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F1 2017 driver review: Pierre Gasly

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Pierre Gasly

Team: Toro Rosso
Car No.: 10
Races: 5
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: P12 (Brazil)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 0
Championship Position: 21st

With the regular season Formula 1 drivers now reviewed, we move on to the drivers who completed just a handful of races through the 2017 season, starting with Pierre Gasly.

After winning the GP2 title in 2016, Gasly was originally placed in the Japanese Super Formula series for this year by Red Bull in order to allow him to gain more experience before making the step up to F1 amid reservations about his readiness.

Gasly was handed an early call-up when Daniil Kvyat was benched for underperforming, making his debut in Malaysia where he reached Q2 on debut with an impressive showing.

Gasly took 13th at Suzuka one week later, but then had to skip the next race, the United States Grand Prix, in order to compete in the Super Formula finale that he entered trailing the points leader by just half a point. It proved to be a fruitless trip, though, as a typhoon resulted in the finale being cancelled, denying Gasly a shot at the title.

Gasly turned in a solid display upon his return in Brazil, finishing 12th, and ended up a lowly 16th in Abu Dhabi to finish the season amid recurring engine problems for the Renault-powered team.

Gasly didn’t really get a chance to show what he can do in F1 through his five-race stint, but gained plenty of experience that will help for 2018 when he races full-time with Toro Rosso.

Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
IMSA
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As his season gathers steam, Helio Castroneves said his prospects for finding new rides for 2021 in IMSA and IndyCar also are gaining momentum.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Monday he is optimistic about landing in either or perhaps a combination of both series when Team Penske and Acura end their DPi partnership after this season.

“A lot of people I spoke with, four to five teams, are interested,” Castroneves said. “Whether it’s doing Indy 500 only, whether it’s pushing to do full time or do the sports cars as well. It’s been a very nice conversation.

LOOKING AHEADTeam Penske drivers seeking new rides for 2021

“I have a lot of respect for all the teams that have been talking, and I feel the same feedback. We just have to wait for their (sponsor) connections, and I’m also looking for some connections on my side as well, so hopefully we’ll be able to put this together and get something very soon.”

Given two decades of success with Penske in IndyCar and IMSA, Castroneves’ resume hardly needs burnishing. But the Brazilian has combined with co-driver Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura DPi to win the past two overall victories at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

But Castroneves, who doesn’t have a manager, said he has been working the phones hard rather than wait for the strong results to bring in the calls.

“At this point, I feel like I’m the one who needs to be talking to them because people need to know I want to continue racing and understand my desire,” Castroneves, 45, said. “There is opportunity, no question, in both (IndyCar and IMSA), which I’m really happy about it. However, because of the COVID-19, a lot of things sometimes have to be a little delayed. But I’m excited. Whatever the opportunity and whatever destiny guides me, whether IndyCar or sports cars, trust me I’ll be as happy as it could be and doing my 100 percent like I always did.

“It’s like politics, you need to be out there, good news or bad news. People have to make notice of your presence. I’m hustling. I want to continue to keep it going. Hopefully, we’ll have good news very soon.”

The news has been all good lately on track for Castroneves and Taylor, who hope to continue their run Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The No. 6 duo has surged to sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings, 10 points out of the lead with four races remaining. After thinking there was “no hope” to be competitive after opening the season with three consecutive poor finishes, Taylor now sees an opportunity for a happy ending.

“With the program going away, Helio has won all the big races and given so much back to the team and left such a mark, he’s really part of Penske history,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s been an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of it. I’d like to leave my little mark as well. Helio has won everything except for a championship.

“Obviously, we’ve won races already together, but we can win a championship now. I think if both of us can do that together and both win our first championship for ‘The Captain,’ that would be an absolute dream come true, and we can tie a bow on it and be happy.”