Red Bull could send junior drivers to Super Formula over F2

22-08-2018 11:15
by Jake Williams-Smith
General
Red Bull could send junior drivers to Super Formula over F2

Red Bull could be sending their junior drivers to Japan to compete in Super Formula over Formula 2. That is according to motorsport advisor for the team Helmut Marko, the Japanese series is more competitive than F2 and is a better environment to gain experience in.

Pierre Gasly was sent to Super Formula where he almost won the title back in 2016, missing out only due to a freak typhoon which led to the final race being abandoned. Speaking ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix, Marko told formula1.com that the career move could become more common in the future for their junior drivers.

“We were taken by Pierre Gasly’s performance in Super Formula last season,” Marko explained.

“He developed as both a person and driver while he was in Japan. And by coming to Japan, he gained a lot of confidence and also grew a lot.

“So that is why I wanted to come and check out Super Formula first-hand. The new car will also becoming out next season. The new car will have even more downforce and is faster than the current one.  

“This has all led us to consider bringing in two Red Bull drivers to Super Formula next season. We feel that Super Formula is an even more competitive series than F2.”

Red Bull had been planning to place F3 driver Dan Ticktum in their car for the post-Hungarian Grand Prix test but were denied by the FIA due to a lack of superlisence points for Ticktum. He appears to be one of the prime candidates for Red Bull to bring through their ranks and could well be on his way to Super Formula rather than the more traditional rise into F2.

“To be honest I don’t know the plan yet 100 percent,” Ticktum said back in May about his 2019 plans. “I could be anywhere next year. F2, here, F1, I don’t know.

“But the important thing for me is that I have to be prepared for whatever I’m doing. I would be very very happy to come back to Japan to be honest.

“This season I’m obviously doing two races. May well do more. But for the moment I’m only doing these. I’ll try to learn as much as I can in these two races. Maybe it will help for next season if I’m to do Super Formula.”

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