Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2018

Not having Honda upgrade made qualifying “tough” for Gasly

2018 Canadian Grand Prix

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Pierre Gasly says he wants to get Honda’s upgraded Formula 1 power unit back in his car “as soon as possible” after he was unable to run it during qualifying.

The Toro Rosso driver dropped out in the first round of qualifying after switching back to his previous engine.

“We had an issue with the engine in [final practice], with the new upgrade, so I had to revert to the engine I had in Monaco without the upgrades,” Gasly explained.

“On a track like Canada we know the top speed is massively important so it made qualifying quite tough for us.”

Gasly missed the cut for Q2 by less than five-hundredths of a second. “Of course it’s always frustrating to miss out with such a small gap,” he said.

“But looking at the positive Honda did a really good job with the new upgrades. So I just can’t wait to put this upgrade back on my car as soon as possible.”

The upgrade delivered a noticeable performance improvement, said Gasly.

“The speed on the straight, when you put the [throttle] down you just have more power from the engine,” he said. “So basically [you] go quicker just on the straights.

“On a track like Canada where you have such long straights, the gain of lap time is quite important.”

“Looking at the positives, it’s good for the coming races,” he added. “It just will be quite difficult for our side of the garage tomorrow.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 15 comments on “Not having Honda upgrade made qualifying “tough” for Gasly”



    2. Ah, that takes a bit off the shine off Hartley’s performance today. Nevertheless, I hope Hartley can capitalize on this opportunity.

      1. Agreed … it would be great to see Brendon finish well.

    3. Kitto toberu sa, on Honda power!

    4. There was a decent gap between Hartley and Gasly in quali (around 6 tenths) I think. If Honda upgrades have actually given them 0.5s improvement in lap time here, then that is absolutely phenomenal!

      Renault have claimed to have just found around a tenth of a second advantage.

      Tough decisions for Mr. Horner. Has Honda finally delivered a decent upgrade?

      1. @todfod Indeed, if all that gap is PU, then Honda made a massive step. If I was Horner I would take performance over the current reliability Honda has shown, not able to last 7 races but able to finish races. One thing Horner keeps saying about Honda is that their engine is considerably lighter than Renault’s. Alonso way off the STR Honda, McLaren needs to start hiring good people quick.

      2. @todfod, it sounds unlikely that the difference will solely be just to the engine update though, especially when the comparison is already flawed given that you are comparing a more heavily used engine to a brand new one. Potential power losses due to increased engine wear would be skewing the picture in favour of the new engine unit, so you are not really comparing like for like.

        1. Maybe. I’m probably not giving Hartley enough credit as well. Maybe he did go faster than Gasly, although previous performances would suggest the opposite. But they have definitely made some proper gains this time, as Hartley mentioned. According to him, he just put the foot down on the straights and felt the difference straight away. Either ways, it looks like a more impressive upgrade than what Renault has brought, where they themselves claimed was probably a little over a tenth of a second.

      3. Has Honda finally delivered a decent upgrade?

        Why the word ‘finally’? For all you know, last 3 years, Honda could have been delivering decent upgrades all this while only to be let down by McLaren’s inconsistent performance across different tracks.

        7 qualifyings done in 2018 so far and McLaren have not beaten a Red Bull even once, Renault has been beaten I think twice while Toro Rosso have beaten them twice. Plus, a variety of reasons have been put forward in these 7 races – integration and cooling issues, draggy car, the latest is low speed traction. What if these were really the issues for 3 years but they just passed it off as bad engine?

        I am 80% sure Red Bull are going to ditch Renault for Honda. And that is going to make McLaren’s decision to go through with such a costly divorce even more questionable.

        1. Yep .. 80% is a good estimate of RBR to be Aston Martin RBR Honda next year. Seems to me that Honda just needed a lot of time to come to grips with the hybrid spec, more time than McLaren were willing to give them. McLarens decision is just probably one of bad timing – not dissimilar to Fernando’s choice of drives… wrong place at the the wrong time.

    5. It’s already decided. Honda for RB next year!

    6. @todfod Pitlane reports seem to indicate the Renault upgrade is worth two tenths at Montreal without a Q3 boost…showing how good the Red Bull is this season vs the Merc and Ferrari.

      Renault works team performance impressive, now within half a second of the Montreal pole time, the championship is getting interesting

      Looks probable that Red Bull will switch to Honda for 2019…if Renault can stay on the upward curve, 2019/2020 is looking really interesting.

      1. @ju88sy

        Actually, pit lane reports suggested a tenth of second. As you rightly mentioned though, it just goes to show how good Red Bull really is this year, that even without the upgraded engine at a power hungry track like Montreal, they were less than 0.2s off the pole time. I think Red Bull can be a proper force to be reckoned with in the 2nd half of this season.

        1. @todford I hope so would spice up the season nicely. Hoping Max can spring a win today.

    7. Excuses excuses. Maybe Hartley was just faster.

    Comments are closed.