Pierre Gasly feels the time he spent racing in Japan last year is easing Honda's arrival at Toro Rosso ahead of the 2018 Formula 1 season, having enjoyed a successful first pre-season test in Barcelona last week.

Gasly racked up more laps than any other driver as Honda enjoyed its most productive winter test day since returning to the sport in 2015, encountering no major issues across the four days of running.

The first links between Honda and Toro Rosso came via Gasly, who was placed in the Japanese Super Formula series for 2017 by Red Bull, where he raced for the Honda-backed Team Mugen.

Gasly said that the work with Honda proved even more useful last year than expected as it laid the foundations for the new partnership with Toro Rosso, as well as helping the transition phase.

"With Honda, I've known them since last year, which was in the end even better experience than what I thought at the time," Gasly said.

"For sure it's going to help me with the communication with them. I know a bit more how they work, how you need to work with them, how you need to approach things.

"So far we didn't have any troubles, so it's just giving clear feedback to the engineers, trying to improve in the areas where we can, and that's about it."

Gasly will return to the cockpit of the Toro Rosso later this week for his final two days of running ahead of the season-opener in Australia on March 25, and admitted he was finding the turnaround very quick through testing.

"It's the first time I do these four days of testing before the season, it actually goes really fast. It's something as a young driver is a bit weird because I've got only two more days in the car before the first race," Gasly said.

"You really feel you need to maximise each single lap you're on-track. That's why for me I was really happy to do so many laps.

"When you miss one day like yesterday, it has quite a big impact on the experience and the feeling you get in the car before the first race.

"That's why today was really positive."

 

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