Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda‘s Pierre Gasly calls Japan a ‘second home’ as he prepares for fellow engine manufacturers Honda‘s home race at the Japanese Grand Prix.
The Toro Rosso team will head to Suzuka International Racing Course for the Japanese Grand Prix, a race where engine supplier Honda will be a title sponsor.
Gasly spent majority of 2017 racing in the Super Formula series in Japan, as well as competing in F1 with his current team. The French driver lost the chance to claim the title after the final race was cancelled due to a typhoon.
The twenty-two year old says that he holds special great memories racing in the Asian country, calling Japan a ‘second home’ to Gasly.
“Japan will feel a bit like my second home as I spent so much time there last year, when I was racing in Super Formula with Honda,” commented Gasly.
“It was a special season with great memories from the actual racing and also away from the circuits. It’s a country I really like for its culture, the mentality of the people and the way they think.
“I think it was very useful working with Honda last year, as I got an understanding of how they go about things, which is proving useful to me this season.”
Toro Rosso will make its’ first visit to Japan as Honda’s customer, since the team made the switch from Renault to the Japanese engine supplier at the end of 2017.
The weekend will also be an emotional race for Gasly as the Suzuka circuit in 2014 saw fellow Frenchman and driver Jules Bianchi suffer a huge accident.
“Going back there as a Formula 1 driver and with Honda is something I can’t wait to experience. We have a busy schedule visiting various Honda facilities before we get to Suzuka, which will be interesting,” said Gasly.
“I hope we can go well there to thank all the Japanese fans for their support. I loved racing at Suzuka, it’s one of the great tracks.
“The first section in particular with the run of “Esses” is a fantastic challenge, one of the best bits of track we race on all year. It’s very fast and you can really test the limits of the car.
“It will also be emotional for me, returning there after what happened to Jules. Whenever I go to Suzuka, I always go and visit the spot where he had his accident. “