Pierre Gasly pays tribute to Ayrton Senna's legendary Acura NSX-R drive at Suzuka.
After a 15-year absence, Acura returned to Formula 1 at last weekend's US Grand Prix, albeit only as a logo. Acura branding was incorporated onto the Red Bull Racing Honda and Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda F1 car liveries, replacing Honda Racing. Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez, Pierre Gasly, and Yuki Tsunoda also wore racing suits and helmets adorned with Acura branding.
Outside of the race, Scuderia Alpha Tauri driver Pierre Gasly also got behind the wheel of a first-generation Acura NSX, taking the legendary 1990s mid-engine supercar for a high-speed spin around the Austin circuit.
Gasly was seemingly inspired by his racing idol Ayrton Senna, who famously lapped Suzuka in an Acura NSX-R in just two minutes and 34.1 seconds. The hot-lap video is legendary not only for showcasing his god-like talent behind the wheel but also for his casual footwear. Instead of driving shoes, Senna wore a pair of leather loafers and white socks while hooning the NSX.
Senna was famously involved with the development of the original NSX. After test driving a prototype, he told Honda he found the NSX "too fragile." As a result of Senna's feedback, Honda increased the car's rigidity by 50 percent. Gasly's tribute video is filmed in the same style as Senna's lap, complete with a foot camera showing his fancy footwork on the pedals. If only he was wearing loafers like Senna.
The Acura NSX is one of the greatest supercars of the 1990s but it's no match for Gasly's Honda-powered Formula 1 car. But that didn't stop him from pushing it hard and having a great time. He clearly wasn't holding back, often countersteering out of corners. It's just a shame we don't get to find out the lap time because it looked very quick. It's safe to say Gasly enjoyed his time behind the wheel of the original Acura NSX: "I'm leaving with that car today after the race," he joked.
While the Austin circuit is currently the only Formula 1 race hosted in the US, Miami will be added to the race calendar next year.