Red Bull junior Pierre Gasly, who clinched the GP2 championship at the season finale in Abu Dhabi, says he remains committed to steering his career towards Formula 1.
The 20-year-old dominated the series feature race, and built himself a 12-point lead over rival title contender and fellow Prema team mate Antonio Giovinazzi before Sunday's sprint event in which he came home eight, securing the title.
It was a rough year for Gasly who not only fought his rivals out on the race track in the ultra competitive series, but also dealt with a few personal issues away from it. He therefore valued his achievement accordingly.
" It means so much, because this season has been really tough, mentally and physically: my mother was hospitalised for three months, and I had a broken vertebrae for two and a half months after Silverstone," explained Gasly
"And tough times in races like at the Red Bull Ring, where I led the race but got stuck in the gravel, or in Monza when we were first and the safety car came out, and we lost the victory, or the extinguisher in Hockenheim.
"Honestly, I could write a book about my season! So many things happened, but we never stopped fighting: that’s a great achievement to see that all the hard work paid off in the end, my team never stopped working and supporting me, and all these people helped me to win this championship."
Much to his disappointment, Gasly was passed over by Red Bull when it decided to retain Daniil Kvyat at Toro Rosso for another season. While he still believes his future lies in Grand Prix racing, Gasly isn't sure how he'll get there.
Red Bull have raised the possibility of sending their protege to Japan for a year to contest the Super Formula series, and have initiated talks with several teams to that effect. Gasly will however remain Red Bull Racing's test and reserve driver.
"As I said to Helmut [Marko], my only goal is to get into Formula 1, so I will always keep pushing for that, but of course you always need an opportunity.
"We will see what happens: at the moment I don’t know, and it is wide open, but you can be sure that I will keep pushing with everything to get into F1, and we’ll see what happens. "