Toro Rosso 'excited' by Honda's progress with latest F1 engine upgrade

Toro Rosso Formula 1 driver Brendon Hartley says "everyone is quite excited about the step" Honda has made with its latest engine upgrade at the Russian Grand Prix

Toro Rosso 'excited' by Honda's progress with latest F1 engine upgrade

Honda has introduced an upgrade for the race at Sochi and while it has not disclosed much information it is known to be mainly around the internal combustion engine again.

Hartley's team-mate Pierre Gasly set the eighth-fastest time in free practice at a track where Honda has struggled in recent years.

"We definitely had a step in performance and it was a really, really promising day from Honda's point of view," said Hartley.

"I think everyone is quite excited about the step that Honda made today.

"Introducing a new PU [means] a lot of mapping and a lot of things to get under control.

"There were not so many dramas and we definitely had a performance gain."

Gasly was also complimentary of Honda's efforts, especially as the team ran the new power unit "quite safely" to avoid any problems.

"I know sometimes you bring updates and you put it on the car you don't really see the gains," Gasly said. "With Honda it's not the case.

"It's really positive. We need to see how much we can extract from it, reliability, driveability to see if everything is fine when we turn everything up, but for them it's a good step."

Honda's engine upgrade comes ahead of its home grand prix in Japan next week, which Gasly concedes will be more important.

The Russian GP has effectively been sacrificed by Toro Rosso as the engine upgrade means grid penalties, which also means Honda is unlikely to unleash its update's full performance in qualifying this weekend.

"We know that the main opportunity for us will be in Japan and the coming races," said Gasly.

"We looked at the last couple of [Sochi] races, last year there were five overtakes the whole race.

"We know it's going to be a pretty tough Sunday. Our main focus will be on Suzuka."

Toro Rosso has struggled for performance of late and its surge into the top 10 in Sochi practice is unexpected given it was weak in Singapore, where it had expected to be fast.

Gasly said the team's fluctuating fortunes meant that "honestly I have no surprises with F1" anymore.

"All the time you expect something and nothing goes to plan," he said. "Singapore was a big expectation for us and it was the worst weekend of the season.

"We came here excited with the upgrade just to see how it would work and also in need of answers after the tough weekend of Singapore, and so far we've got them.

"We need to keep in mind it's only Friday. Everyone turns the engine up on Saturday, especially the Ferrari and Mercedes powered teams, but it's a good step forward."

shares
comments
Esteban Ocon could get Force India F1 reserve role in 2019

Previous article

Esteban Ocon could get Force India F1 reserve role in 2019

Next article

Daniil Kvyat gets Formula 1 return for 2019 with Toro Rosso

Daniil Kvyat gets Formula 1 return for 2019 with Toro Rosso
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Honda Racing F1 Team , Toro Rosso
Author Scott Mitchell
The clues Hamilton’s F1 contract afterthought gives to his future Plus

The clues Hamilton’s F1 contract afterthought gives to his future

The Formula 1 world reacted with surprise when it learned Lewis Hamilton’s long-awaited new Mercedes deal guarantees his presence on the grid only until the end of 2021. Both parties claimed publicly they were happy with the arrangement but, asks MARK GALLAGHER, is there more to it than that?

How a harshly ejected Red Bull star has been hooked by racing again Plus

How a harshly ejected Red Bull star has been hooked by racing again

Driver-turned-DJ Jaime Alguersuari lost his love for motorsport when he was booted out of Formula 1 just as he was starting to polish his rough edges. Having drifted from category to category then turned his back on racing altogether in 2015, he’s come full circle and is planning a return in karts for fun

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola Plus

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola

While Mercedes struck back against Red Bull by topping the times at Imola on Friday ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the overall picture remains incredibly close. Despite having a possible edge this weekend, the reigning Formula 1 world champion squad is not taking anything for granted...

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021
What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track Plus

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track

Mercedes may find itself leading the drivers' and constructors' standings after Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, but it is well-aware that it came against the odds, with Red Bull clearly ahead on pace. Here's what the Brackley team must do to avoid its crown slipping

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021
Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent Plus

Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent

While Japan's fever for motor racing is well-documented, the country has yet to produce a Formula 1 superstar – but that could be about to change, says BEN EDWARDS

Formula 1
Apr 15, 2021
Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration Plus

Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration

For too long, F1's richest teams have justified being able to spend as much as they want because that's the way they've always conducted their business. STUART CODLING says that's no reason not to kick a bad habit

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Plus

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is not guaranteed

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition Plus

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition

In 2017 new F1 technical regulations were supposed to add drama - and peg Mercedes back. STUART CODLING looks at the car which, while troubled, set the stage for the wide-bodied Formula 1 era

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021