Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, Red Bull Ring, 2018

“Really fast” Saubers are a threat to Toro Rosso, warns Gasly

2018 F1 season

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Pierre Gasly is concerned Toro Rosso will be unable to contain the rising threat of Formula 1 rivals Sauber.

Toro Rosso has failed to score points in the last four races while Sauber has had four top 10 finishes. The two are separated by three points in the battle for eighth place.

“Sauber is really fast,” Gasly admitted. “I think it will be really difficult to keep them behind with the pace they have at the moment. They have a strong package.”

“I expect them to score consistently in the points now,” he added.

Gasly believes most of Sauber’s advantage comes from its Ferrari power unit, which Christian Horner rates as the best in F1 at present.

“I think in terms of chassis we are still ahead of them,” said Gasly. “But in terms of the [power unit] package they get from Ferrari, it just makes a huge difference with that.”

With the rest of the midfield so competitive this year, Gasly believes Toro Rosso will have to capitalise on circuits which play to its strengths. “The situation we are in at the moment we need to make sure that the opportunity like we saw in Bahrain and Monaco we are there to score points,” he said.

“In normal conditions at the moment we don’t have the package and the speed to fight there because Haas is really fast, Sauber now is really fast with the Ferrari engine, we saw Force India is doing well, Renault has a really strong package I think with the chassis and the PU.

“[Our] chassis is good but with the engine at the moment we lose too much time. We just need to be there. I think Budapest for example is a track where we could have an opportunity and just in these special places we need to make sure we do everything perfectly to get those few points if we have the possibility.”

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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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21 comments on ““Really fast” Saubers are a threat to Toro Rosso, warns Gasly”

  1. I think Toro Rosso need to concern themselves with avoiding DNFs more than outracing cars. If they’re on the track and running, they seem to be in the very capable midfield grouping, resulting in individual driver performances making the difference between points and not. However, if Honda continues to exhibit reliability issues (resulting in either DNFs/DNSs or penalties), then it’s a moot point whether Honda’s PU is a good as the Renault, or if Toro Rosso’s chassis is better than Sauber.

    1. @phylyp, it has to be said that Toro Rosso are not entirely blameless either, since their transmission system has also caused a few of those DNFs as well.

      It does seem interesting that, prior to Red Bull making their preliminary agreement with Honda, we saw how Toro Rosso were rather complimentary of Honda and the general spin was rather positive. Now, however, we are seeing a change in tone and noticeably more criticism from the Toro Rosso drivers, suggesting that perhaps they are being given more free reign to criticise Honda, or perhaps being encouraged to criticise them to place them under pressure to bring updates more quickly.

      1. we are seeing a change in tone and noticeably more criticism from the Toro Rosso drivers, suggesting that perhaps they are being given more free reign

        Doubt that. The Toro Rosdo drivers are under contract with Red Bull.

      2. Good point, anon, and I agree TR share some of the DNF blame.

        @coldfly – I think that’s what anon is alluding to – in his view, the master ship has probably given a bit of leeway to (or has instructed) the junior drivers to politely criticize Honda.

        1. @phylyp, that is indeed my interpretation – that now things look more settled between Honda and Red Bull, the drivers at Toro Rosso are being used to maintain pressure on Honda and have been allowed, or encouraged, to be more critical in public.

    2. I guess Torro Rosso / RedBull would be better served if Honda comes to track with an updated engine every third GP, even if they need to take the penalties. Development is what they really want, not the defence of points.

  2. Josh (@canadianjosh)
    14th July 2018, 14:10

    What Gasly means is really fast Leclerc.

    1. Vettel fan 17 (@)
      14th July 2018, 14:33


  3. Hmm, interesting pic.
    What’s that ‘pitot tube mount’ doing on the nose, right in front of the drivers head?
    A crash or failure and we could have another Massa incident..Halo sure ain’t going to stop it.

    1. Good to see that you’re so concerned, but the five travels at the same speed as the driver and no need to witty when it breaks

  4. Until now, it has really been a pleasure to watch this match Sauber + Vasseur + Leclerc.
    Keep up the good work! :)

  5. Alonso got hammered for complaining and this kid has raced a grand total of 8 races this year, has had far less issues than ALO, and feels obligated to tell the world that Honda need to step up their game as VES has done to Renault.

    This entitled generation doesn’t seem to understand there is no guarantee that they will be fortunate enough to drive a car capable of winning. They don’t seem to realize they are VERY fortunate to have a seat in F1 and drivers greater than them have been victims.

    It will be interesting to see how it goes with these brats if Honda keep delivering under powered engines. “We can fight” apparently was a bit premature.

  6. Roughly translated…

    This Leclerc bloke is making me look really slow…

  7. We are entering Alonso/Massa/Petrov 2010

    Eight years laters………

    EIGHT 8 YEARS later meanwhile Vettel Hamilton are smashing it…

    Alonso is still the best right? No one wants him except Andrew Benson.

    1. Proud_Asturian
      14th July 2018, 23:39

      This man gets it.

    2. Yes, he is still the best.
      Hamilton and Vettel beat 2nd tier teammates in machinery that was far superior to the rest of the field.
      Alonso beat Schuey twice for the WDC and is still recognized by his peers as one of the best ever. He consistently finishes races higher than expected.without damaging the hardware.
      You not liking him doesn’t change that.

  8. ” Renault has a really strong package I think with the chassis and the PU

    “[Our] chassis is good but with the engine at the moment we lose too much time

    I thought the Honda swap was supposed to be a good thing for Torro Rosso.

  9. Does Leclerc have a boosted engine in his Sauber, compared to Ericsson’s?

    1. According to Ericsson, the answer to that is yes.

  10. So sad, I used to love a shot like this, now all I see is stupid Halo.

Comments are closed.