Red Bull's Pierre Gasly placed at Team Mugen for 2017 Super Formula
|By Darshan Chokhani||Monday, February 13th 2017, 09:48 GMT|
Honda has placed Red Bull Formula 1 reserve driver and reigning GP2 champion Pierre Gasly at Team Mugen for the 2017 Super Formula season.
Gasly had been linked to either Mugen or Nakajima Racing for his move to Japan, but ex-F1 driver Narain Karthikeyan has instead made a surprise switch to the latter outfit to join Daisuke Nakajima.
Mugen is expanding to two cars to accomodate Gasly, with race winner Naoki Yamamoto staying on in its other entry.
Gasly follows in the footsteps of 2015 GP2 champion Stoffel Vandoorne by moving to Super Formula alongside an F1 reserve programme.
Karthikeyan had been looking at options outside Japan, including a Blancpain GT drive, after parting with Toyota squad Team Le Mans earlier this month.
But instead the Indian replaces Bertrand Baguette - the only driver dropped from Honda's SF line-up - at Nakajima.
Elsewhere, Real Racing will field just one car in 2017 with Koudai Tsukakoshi staying with the squad, while Takuya Izawa will move to Docomo Dandelion.
The Japanese driver will take the Vandoorne's seat in the team, partnering with Tomoki Nojiri.
Drago Corse drops off the grid in favour of Japanese Formula 3 race-winning team B-Max, which picks up ex-Drago driver Takashi Kogure.
2017 SUPER FORMULA LINE-UP
IngIng: Yuji Kunimoto, Hiroaki Ishiura
Kondo: Nick Cassidy, Kenta Yamashita
LeMans: Kazuya Oshima, TBA
KCMG: Kamui Kobayashi
Impul: Yuhi Sekiguchi, Jann Mardenborough
TOM'S: Andre Lotterer, Kazuki Nakajima
Real: Koudai Tsukakoshi
Mugen: Pierre Gasly, Naoki Yamamoto
Dandelion: Tomoki Nojiri, Takuya Izawa
B-Max: Takashi Kogure
Nakajima: Daisuke Nakajima, Narain Karthikeyan