Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso, Suzuka, 2018

Gasly didn’t have full power in qualifying

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In the round-up: Pierre Gasly believes he could have qualified fifth had he been able to use his engine to its fullest.

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What they say

Gasly qualified seventh, one place behind team mate Brendon Hartley:

I feel for the team it’s unbelievable. Best qualifying of the season for Toro Rosso and Honda and to do it at Suzuka is the best time of the year. I’m really happy for that.

I’m just a bit disappointed because fifth was possible. With the issues we had in [second and third practice] I couldn’t run the engine as aggressive as Brendon. Two or three tenths on my fastest lap which is more or less the gap that we miss compared to Grosjean.

So fifth was possible, we should have been best of the rest which is always nice from the driver point of view. But still seventh is the second or third best qualifying of the season for me so I’m still happy.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Was Ferrari’s Q3 strategy a gamble worth taking?

Everyone’s acting like Ferrari were incompetent here but both cars on intermediates was still the right call.

Had the rain came in that couple of minutes they would have locked out the front row, and being 50 points down in the championship rolling the dice on the contrary strategy is preferable to matching the Mercedes and likely accepting third and fourth anyway
Pat Ruadh (@Fullcoursecaution)

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On this day in F1

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13 comments on “Gasly didn’t have full power in qualifying”

  1. The only reason everybody is talking about Ferrari’s tire choice, is because Vettel bottled it. Again!
    Kimi is fourth, and there would have been no fuss if Vettel was fourth, which, judging by their speed in practice, is pretty much as good as they could have hoped for. 3rd place perhaps at best, if Kimi would have qualified behind Vettel.

    1. Agreed.

      Really, the only mistake Ferrari made -now I’ve had chance to consider it- was to keep them out for a timed lap. The slow lap out would have been enough to tell if the track was wet enough for intermediates and to see how the other cars -especially the Mercs- were doing.

      That mistake was compounded by Vettel staying out for an extra lap when they brought Kimi in. Do we know yet if that was his decision or the teams?

    2. I agree too Biggsy, I don’t think the idea was bad at all. And even as it went it gave Ferrari the chance to run a lap. But not if your lead driver cracks under the pressure.

  2. I am very angry. It is not the first time that these mistakes have occurred.

    I don’t think Mr Arrivabene needed to go public with his frustrations, I think that was an internal matter. “The buck stops here”, or rather at his desk. From that article it seems as though there’s flaws in the decision making process, and that’s his responsibility. If he doesn’t like the decisions being made then he should change the process.

  3. While it is true that Gasly was 0.9mph slower through the speed trap than Hartley, it is also true that he was 0.4mph faster than Verstappen, these sort of differences are often due to setup variations. It’s a sad commentary on the state of our sport when a driver takes every opportunity to kick his teammate when he is down or in this case has just gotten up, now where did I put my 1960’s rose tinted specs?

    1. Also funny to me how we hear Honda has made a huge step @hohum, while one of the cars wasn’t even able to run the engine at full power, and both ended up the race quite a few places below where they finished.

      Yes, it does seem that Honda has made an engine that can be as good in the race as Renault, and their qualifying mode seems to be greatly superior of the one Renault finally got with the C-spec engine. But only when they actually work.

      1. @bascb, quite, it would be nice if the drivers could confine their comments to team gains/losses rather than me, me, me, but so much money and so little sportsmanship inevitably has become the norm.

  4. Yes, the COTD has a point in it, but still, I think it was an error to go out with the inters.

  5. I’m not buying any of the Honda / Toro Rosso / Gasly PR around this engine.

    Looking at the way it was introduced in Russia with just enough mileage to ‘run it in’ in the car, then taken out for supposed vibration reasons, then those problems are solved in less than a week, & suddenly they have two fast cars in Q3 – albeit with a little luck.

    I suspect this is a single race low mileage “Suzuka Special” engine designed to allow Honda to save some face in front of their home fans and senior management.
    Most likely we’ll see another engine change for Toro Rosso at the next round & they’ll be at the back of the grid again.

    1. Good argument, Dale.

    2. I can accept the argument of an upgrade for Suzuka, but it doesn’t seem logical to then revert to a weaker engine at the subsequent races.
      Pierre said the reason for the double retirement was problems with his and Brendon’s brakes.

    3. We’ll see how long this engine lasts – but I too remain sceptical about this engine being a solid and reliable upgrade.

    4. This point seems logical enough; considering 3 years of embarrassment in front of their home crowd. But Honda looks definitely promising this time around. With no more updates coming in next races, we can look whether they continue to run this spec for the remaining races as they are in sort of R&D mode now for next year.

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