Gasly encouraged by Honda engine after first test
Gasly putting miles on the new RB15 during testing (Photo Credit: Pablo Guillen, Getty Images)

Gasly encouraged by Honda engine after first test

Pierre Gasly has praised Honda after completing an issue free test in Barcelona.

James Cowen

New Red Bull signing Pierre Gasly put in over 100 laps on his RB15 on Thursday, as the first test drew to a close in Spain.

Following a rocky partnership with Renault, Red Bull opted to make the switch to Honda power for 2019 alongside their junior outfit Toro Rosso.

The two teams completed a combined total of 957 laps during the first test, leaving Gasly encouraged by Honda’s performance so far.

He said: “Looking at Toro Rosso, they have been really fast with the Honda engine and we are happy with it as well.

“There is still some work to be done but I think Honda did a really good job over the winter. And there are still a few things to come next week but the first four days have been really good.”

Honda improve after McLaren years

Honda had endured three turbulent years with McLaren after returning to the sport in 2015, with the once great partnership ending at the end of 2017 following struggles with performance and reliability.

The Japanese manufacturer improved after joining forces with Toro Rosso for 2018, with the team able to pick up an impressive fourth place at Bahrain.

However, as the first test of 2019 concluded in Barcelona, Red Bull had not challenged the best lap times throughout the week, with Gasly only 11th fastest on Thursday.

Despite the times, the Frenchman added: “It was a really productive day, we managed 146 laps, a lot of long runs, a lot of tests done for the team.

“The overall feeling for the car is really good even if it doesn’t show it on the lap times. We are testing and we know what we’re doing so I’m pretty happy and there a lot more tests coming next week.”

Honda boss encouraged by engine

Honda Chief Toyoharu Tanabe was also impressed with the Honda engine this week, which for the first time in the hybrid era will power two cars in one season.

He said: “It was encouraging that we got through all our planned programme with both teams.

“As for today, everything went smoothly and we acquired a good amount of data. It’s the first time in the hybrid era that we are powering two teams and at this test, we learned a lot in terms of how to operate with them both.

“There were no major issues with the power units throughout this test. We will now spend the next few days analysing all the data we have acquired here, in order to move forward with development in the final four days of testing next week prior to the first race in Australia.”