Max, as they both worked hard for it," the Finn is quoted by De Telegraaf newspaper. "And now that Max has won a grand prix it is of course absolutely fantastic. Exceptional.
"But when asked if Max is a fine example for young drivers I see it differently," Salo explained.
"The youngsters should not think they can be like Max, to come into formula one the way he has. 17 is far too young to drive in formula one, but there are always exceptions. Not everybody is like Max and they must realise that," he added.
For 20-year-old Gasly, however, it might be a different story.
The Frenchman is now the cream of Red Bull's famous driver programme, and he is in action for Toro Rosso at the Barcelona test this week.
Gasly is already leading this year's GP2 championship and, with Daniil Kvyat's career wavering, many are tipping a near-certain F1 debut next year.
Reports suggest Gasly's next test outing will be at the Silverstone test.
"For me it's important to get as many days as possible," he told the German-language motorsport-magazin.com. "Because next year, it is of course my goal to get there (F1).
"So I have to gain experience, work well for the team and show that I am ready."
And so, as far as Gasly is concerned, the success of Verstappen's meteoric rise is a good thing.
"It is good if young drivers like him prove that they are ready earlier than in the past, because we started younger than in the past," he said.
"It is important for us as young drivers to show that, even if we are young and with less experience, we are also able to be good," Gasly added.