Pierre Gasly has described his stand-in role for Renault e.dams as a ‘fun experience’.
The Red Bull-back driver is the reigning GP2 champion and is currently racing in the Super Formula series in Japan. But with Sebastien Buemi unavailable for the New York races, Renault e.dams boss Jean-Paul Driot recruited his former driver as a stand-in.
Simulator work for the Red Bull Formula 1 team meant that Gasly missed the shakedown session on Friday evening, which was the first time any of the drivers had driven the new Brooklyn Circuit.
Gasly had only one day’s previous Formula E testing experience behind him and his inexperience told as a scrappy qualifying lap left him 19th on the grid for Race 1. In the race he performed more strongly and worked his way up the order to an eventual seventh place.
With this experience under his belt, he returned to the track on Sunday and produced a stunning performance in the qualifying group stages, recording the outright fastest lap of the whole weekend – a 1:02.080. Unfortunately he made a mistake on his lap in Super Pole, so lined up fourth for the race.
In the closing stages he homed in on the Mahindra drivers who ran second and third, and came agonisingly close to an impressive podium. Still an 18-point haul over the weekend was a very solid return on his debut.
“It was a really interesting weekend,” he said. “A brand new experience for me and I think it’s been really positive. There were a lot of things to learn since Saturday morning so it’s been a hectic time with all the procedures to learn and to get used to this car which is quite special.
“In the end we managed to score some really good points for the team which was the main target and I even managed to get into Super pole on Sunday so I am quite pleased with the weekend and it’s been a fun experience.
“For me it wasn’t easy to get used to this car as it’s really different from what I am used to driving. It’s been really good fun racing with all these guys, they have so much experience and they are really fast drivers and there is close racing and as a driver that’s what you like.”
However, despite his strong showing it’s unlikely that Gasly will be active again in Formula E in the near-term.
“Honestly, at the moment I’m only focused on getting the drive in Toro Rosso but you never know,” he said.