Red Bull junior Pierre Gasly and Formula E’s Felix Rosenqvist enjoyed their first official running in Japan’s Super Formula series during a fan thanks day at Suzuka on Sunday.
Gasly won last year’s GP2 Series title with Prema Racing, but missed out on a seat in Formula 1 with Toro Rosso after Red Bull elected to retain Carlos Sainz Jr. and Daniil Kvyat for 2017.
Unable to return to GP2 as champion, Gasly was moved into Super Formula by Red Bull, claiming a seat with the Honda-backed Team Mugen.
The Frenchman made his first appearance during Sunday’s test, completing 17 laps and finishing 15th overall, 1.4 seconds off the pace set by P1 finisher and Porsche LMP1 driver Andre Lotterer.
Rosenqvist was only confirmed in a seat with Sunoco Team LeMans four days ago, but immediately set to work by finishing one place ahead of Gasly and getting 13 laps under his belt.
“This is a serious beast – this car is absolutely awesome,” Rosenqvist said.
“Turn 1 is just insane; we pull 4.3 G and it’s glued to the track all the way through. The torque is more extreme than I expected and the acceleration is impressive.
“First impressions are very positive, but it will take time to get used to everything and we’ll try and get as much of that as we can out of the way tomorrow.”
During his visit to Suzuka, Gasly also paid tribute to Jules Bianchi, who died in 2015 from head injuries sustained from an accident at the circuit the year before.
Gasly and Rosenqvist will take part in a two-day test at Suzuka on Monday and Tuesday, with the new season beginning at the circuit on April 23.