Pierre Gasly has followed Stoffel Vandoorne in now two areas: he’s won a GP2 championship, and he’s spending his next season of racing in Super Formula in Japan.
The 20-year-old Frenchman, part of the Red Bull Junior Team, missed out on a Scuderia Toro Rosso drive when the team retained Daniil Kvyat alongside Carlos Sainz Jr. for the upcoming Formula 1 season.
However with Red Bull keen to keep Gasly racing sharp, he’ll be placed into Super Formula this season with a team to be announced at a later date.
It’s a deep open-wheel field and usually takes a bit of time for newcomers to establish themselves, and so how Gasly gets on will be one of the more interesting parts of the year. Vandoorne finished fourth this year, and won twice.
“It is all going to be very different, I have no experience with the car or the tracks and I know that the Japanese culture, philosophy, way of working, just about everything is different. It is a fantastic new challenge and I love that,” Gasly said.
Gasly’s placement was confirmed as part of the full Red Bull Junior Team announcement for the 2017 season.
The other four drivers confirmed are Dan Ticktum (17, Britain), Niko Kari (17, Finland), Richard Verschoor (16, Netherlands) and Neil Verhagen (15, U.S.).
Verschoor, Verhagen and Ticktum will all race in Renault 2.0, Verschoor and Verhagen with MP Motorsport and Ticktum with Arden International. Verschoor is already racing this winter in the Toyota Racing Series in New Zealand.
Verhagen, who tested a Tatuus USF-17 car for the USF2000 series over the winter, is the first American that’s part of the Red Bull Junior Team since John Edwards raced a Red Bull-backed Atlantic car in 2007. Edwards is now a BMW factory driver in sports cars.
Kari will race in GP3 with Arden in his second year as a Red Bull Junior.