Red Bull Racing advisor Dr Helmut Marko thinks that his new recruit Pierre Gasly is already on a similar level of pace in qualifying as his teammate of next year Max Verstappen.
Gasly is currently only in his first full season in F1 after doing four races at the end of 2017, but has already built up quite the reputation in the F1 paddocks. His P4 in Bahrain and his P6 in Hungary have not gone unnoticed, as Toro Rosso's senior team have come calling for the Frenchman. He'll be suiting up for Red Bull come next season, sharing a garage with Max Verstappen.
How do the two compare? Marko doesn't think Gasly will hit the ground running, but his qualifying pace is already up there, according to the Austrian.
"Pierre is still only in his second season of the Formula One, so he lacks experience," Marko explains to ServusTV.
"However, purely on pace, especially during qualifying, he's very close to Max's level."
When will Gasly be up to speed with Verstappen's level?
"We expect Pierre to be a worthy replacement for [Daniel] Ricciardo halfway through the season," he concluded.