Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso, Circuit de Catalunya, 2018

Gasly persuaded Toro Rosso bosses to get Honda upgrade for race

2018 Canadian Grand Prix

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Pierre Gasly said he lobbied Toro Rosso and Honda hard to make sure he got the upgraded power unit for the Canadian Grand Prix.

Both Toro Rosso drivers ran the new hardware at the beginning of the weekend. But Gasly had to switch back to the old unit for qualifying after a Honda detected a loss of power on his unit during practice.

He failed to make the cut for Q2 and qualified 16th. Team mate Brendon Hartley, with the new engine, took 12th on the grid.

Gasly said he urged senior management at Toro Rosso to put another new engine in his car for the race, even though it would mean taking a penalty.

“I pushed everyone. I pushed with Franz [Tost], I pushed with Jonathan [Eddolls, chief race engineer], I pushed with [Toyoharu] Tanabe [Honda technical director], I pushed everyone.

“I said I want the new engine in the car because otherwise it would just be a difficult race. Better to take the penalty here. We have more chances to finish in the points and also for France it’s better because we don’t start so far [back].”

Gasly said the decision to use the new engine was vindicated by his result in the race, where he finished one place outside the points.

“I pushed massively to get the penalty,” he said. “We started in 19th, recover eight positions. [With] the other one [we] would have just been starting P16 and [have] a difficult race from there.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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12 comments on “Gasly persuaded Toro Rosso bosses to get Honda upgrade for race”

  1. Some good long term thinking there.

  2. Good and ballsy move by a driver. And it paid of quite well (no points though).

    When I saw the starting grid is when I realized that he’d only lost 3 places with that penalty (of which two were Williams, hence easily overtaken), so it was a smart move.

    1. *paid off, gah.

  3. This guy is starting to show some real star quality. Lets get someone decent in the second seat to draw some meaningful comparisons, Weihrlein on loan would be ideal.

    1. Huh? Hartley is decent without doubt. A quality WEC driver and fast. He is very much today’s Webber, not a lightning fast super special talent but a solid and decent driver with good abilities. Webber also had bad luck in a lot of races early in his F1 career. If Gasly can continue to soundly beat Hartley he should be prime for a promotion to a Red Bull seat if Ricciardo leaves or sold off to another team like Sainz was.

      There is no need to compare him with anyone else.

      1. TR doesn’t seem to agree with you there, as they’ve made it clear they’re looking for a replacement for Hartley.

    2. Looking at the video on Youtube, it seems to me there was very little Hartley could have done to avoid being collected by Stroll.

  4. Gasly is pretty good at self-promotion too.

    1. Nailed that. I don’t think he’d have been as influential in that decision as he claims.

      1. @gabf1
        Yeah. Looking at the performance of Brendon in qualifying, it was only logical for him to ask for the new engine. He knew he would have one less car to overtake after Romain’s car smoked.
        Nothing out of the world here.

    2. @ajpennypacker – put alongside his “Now we can race” comment in Bahrain, it does paint the picture of a confident driver, and one who wants to make his mark. I do agree with you, Gabriel and Nitzo that he’s probably upselling his role in that decision.

      1. Well, actually he just says he lobbyed hard, which is probably true. No where he says that the change would have been made anyway!
        Let’s face it: Honda and TR would not be worth being on the grid if they had not changed that engine. In my opinion it was a no-brainer.

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