#15 Pierre Gasly (FRA – Team Mugen Honda HR-417E)
GP2 champion Pierre Gasly has a hectic schedule building to the start of his new challenge, the Japanese Super Formula series, that starts at Suzuka this coming weekend. The 21-year-old Frenchman will fly to Japan directly after testing for Red Bull Racing in Bahrain on Wednesday.
"It has been very busy," enthuses the Red Bull Junior. "Last week I spent Thursday and Friday in the sim before flying out to Bahrain for the GP. This week is just as busy with the test and the first Super Formula race."
"It's all very exciting. I want to get started with the first race in Japan but of course testing the RB13 is also a great experience. The feedback from both Max and Daniel is that the RB13 is a lot of fun to drive with a lot more grip than last year so I can't wait for Wednesday."
"I then fly straight to Japan on Wednesday evening. I have already done two tests in the Super Formula car, two days both at Suzuka and Fuji and they went very well. The car has a lot of aero, good grip and I think the experience is going to be well connected to the RB13 so that's going to be very good for my development and good for my future."
A lot to learn
"I don't know any of the Japanese tracks, it's also a new car and a new team for me so I have had a steep learning curve already. I've got a great team around me and though of course the culture is a little different to what I know we started to work very well together from early on. So I was the fastest Honda driver at the Suzuka test and third overall," explained Gasly who ended the Fuji test in the same position.
"I think we've got a competitive set-up so I hope that we can be fighting for the win from the start. I think it is going to be a great year all round."
Suzuka weekend schedule – all times JST (Japan Standard Time CEST +7)
Friday April 21st
12.45 Free Practice 1 – 60 minutes
Saturday April 22nd
10.00 Free Practice 2 – 60 minutes
14.00 Qualifying, Q1, Q2, Q3, total period 54 minutes
Sunday April 23rd
08.50 Free Practice – 30 minutes
13.40 Race – 35 laps