#15 Pierre Gasly (FRA – Team Mugen Honda HR-417E)
Super Formula championship: 2nd – 25 points – after 6 of 9 races
Pierre Gasly touched down in Japan on Thursday afternoon on a mission to claim his third Super Formula win in a row. The Red Bull Junior is under no illusion about the task for the weekend in Sugo. "It will not be easy, another new track for me and we know it is tight and technical, difficult to pass. I think last year there was no overtaking on track so we have to improve our qualifying and start at the front."
Close to the front
The 21-year-old Frenchman knows it can be done. "We know what we have to do, make better use of the tyres and improve the one lap qualifying pace. That's the step we have to take this weekend, We have built ourselves a good race pace so if we can start at the front we can do it."
Close to the top
After winning in Motegi and Autopolis, Gasly now stands second in the title chase, five and a half points off the lead so he has every reason to attack. "I've just done a few laps in the sim so when I leave the pit lane I will know which way the track goes and I have watched the races from previous years and onboards. It is a tight track, a short track, narrow and technical. It will be interesting and I'm keen to get out there."
"I am arriving latter than would be perfect but these are busy times and there was no choice. It will be an intense weekend but with the team we've all been working better and better so we just need to crack the qualifying then that third win is possible."
Sugo weekend schedule – all times JST (Japan Standard Time CEST +7)
Saturday September 23rd
09.00 – 10.00 Free Practice
13.15 – 14.35 (Q1)
14.45 – 14.52 (Q2)
14.02 – 14.09 (Q3)
Sunday September 24th
09.00 – 09.30 Free Practice
14.10 – 15.40 Race - 68 laps