Pierre Gasly revealed that Naoki Yamamoto apologised to him for taking his Toro Rosso seat for FP1 in F1 Japanese GP.
Honda-backed Super Formula and Super GT champion Yamamoto will replace Gasly in FP1 in this weekend’s Japanese GP at Suzuka circuit. The Japanese driver will make his F1 on Friday but in a heart warming gesture, he apologised to Gasly for replacing him.
The duo are no stranger to each other as Yamamoto and Gasly used to be teammates in Super Formula when the Frenchman drove for Team Mugen in 2017. In addition, the Japanese has attended several European races with Toro Rosso this year as well.
The Japanese has spent time in simulator as well to prepare for his debut F1 run, which looks like one-off at the moment, at his home event. “We spoke all morning,” said Gasly to media in Japan. “He [Yamamoto] apologised to be in my car.
“It was already planned since the start of the year. He is a really good guy and very talented. It is a dream for him to drive our car. He has been on track so many times. It is good for him. He is a fantastically talented driver.
“The track is dry for the moment, but it will be a really good session for him. It’s a dream to drive this kind of cars. I said to him, enjoy every single lap you have out on the track. I gave him a few tips because for sure, compared to Super Formula, the tyres are different, the car’s behaviour is different. He’s been in the sim [few time].
“There were a couple of things he found really different from the Super Formula. He’s really fast. I think he won more than half his races in Suzuka. He’s really fast here.” At the time same time, Yamamoto commented: “I told him I’m sorry I’m sharing your car.
“He said you don’t worry, it’s not your fault. Hopefully, as much as possible I can give good information for Pierre as I know his driving style pretty well. I’m so excited because driving a F1 car has been my dream since I was young. Finally, dreams come true.”
Here’s the announcement from Toro Rosso regarding the FP1 chance
The story was written by Venkatesh P Koushik and edited by Darshan Chokhani