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Watch Pierre Gasly Toss a Vintage NSX Around COTA

Road & Track logo Road & Track 10/23/2021 Fred Smith
AlphaTauri's lead driver takes an unforgettable lap around America's home for Formula 1. © Scuderia AlphaTauri / YouTube AlphaTauri's lead driver takes an unforgettable lap around America's home for Formula 1.

Back in the early 90s, legendary Formula 1 driver Ayrton Senna recorded a classic lap around Suzuka in an early NSX. The video has become legendary, so legendary that modern F1 drivers like Pierre Gasly remember it to this day. This weekend, Gasly happened to be at an F1 track at the same time as a classic NSX. He was given the chance to recreate the video at the Circuit of the Americas, resulting in another classic lap:

Replay Video

In direct tribute to the Senna video, much of the lap is filmed from the same angle (this time on a left-hand drive car) wit the same foot camera insert over the equivalent passenger seat. The tachometer insert is not here and Senna's questionable combination of brown leather loafers and white socks is replaced with a more modern pair of Air Jordan 1s, but the visual is otherwise recreated perfectly.

So, too, is Senna's immediate comfort with the car. Gasly is pushing surprisingly hard on corner entry throughout the lap, putting down the sort of times vintage cars in manufacturer collections rarely experience these days. Despite having exclusively raced paddle-shifted open wheelers, Gasly seems more than comfortable with three pedals at those limits. His upshifts are crisp, his downshifts are aggressive, and his corner exits are ambitious enough that he finds himself countersteering on a few occasions.

Gasly's AlphaTauri is Honda powered, but those engines will be Acura-branded for this weekend's race. Fittingly, the original NSX was also branded as an Acura only in the U.S.

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