Gasly could debut in Malaysia due to Sainz swap

Pierre Gasly

Pierre Gasly has indicated that he could make his Formula 1 debut in Malaysia if McLaren’s engine deal triggers an early move by Carlos Sainz Jr to Renault.

It is believed that Sainz will move from Scuderia Toro Rosso to Renault next year as part of a deal which will see Renault switch its engine supply deal from STR to McLaren.

McLaren’s Honda engines would in turn go the other way to STR, though no deals have yet been publicly confirmed.

Sainz’ move is part of the deal to encourage Renault to agree to the swap, but sources suggest that he could start driving for the factory Renault team this year, replacing Jolyon Palmer.

That change could happen as early as October’s Malaysian Grand Prix (September 29-October 1), with Red Bull junior driver Gasly favourite to fill what would be Sainz’ old seat.

“I know there are few things going on at the moment,” said Gasly, who took his second Super Formula victory of the season at Autopolis at the weekend.

“We will see in the next couple of days what will happen.

“For me, it will be amazing (to race in F1). It’s been my dream and I’ve been working really hard to get there.

“I’m still pushing every day to make it happen.

“This weekend (Super Formula round) I wanted to focus on my weekend and do the best I could.

“Now, we have a few days until the next race, and Malaysia will arrive quickly. Let’s see how it goes. Hopefully I can be there.”

Gasly’s next Super Formula race takes place in Sugo the weekend before the Malaysian Grand Prix.

The final double-header then takes place at Suzuka on October 21-22, the same weekend as the United States Grand Prix.

Gasly is now second overall in the championship standings after his second consecutive victory last weekend.

“I’ve really worked hard with the team to get better and all the hard work starts to pay off so I’m really happy and just starting to love Super Formula more and more,” he said.

“It’s amazing when you have the performance and when you can fight for top positions.

“There are still things that we can improve but to be in this position is a great feeling.”

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