Honda boss wants Gasly to contest Austin F1 race

Honda says its priority is for Pierre Gasly to race in the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix, even if that means it will sacrifice the chance to win the Super Formula title.

Honda boss wants Gasly to contest Austin F1 race
Pierre Gasly, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12
 Pierre Gasly, Scuderia Toro Rosso
 Pierre Gasly, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12
Pierre Gasly, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12
Pierre Gasly, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12
Pierre Gasly, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12 nat Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Japanese Grand Prix, Qualifying, Suzuka, Japan, Saturday 7 October 2017.

Gasly, the 2016 GP2 champion, replaced Daniil Kvyat at Toro Rosso for Malaysia and Japan but he says it remains unclear if he will race in Austin, which clashes with the Super Formula finale.

The Frenchman has secured two wins and a second place in the last three Super Formula races with the Honda-powered Team Mugen, leaving him just 0.5 points adrift of leader Hiroaki Ishiura.

Honda motorsport boss Masashi Yamamoto would have no problem welcoming Gasly back to Super Formula to contest the title, but the Japanese manufacturer would prefer he continues in F1 with Toro Rosso.

"We believe Gasly should race in Austin with Toro Rosso," Honda motorsport boss Masashi Yamamoto told Motorsport.com.

"We want him to race there but if there is anybody who can drive instead of Gasly in Austin, we're happy to have him in Super Formula. We are not pushing for him to race in Super Formula."

Yamamoto accepts that if Gasly misses the Super Formula finale, it means Honda will sacrifice the title to rival Toyota.

"Of course it is important for Honda to win the Super Formula title in Japan but we think the priority is having him in F1," he said.

"[Red Bull motorsport advisor] Helmut Marko thinks it is important to have the Super Formula title but he also thinks Formula 1 is the priority so we agree in that point of view."

Honda will team up with Toro Rosso in 2018 as part of a three-year deal with the Italian outfit and therefore it is in the manufacturer's interests for the team to score as many points as possible this year.

Keeping Gasly in the seat will ensure consistency and aid that cause, as well as providing the Frenchman with more experience ahead of a possible full-time race seat with Toro Rosso in 2018.

"We would like Pierre to finish the rest of the season with Toro Rosso as he is a potential regular driver for the team next year," said Yamamoto. "So he should gather as much experience as he can in Formula 1 this year."

Toro Rosso has yet to announce its line-up for 2018, but it is believed Gasly is highly likely to get one of the seats.

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