Courtesy of Red Bull Media Service Team
Surf’s up for Red Bull Racing rookie ahead of the season opener in Australia.
Who better to give you your first surfing lesson than Mick Fanning?
For Aston Martin Red Bull Racing debutant Pierre Gasly, the Australian proved the ideal water guide ahead of the opening grand prix of the 2019 season in Melbourne.
Here is all you need to know:
– A short drive from the host city for the Australian Grand Prix, Gasly travelled to Torquay Beach to be put through his paces on a surfboard. By his own admission, he said beforehand: “I’m not good at all at surfing.”
– But a few quick pointers from the former professional surfer, who retired from competing at the top level of the sport last year, had the Frenchman up and gliding over the water in no time.
– It did not all go entirely to plan for the 23-year-old, who this season makes the step-up from Scuderia Toro Rosso, as he understandably found himself crashing into the waves in his initial attempts.
– His celebrity teacher, though, was impressed. Fanning said: “They had a bit more swell than they wanted and he didn’t realise the waves would be so big. Athletes click onto things so easily, and he picked it up so quick and I just sent him on his way.”
– Of his own initiation with the team – the lesson organised by teammate Max Verstappen as a welcome to Red Bull Racing – Gasly said: “So, it was pretty difficult. I managed to stand up most of the time. It was great. Mick gave some extra balance. It was mega.”
– As for his ambitions for the Australian Grand Prix and beyond, he added of his team debut: “It’s a really special weekend for me and I’m really excited to get started. I don’t have much experience in Australia but one thing that’s really impressed me, people just smile the whole time. It’s always positive energy here. We need to get on track and do the best with what we have, and get the best results possible for the team.”
– Verstappen, who watched the lesson unfold from the sandy beach, said of his and the team’s upcoming campaign in 2019: “I’m very excited to get started. It’s been a long break and not a lot of driving. I’m definitely looking forward to it. It’s a good vibe as no one knows where they are exactly in terms of pace.”
– As for Fanning, who famously fought his way out of a shark attack, Verstappen joked Gasly was in safe hands, saying, “Mick Fanning knows how to kick a shark,” of the potentially shark-infested waters.