Pierre Gasly is hoping to see out the Formula 1 season with Toro Rosso and skip the Super Formula season finale in Japan despite standing a good chance of winning the title.
Red Bull youngster Gasly was placed in Super Formula for 2017 after winning the GP2 title last year, and is just half a point behind the series leader with one round remaining.
The Frenchman was handed a surprise F1 debut in Malaysia on Sunday after Daniil Kvyat was dropped by Toro Rosso due to poor form, and will also feature in Japan this weekend.
Red Bull is yet to confirm its plans for Gasly post-Suzuka, with the United States Grand Prix on October 22 clashing with the Super Formula season finale, suggesting Kvyat could be set to return.
However, Gasly told reporters on Saturday at Sepang he would like to complete the F1 season, even if it meant missing out on the chance to win the Super Formula title.
“A title is always important. After winning GP2, if I can win Super Formula, that would be great,” Gasly said as quoted by Crash.net.
“But if I can race in Austin, that will be even more amazing. We will see.
“If I can finish the year in F1, then I will finish the year in F1.”
Toro Rosso team chief Franz Tost said last week that it was “all open” for Kvyat to return in the future given he is still under contract as a Red Bull driver.
Car No.: 20
Best Finish: P7 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Championship Position: 14th
Kevin Magnussen’s move to Haas proved to be a win-win situation for both parties through 2017 as they banished the struggles of the previous Formula 1 season.
For Magnussen, the move came after a difficult one-season stint with Renault who despite offering him a way back into F1 after a year on the sidelines were unable to produce a car allowing the Dane to fight far up the order.
Haas had not expected to be able to be that much further ahead, but Magnussen nevertheless immediately offered an uplift in performance after replacing Esteban Gutierrez, who failed to score a single point through 2016.
Magnussen picked up Haas’ first points of the season with a solid drive in China, and was able to capitalize on the bonkers Baku race to take P7, which would ultimately be his best result of the season.
Consistency was a real issue for Haas throughout the year as it continued to have teething problems most new teams encounter, and while Magnussen was more able to drive around the problems than teammate Romain Grosjean, he lacked the ultimate pace of his teammate.
That said, Magnussen’s season highlight came in Mexico, a track Haas expected to be its worst of the season. The ex-McLaren driver qualified on the last row but produced a stunning display to finish eighth, soaking up pressure from Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton late on.
The signs are positive moving forward. Next year should be Haas’ best yet thanks to the stability in the regulations, presenting a good opportunity for Magnussen to prove his star quality.
Season High: Taking P8 in Mexico when Haas expected to be slowest.
Season Low: Lagging home P15 at Spa as Grosjean hit the points.