- Pierre Gasly hoons an NSX like Senna
- Alpha Tauri racing celebrates the 2021 U.S. Grand Prix
- Should you buy and Acura NSX?
If you know anything about Acura, and the Acura NSX, you’ve seen The Video. Clearly, the marketing people at Alpha Tauri Formula 1 team have too. The video I refer to is, of course, of a cloudy afternoon at the Suzuka Circuit in Japan, featuring a loafer and velvet-clad Ayrton Senna in a white Acura NSX. Alpha Tarui wanted to recapture the magic of that video with Pierre Gasly, and boy did they.
Frenchman abuses Japanese counterpart on racetrack
No, we’re not talking about the way in which Pierre Gasly manages to outqualify his rookie teammate, Yuki Tsunoda, more often than not. We’re talking about the amount of tire-squealing abuse dolled out to the NSX on Pierre’s lap of the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. If Yuki looks like he’s pushing the NSX to its limits in the photo above, just wait ’till you see Gasly’s lap.
Modern Formula 1 cars may have semi-automatic transmissions with steering wheel-mounted clutch pedals, but Pierre has to do it old school in the NSX. This silver car, making around 290 hp, is a stick variant, and we’re all the better for it. You don’t often get to see current F1 drivers push a stick shift car to the limit, and Pierre’s driving talent is certainly something to admire (and definitely be jealous of).
Pierre Gasly does Senna proud in the NSX
However, the setup of the video is what really does it for me. That video of Senna at Suzuka in the Acura NSX is something that leaves an impact, myself included (you can also be impacted by that video here). The framing of the two videos is remarkably similar. First, there’s the over-the-shoulder camera position, allowing you to see the track and Pierre Gasly’s hands at work.
But what really makes the Senna video is seeing the legendary driver’s footwork via the camera in the pedal box. Senna had a way of stabbing at the gas that few drivers do, pushing the car to stay in the powerband mid-corner and making the engine sound as if it’s yelping in pain. Pierre does the same thing in the NSX, sans loafers, ripping off heel-toe gearchanges with ease.
The Acura NSX still holds up today
If anything, this video (honestly both of them) is a reminder of what a hero the Acura NSX is. Whether you were raised on videos of the RUF yellowbird ripping around the Nordschleife or between the pages of Import Tuner, the NSX commanded respect. Now, it’s doing that for a whole generation of Formula 1 fans.