Champion Gasly says he helped team-mate Giovinazzi in GP2 title fight

GP2 champion Pierre Gasly says he helped rookie team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi as much as he could during their title battle in 2016

Champion Gasly says he helped team-mate Giovinazzi in GP2 title fight

Red Bull junior Gasly sealed the championship in the final race of the year in Abu Dhabi, overturning a seven-point deficit during the last double-header weekend to deny Giovinazzi the chance to become the first rookie GP2 champion since Nico Hulkenberg in 2009.

While Giovinazzi missed out on championship glory, he was rewarded for his season with a role at Ferrari for 2017.

"He's the kind of guy you can't fault," Gasly told Autosport. "He's super-nice, really natural, a great guy.

"He's older than me but I had more experience of GP2, and I didn't expect him to that quick straight away.

"Every time I could, I gave him some tips.

"I was really open, that's the way I work with all my team-mates.

"But at the end of the year I thought maybe I've been a bit nice with him because now I was fighting with him!

"Of course there was some tension in Abu Dhabi - it was a little bit different to usual - but it didn't change anything in our off-track relations."

Gasly, who is expected to race in Japanese Super Formula next year with Red Bull's two-team F1 driver line-up all set for 2017, hopes he and Giovinazzi can both make it to the pinnacle of the sport.

"He's a good driver and a good friend - maybe we can race against each other in the future," he said.

"It's been a really great season to work with a team-mate like him.

"We pushed each other hard and that was a benefit for both of us.

"It's not easy [to fight with your team-mate], but it was one of the best years."

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