Toro Rosso Honda’s Pierre Gasly secures Honda’s best result since their return to Formula One
A thrilling Bahrain Grand Prix brought a significant amount of points for Toro Rosso Honda as Pierre continued his strong weekend performance into the race and finished just one place outside the podium positions in fourth.
Having started from fifth on the grid, Pierre made a strong start and was promoted to fourth when Daniel Ricciardo retired on the second lap. From there the car and power unit ran smoothly throughout, with a two-stop strategy seeing him pull away from the cars behind and secure 12 points, the best result for Honda since returning to Formula 1 in 2015. Brendon also showed competitive pace but a 10-second time penalty for a collision on the opening lap dropped him down the order, and a good recovery saw him cross the line in 13th place, less than 10 seconds outside the points. He was later relegated to 17th due to a formation lap error.
TOYOHARU TANABE – TECHNICAL DIRECTOR, HONDA F1
It was a very exciting race and it is satisfying to have seen both our cars perform well to take the chequered flag. Special congratulations must go to Pierre who drove brilliantly all weekend to finish 4th, to give Honda it’s highest finish since we returned to Formula 1 in 2015.
Brendon drove very well to fight back from a 10 second penalty, but unfortunately it was enough to drop him out of the points.
In the two weeks since our difficulties at the Australian Grand Prix, everyone in the team, at the track and back in the UK and Japan, has worked very hard and this nice result is a well-deserved reward for all our efforts. We feel we have made some progress, improving our reliability and it is also clear that the aero updates introduced here worked really well. We can enjoy this moment for a few hours, but as from tomorrow, it’s time to focus on the next round in Shanghai.
BRENDON HARTLEY #HAR28
An amazing day for Toro Rosso but a disappointing day for me. I had a good start and first couple of corners but had a small contact with Perez in Turn 4.
This not only damaged my front wing for the remainder of the race but I was also given a 10 second time penalty. We had the pace to be comfortably in the points without the penalty so it was a bit frustrating. A big thanks to all at Toro Rosso and at Honda, it has been an amazing turn around since Melbourne which bodes well for the next few races.
PIERRE GASLY #GAS10
Unbelievable, what an incredible day! The second race of the season with Toro Rosso and Honda, and we finish P4. It’s just amazing, I’m so happy!
A big thanks to the team because the car was fantastic! I had a nice fight with Magnussen and the pace was really good. I saw unfortunately both Red Bull cars had to stop, then after Raikkonen retired the team told me we had the opportunity to finish P4, so I gave everything to the end. The car has been fantastic since the beginning of the weekend, today I could just push flat out and the pace was great because I managed to pull away from the Haas. I need a bit of time to let this sink in, but we will definitely enjoy it with the team tonight! The start of the race was mega – I managed to overtake Ricciardo in Turn 1 which was great, after that it got a bit tricky when Magnussen overtook me in Turn 1, I knew I had to overtake him straight back because I would lose time and it would be difficult to catch him afterwards. Once I passed, I managed to keep him behind and push flat out while I was trying to manage the tyres, which we did pretty well. I think the pace was great so I’m just super happy.