Toro Rosso: Honda has 'big plan' to prove its F1 engine is 'proper'

Toro Rosso driver Pierre Gasly says Honda has a "big, big plan" for development in 2018 that is designed to "show everyone they can do proper engines" in Formula 1

Toro Rosso: Honda has 'big plan' to prove its F1 engine is 'proper'

Honda has now entered its fourth season of F1 under the current V6 hybrid turbo rules, but has yet to record a single result better than the pair of fifths Fernando Alonso's McLaren-Honda took in 2016.

After switching to Toro Rosso for 2018, Honda enjoyed encouraging reliability in pre-season testing, but failed to escape Q1 with either car in the first race of the season in Australia.

In the race, Gasly retired with an MGU-H failure, while team-mate Brendon Hartley finished a lapped 15th and last of the classified runners.

Although the performance level is low at present, Gasly said Honda has plenty in the pipeline to improve its package and is determined to prove to the doubters it can compete properly at this level.

"On their side they are pushing flat out because they really want to show everyone they can do proper engines," said Gasly, who admitted Toro Rosso does not yet know Honda's exact schedule for engine upgrades.

"And in terms of the development already they are pushing flat out and we can see some really positive progress.

"We are pushing to have as many upgrades as we can, but of course we know we only have three engines so we need to see exactly when is the best time to bring them.

"It's all going well, but we also need to give them [Honda] time because it's Formula 1 - they are all pushing: Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault, they are all pushing and improving all the time.

"For sure they [Honda] cannot recover everything in only three or four months, but in terms of medium to long-term collaboration I think they have a big, big plan ahead, and at the moment they are doing the right things and really pushing hard."

Hartley believes an "aggressive" development strategy will allow STR-Honda to rapidly close the deficit to the rest of the midfield now the team's focus is no longer solely on integrating the new engine into the car and learning how Honda works.

"A lot of the resources, energy, over the winter months were [spent on] integrating the new Honda powerplant and starting this new relationship," Hartley explained.

"The strategy going forward over the next six months is aggressive and everyone in the team is pushing very hard. I'm very optimistic for the remainder of the season."

Gasly also thinks Toro Rosso will become naturally more competitive on slower-speed circuits than Melbourne.

"Haas is way too fast; Renault as well - we're fighting with the Williams and Force India," he said.

"Maybe in other conditions or cooler conditions it will be different.

"We know our car is really good in low-speed, so there will be tracks which suit our car a bit better.

"We need to wait and see the other races, but we have potential to fight."

shares
comments
F1's passing 'force field' already being addressed - Ross Brawn
Previous article

F1's passing 'force field' already being addressed - Ross Brawn

Next article

Current F1 cars making overtaking more difficult - Daniel Ricciardo

Current F1 cars making overtaking more difficult - Daniel Ricciardo
Why Mercedes believes it can make the step F1 needs to fight Red Bull Plus

Why Mercedes believes it can make the step F1 needs to fight Red Bull

The 2022 Formula 1 season was Mercedes' leanest for a decade, achieving just a solitary pole and grand prix win. Yet the team is confident it has got the tools it needs to cast that disappointment aside and return to the front of the field again next year

How BRM's one-off F1 double defied its rollercoaster history Plus

How BRM's one-off F1 double defied its rollercoaster history

It’s 60 years since BRM achieved its goal and Graham Hill led the team to a world title double. But that was just part of the remarkable story of a unique team that at times overstretched its resources and had its fair share of disappointments

Formula 1
Dec 8, 2022
The bold F1 DRS experiment that could end the debate forever Plus

The bold F1 DRS experiment that could end the debate forever

OPINION: The effectiveness of DRS in Formula 1 remains a topic of debate as the winter break gives a chance for reflection on the racing we saw in 2022. For all of its detractors, perhaps an experiment where DRS is cast aside and the impact this has on racing is in order to truly understand its merits in modern F1

Formula 1
Dec 8, 2022
The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche Plus

The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche

OPINION: Everything looked set for Red Bull and Porsche to join forces for the 2026 season, before the marriage between both parties was called off. While at the time it looked like a major coup for Formula 1 in gaining both VW Group powerhouses Audi and Porsche for 2026, Red Bull and Porsche have really been spared a potentially fractious relationship.

Formula 1
Dec 7, 2022
How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive Plus

How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive

Glory days for Tyrrell became increasingly infrequent
 after Jackie Stewart’s retirement. But in the latest instalment of his history of the team for Autosport's sister title GP Racing, 
MAURICE HAMILTON recalls how Ken Tyrrell’s plucky and defiantly small team stayed bold enough to innovate – springing a surprise with F1’s first six-wheeled car

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2022
The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start Plus

The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start

While it launched the F1 career 
of a future world champion, STUART CODLING recalls that the BT60 was also the final nail in the coffin of a once-great marque 30 years ago. Here is its story

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2022
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Plus

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Autosport in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Plus

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022