Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2018

Gasly gets new Honda power unit for race but will take penalties

2018 Canadian Grand Prix

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Honda has confirmed it is changing the power unit on Pierre Gasly’s Toro Rosso for a second time this weekend, which means he will incur grid penalties.

Gasly has already used the maximum allocation of all six power unit components: three engines, turbochargers, and MGU-Hs, and two MGU-Ks, energy stores and control electronics.

Yesterday Honda noticed a loss of power on Gasly’s new-specification unit during practice, which led them to replace it for his previous engine ahead of qualifying. He failed to progress beyond Q1, qualifying 16th.

“Having reverted back to the older [power unit] on Gasly’s car before qualifying, we are changing it for another unit prior to today’s race,” Honda announced on social media.

“The team based this decision on his grid position and future [power unit] allocation plans. Penalties mean he starts at the back of the grid.”

Gasly later revealed he will switch back to a new specification unit for the race. He said yesterday he wanted the upgraded unit back in his car “as soon as possible”.

Information from the FIA later confirmed Gasly has taken a new engine, turbocharger, MGU-H and MGU-K.

Team mate Brendon Hartley, who was able to use the new unit during qualifying, said he expects it to give a greater benefit in the race than it did in qualifying.

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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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  • 9 comments on “Gasly gets new Honda power unit for race but will take penalties”

    1. Good choice to take the first hit now as it isn’t going to make much difference to his starting grid spot but also a good decision concerning the remainder of the season.

      1. Yes, I agree, although they’re going to have to take another hit in around 7 Grand Prix’s time (assuming the reliability has improved). Gasly’s come across as a very capable driver, so this gives him a better chance of finishing in the points.
        I guess the question arises of “Can they repair the engine they intended to run this weekend?”.

        1. Yes, I agree, although they’re going to have to take another hit in around 7 Grand Prix’s time (assuming the reliability has improved)

          Considering that it took them slightly less than 7 races to go through the complete allocation of 3 components, they need to improve their reliability at least by a factor of three to take that hit in 7 races’ time …

          1. Ha ha! Yes, true! They do have their current “old – new” engine though, that might still be repairable.

    2. I wonder if big brother the RBR team had a say in this decision, so as to better evaluate the newer spec Honda PU in Gasly’s hands, seeing as Helmut Marko is happy with him.

      1. @phylyp, in that case, wouldn’t it have made more sense to have also run a new engine in qualifying if that engine was available (and, since they are now able to fit one into his car, presumably that engine was available to begin with)? After all, surely you would want to see how that engine performed across all phases of the race weekend, including qualifying, if that was the rationale behind fitting that new engine?

        1. maybe it wasn’t available for qualy.

        2. @anon – that’s a fair counter. It could have been a decision made only subsequently, or, as @faulty has said, the additional new-spec engine wasn’t ready to be installed at that point in time.

          It just seems like a double whammy to have done what they did – which is to let him qualify on the older engine, and then push him back a further 4 spots with an engine swap. Either they have a lot of confidence that with this engine he can make up those 4 places (the Williams should be easy pickings, though) as well as any other positions he might have gained starting 16th, or there is a more strategic decision behind it.

    3. Wonder what the odds were on Honda being the first manufacturer to incur engine penalties? :p

    Comments are closed.