Gasly eyes Toro Rosso F1 chance in 2017

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Red Bull protégé Pierre Gasly says “there will be F1 opportunities at Toro Rosso” in 2017, and eyes the GP2 Series title in order to boost his prospects of securing a seat in the top flight next year.

The Frenchman delivered an encouraging rookie campaign in the main feeder category last season, claiming three podiums and a trio of pole positions en route to eighth in the standings with DAMS.

Gasly also enjoyed his first taste of F1 machinery, as he ran for both Red Bull and Toro Rosso in the post-Spanish and Austrian Grand Prix tests. He was later named Milton Keynes’ official reserve driver, taking over from Sébastien Buemi and António Félix da Costa.

Asked about his plans for 2016 by French publication Ouest France, the Normandy-born racer replied: “Nothing has been signed yet but the goal is to do a second campaign in GP2 and win the title. I know we can do it.

“It will be even more important considering that in 2017 there will be opportunities at Toro Rosso in F1. I really want to be a part of it.”

The small Italian outfit has indeed very rarely kept the same line-up for more than two years, with former drivers Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, and Daniil Kvyat being quickly promoted to parent squad Red Bull. After their stunning debut season, Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz will once again team up at Faenza in 2016.

Meanwhile, Gasly will not return to DAMS and his name has been linked to a seat at PREMA Racing after testing with the GP2 newcomers in Abu Dhabi at the end of last year. The 2013 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 winner also spent one day running for front running squad RUSSIAN TIME.

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