There was a top ten finish for toro rosso honda at the end of a chaotic german grand prix hit by rain and incidents. After pierre qualified in 16th place, we decided to change all elements of the power unit, with the exception of those linked to the battery, for tactical reasons, meaning he started from the back of the grid. That promoted brendon to 16th, and he stayed clear of trouble to move into points contention as rain hit late in the race. After a safety car period, brendon battled well to cross the line in 11th place, staying close behind carlos sainz in the knowledge the renault had a time penalty that promoted brendon to tenth place for his second point-scoring result of the season. On pierre’s side of the garage, after starting from the back, a gamble to fit full rain tyres when the wet weather hit failed to pay off and after just a couple of laps, he had to pit again for slick tyres when the rain eased. He eventually finished 14th.
1. Lewis Hamilton
2. Valtteri Bottas
3. Kimi Raikkonen
4. Max Verstappen
Red Bull Racing: +7.654
10. Brendon Hartley
Toro Rosso-Honda: +34.197
14. Pierre Gasly
Toro Rosso-Honda: +1lap
1. Mercedes: 310
2. Ferrari: 302
3. Red Bull Racing: 211
4. Renault: 80
5. Force India: 59
8. Toro Rosso-Honda: 20
1. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes: 188
2. Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari: 171
3. Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari: 131
4. Valtteri Bottas – Mercedes: 122
14. Pierre Gasly – Toro Rosso-Honda: 18
19. Brendon Hartley – Toro Rosso-Honda: 2
Technical Director, Honda F1
The arrival of rain changed the story of this race. It was good to see both our cars take the chequered flag. Brendon did a good job to work his way up from sixteenth on the grid into tenth place, to pick up a well deserved point. However, as we now look ahead to next week’s Hungarian Grand Prix, we know that we have not been competitive in the past few races and we have to work hard to improve our overall performance.
I’m happy with how today went. I lost some time behind the Williams at the beginning but I had some fun battles out there. We definitely had good pace on the harder compound tyre, but I struggled at the end when I moved on to the Ultrasoft. I was disappointed to lose a place to Grosjean but he had a lot more pace than me. I kept it clean and we made the right call to brave it and stay out when the rain came. The team and myself had great communication during the changing conditions and in the end it paid off. I also used some of my experience from endurance racing to help make the call, so I’m really happy with the race I did and to bring home one point.
We knew it was going to be difficult today starting from the back because of the tactical engine penalty, so, as we didn’t have much to lose we could be bold with our strategy. The weather made things very tricky and we were unlucky gambling on our strategy when we pitted for the wet tyres as we expected more rain, but the track wasn’t wet enough and the heavier rain didn’t come. As the wet tyre began to overheat on the dry track, we were forced to make an additional stop to go back to the Ultrasofts. This didn’t help but we had to take the risk. It just didn’t work today, so we will reset and focus on next week in Budapest.