OCTOBER 18, 2017
Gasly thinks Honda relationship will help in 2018
Pierre Gasly thinks his experience in working with Honda will help him in formula one next year.
The Toro Rosso newcomer is actually skipping this weekend's US grand prix to try to win the Super Formula title in Japan.
Red Bull agreed to release him for one race at the behest of Honda, Toro Rosso's new engine partner for 2018.
"Clearly, it's a real plus for me to have worked with Honda already when they arrive at Toro Rosso," Gasly told the French publication minute-auto.fr.
"Their culture is obviously very different, but also their communication and working methods," said the Frenchman, who has worked with Honda throughout 2017 in Super Formula.
"It took a while to figure out how to work well with them this season, but now I know how to communicate a lot better," he added.
"They are not used to being too hard -- too direct," Gasly explained.
"The Japanese like to communicate in a constructive way, without being blamed. They tend to say yes to everything even when not in agreement.
"So to be sure you are on the same wavelength, you sometimes must check things ten times rather than once," he added.
"With this experience, I hope to have the opportunity to evolve with them next year in F1."
Gasly also said decisions can take longer for a Japanese company like Honda to make.
"They attach great importance to the hierarchy," he said. "As long as the boss has not given his green light, nothing can move. Clearly, decision-making is not as fast as we are," he said.
"I really had a very good year with them in Japan," Gasly added. "I won races for them and our relationship developed well.
"I know that today I have great support from them and that gives me great pleasure, because it was not necessarily the case at the beginning of the season."
And Gasly tipped Honda to be determined to make the new Toro Rosso project work, after three bad years with McLaren.
"Yes, I clearly believe in this project," he said.
"They are perfectionists who want to prove they are capable of succeeding.
"It's probably a question of honour for them after a difficult relationship with McLaren.
"They have made significant progress over the last six months compared to the previous two years," Gasly continued.
"Of course, catching up the gap to the other engine manufacturers does not happen overnight, so we'll see where Toro Rosso and Honda are in early 2018. It will take time.
"But they're investing a lot of money," said Gasly. "I'm not an engineer and nor do I know Mercedes' secrets, but Honda must work hard to find the magic recipe.
"What I can do is maintain the best possible relationship in order to optimise our package and remain constructive, while getting the most out of what we have."