Strong Performance from Toro Rosso Honda’s Pierre Gasly with an excellent 7th place Finish
Toro Rosso Honda left Monaco with six points to add to its tally and moved up a position in the constructors’ standings after a strong team performance. Starting from tenth place on a circuit that is difficult to overtake on, Pierre was well positioned to score but a strong first stint allowed him to gain further track position, and he moved up to seventh place when Fernando Alonso retired.
Armed with more good reliability – the team has now gone five races without power unit issues – Pierre attacked the ailing Esteban Ocon in the closing stages but was unable to find a way through and came home just 0.6s behind the Force India. Brendon made a good initial start but then suffered front wing damage on the opening lap, costing him valuable downforce. A strong recovery drive saw him running 11th in the closing stages and catching Carlos Sainz in the points, but Brendon was then the innocent party when Charles Leclerc ran into the back of him and took him out of the race with six laps remaining.
MANAGEMENT – TOYOHARU TANABE – TECHNICAL DIRECTOR, HONDA F1
In today’s race, we maintained the momentum that we had in yesterday’s qualifying and finished higher than our grid position with Gasly, which is always a good thing in Monaco. This was a very strong performance from the whole team, but most of the credit goes to Pierre, who drove a fantastic race.
“From the PU side, we were able to get our settings just right, including energy management and driveability specific for this unusual track. There’s not a lot more to add, except that we are pleased everything ran reliably yet again throughout the whole weekend.”
FRANZ TOST – TEAM PRINCIPLE, TORO ROSSO
First of all, congratulations to Red Bull Racing for this fantastic victory. Ricciardo deserved it more than anyone else, and I’m really happy for him and Red Bull winning this prestigious and important race here in Monaco. From Thursday onwards we were quite competitive, unfortunately, we did not get everything out of our package in qualifying, but what counts is the race.
“Pierre Gasly did a fantastic job finishing in seventh place, he controlled the race from the beginning onwards and he really took care of his tyres. Taking into consideration it was his first time here in Monaco in a Formula 1 car, he managed the tyres in a very professional way, therefore we could stay out with the Hypersoft so long. The strategy was also absolutely correct, calling him in very late which put him in 7th position. Brendon Hartley was close to scoring some points, but unfortunately, Leclerc crashed into his rear and he could not finish the race. We are now looking forward to Canada, where we expect a similar performance as we’ve had in Monaco.”
PIERRE GASLY – #GAS10
My first Monaco GP in Formula 1 and my second time in the points, honestly, it was an amazing race! Starting P10, we knew it could be difficult but the car was just so fast!
“I tried to be careful with the tyres from the beginning, and when I was alone on track I could just push flat out because I was feeling good with the car. We managed to exit after the pits in front of the others and I fought hard to keep Hulkenberg behind because we know that in Monaco it’s hard to pass. I just tried to stay focused and not to make any mistakes because in the end the tyres were quite used – it wasn’t easy but we managed to finish in P7. I’m just super happy!”
BRENDON HARTLEY – #HAR28
It was a tough race starting from 15th. I had a pretty good start, but I damaged my front wing on the first lap at Turn 5 which was annoying. It was an uphill battle from there, the tyres quickly faded with lack of front downforce, but we held on and made a big effort to make the Ultrasofts last until the end.
“We pitted really early to make an undercut which was a good strategy, and towards the end of the race I was catching Carlos for P10, but then I got hit from behind by a Sauber. Charles and I spoke afterwards and he said he lost the brakes, it’s pretty frustrating, but that’s Monaco. We were strong all weekend apart from Q1, where we didn’t get it all together. I was happy with how I was driving today but ultimately it wasn’t meant to be.”