Pierre Gasly's Bahrain drive 'made a man out of him', says Helmut Marko

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Pierre Gasly's drive to fourth at the Bahrain Grand Prix was a coming-of-age moment for the Frenchman, reckons Red Bull motorsport chief Helmut Marko.

Gasly was the star of the weekend in Sakhir, qualifying fifth and finishing fourth to secure Toro Rosso's first points of the new campaign. It also marked engine supplier Honda's best result since returning to the grid in 2015.

The performance impressed the man who guided the 2016 GP2 champion through the Red Bull junior ranks and into F1.

"That made a man out of him," Marko said after the race. "His reward is the fourth place. All our drivers have a very good bonus system. This will more than please him.

"I didn't expect a fourth place that early -- but it's a positive development. It was the target to challenge the midfield with this engine. Not here, but in the first half of the season."

Even more impressive was that the result came on what was just the seventh start of his Formula One career. Although retirements ahead helped Gasly finish higher up the order, he was the quickest of the midfielders fighting for 'best of the rest' status. The Frenchman never came under threat from the chasing Haas of Kevin Magnussen.

Toro Rosso boss Franz Tost said: "Pierre has done an incredibly good job, I must say. Also in qualifying he got everything together. And today a good start. Fantastic how he fought at the beginning against Magnussen, defending very, very hard and he brought it home without any mistakes, nothing. Very good job."

When asked if he had expected such a performance from a man in his first full season in F1, Gasly said: "Otherwise he would not be a Red Bull Junior driver and he would not be at Toro Rosso. I expected it."