Pierre Gasly, Red Bull, Shanghai International Circuit, 2019

Honda improving engine quickly enough to catch Ferrari – Gasly

2019 F1 season

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Honda is improving its power unit quickly enough to catch Ferrari despite the progress their Italian rivals have made since last year according to Pierre Gasly.

The Red Bull driver says Honda have made significant gains since he used their power units at Toro Rosso last year.

“We saw Ferrari is really strong especially in top speed, they still have some advantage over us,” he acknowledged when asked by RaceFans in Shanghai today. “But the gap compared to last year is a lot smaller.

“This is what we need to look at, and also the [chassis] development. I think the gap definitely is a lot smaller than last year and if they keep going like this for sure we’re going to catch them at some point. So we’re pretty happy with them.”

Red Bull has managed the transition to Honda power more smoothly than Toro Rosso did last year, Gasly added.

“I think so far it’s been quite impressive,” he said. “It doesn’t feel at all like it did the first year, the guys work together so all the signs are really positive whether it’s on performance, whether it’s on the relationship between the two.

“I think they’ve got a good development plan through the year. We know Honda is pushing massively they show some really good gains compared to last year. I think we are pleased with that and of course we keep pushing them to get even more but that’s what we should have for the rest of the year.”

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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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18 comments on “Honda improving engine quickly enough to catch Ferrari – Gasly”

  1. Gasly has been a bit underwhelming this year, but if he keeps developing like he says the PU and chassis are, then he could win a race this year.
    The problem is that Verstappen might be so far ahead that Gasly will find himself in a Russia-Bottas situation.

  2. Meanwhile, I just read Lewis stating that the rules make it almost impossible for Mercedes to improve it’s engine and catch up to Ferrari’s performance. So, if Honda can make substantial gains, why wouldn’t Mercedes?
    Lewis and his bubble life……

    1. just theorizing, but if you are on the peak of development its probably harder to make substantial gains compared to an engine that’s following in the development race.
      ie: to find 50 Bhp for Honda is probably simpler then 50Bhp for Mercedes who is at the peak of development.

      1. Then, if Lewis know what he is talking about, he should say that. State of the art material technology. Thermodynamics limitations, etc…don’t say it is because of the rules…..

        1. BlackJackFan
          12th April 2019, 2:36

          I’m not a HAM-fan… but neither am I a HAM-hater…
          If you can’t say anything good, sometimes it’s better to say nothing at all… ;-)

  3. Pierre this is complete nonsense and you know it. First you have to catch Mercedes and so far the Honda engine is reliable but not quick

  4. The data shows red bull have dropped further behind the top two teams so I’m unsure where all this performance is. Gasly got overtaken and finished behind a mclaren in the last race.

    1. @emu55

      The data shows red bull have dropped further behind the top two teams so I’m unsure where all this performance is.

      Didn’t you get the memo? They’re blaming their chassis now. Red Bull. Blaming their chassis.

      Gasly got overtaken and finished behind a mclaren in the last race.

      And Sainz was in the process of giving Verstappen the very same treatment, before that puncture stopped him.

      1. They were right in blaming their chassis – they actually found out what was wrong with it and fixed it, using the Bahrain testing days as confirmation.

        Before being shipped to Bahrain both cars were built up in the factory and some part in the suspension, apparently, had been mounted wrongly on both cars. This error made it impossible to properly set up the cars…

        Some mechanic is shaming his eyes out, but those things happen. It won’t happen again though, they’ll double check now.

        1. I sure hope you’re right, we need a competitive red bull, the one in bahrain wasn’t red bull for me, if you let ferrari challenge mercedes you get the bahrain result.

        2. No, in fact they admitted they got it wrong and they will not be able to match catch Ferrari this year.
          Maybe Newey isn’t the genius he is thought to be.

          1. mmmh your funny!

  5. Probably not fast enough for HIM to catch a Ferrari.

  6. Anybody found any estimate Horsepower outputs of the various PU’s for 2019?

    1. Nobody publishing that. But from this article, one would wonder now the order is:
      1. Ferrari
      2. Honda
      3. Mercedes
      4. Renault

      It’s Hamilton’s driving and Mercedes chassis that makes them looks impressive to masquerade their “weak 3rd best” engine on the grid, lol.

  7. GtisBetter (@)
    11th April 2019, 21:17

    I think someone showed Gasly only the first part of the non-lineair performance increase curve.

    1. If you zoom in on the screen enough – its all linear
      Thats what his engineer must have showed him

  8. He said at some point, but hasn’t specified the point. It well might be in 2022.

    Even if Honda catches earlier, it’s still going to take some time to get competitive on a regular basis. It’s nice to beat someone, but to be able to beat them regularly is a completely different level.

    In other words, the long-term character of a modern F1. What a charm. What a beauty. How unapproachable she is.

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