While Pierre Gasly has made it clear driving for Red Bull is his Formula 1 goal, he insists he is focusing on the job at hand with Toro Rosso. 

The 2016 GP2 champion is contesting his first full F1 campaign with Red Bull’s junior outfit Toro Rosso this year, following his mid-season call-up to the Faenza squad as Daniil Kvyat’s replacement last season. 

Prior to his F1 promotion for five of the final six races of last season, Gasly had spent 2017 in Japan’s Super Formula, where he narrowly missed out winning the title when the final two races were cancelled due to a typhoon threat. 

An impressive campaign with newly Honda-backed Toro Rosso could lead to a Red Bull seat in 2019, should Daniel Ricciardo opt to switch teams once his current deal runs out at the end of the year, though Gasly faces direct competition from former Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz - who is on loan to Renault from Red Bull.

When asked about the prospect of driving for Red Bull in the future, Gasly said: “Carlos [Sainz] has more experience than me at the moment but it’s clear that my target is to be at Red Bull in the future. 

“Hopefully sooner than later, but I need to show to Red Bull that I’m fast, I’m consistent to have a shot if I do a good job. But my focus now is with Toro Rosso and trying to do the best I can for this team.”

Honda had enjoyed a smooth pre-season test with Toro Rosso in contrast to its troubled three-year relationship with McLaren, though the team struggled in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix. 

Gasly started 20th and last following a mistake in qualifying and dropped out of Sunday’s race in Melbourne after just 13 laps following an engine failure, while Hartley finished 15th and last of the remaining runners. 

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