Toro Rosso Honda crosses finish line in top 10 position.

RACE REVIEW

There were more points for Toro Rosso Honda in the Belgian Grand Prix as Pierre followed up his sixth place in Hungary before the summer break with another top ten finish at Spa-Francorchamps. After a strong qualifying session left both cars well placed for the start of the race, the team opted to split strategies with Pierre starting on supersoft tyres and Brendon on softs. A chaotic opening lap saw both drivers do well to escape being caught up in incidents, allowing them to chase points after a Safety Car period. Pierre did well to keep Marcus Ericsson at bay in the fight for ninth before Brendon then ran long before his pit stop and had a close fight with the Sauber, swapping places along the Kemmel Straight on a number of occasions. Pierre could then maintain the gap until the flag to pick up two points, while Brendon came home in 14th after making his stop. From a power unit point of view the team demonstrated progress after the experience of Baku, as it was able to race hard with its rivals on the long flat-out run to Les Combes.


RACE RESULTS

1. Sebastian Vettel

Ferrari: 1:23:34.476

2. Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes: +11.061

3. Max Verstappen

Red Bull Racing:  +31.372

4. Valtteri Bottas

Mercedes: +1:03.605

9. Pierre Gasly

Toro Rosso-Honda: +1:45.892

14.Brendon Hartley

Toro Rosso-Honda: +1Lap


TEAM VIEWPOINT

Management

Toyoharu Tanabe

Technical Director, Honda F1

We can be pleased to come away from the technically difficult Spa circuit with 2 points, as we had not expected it to suit our package very well. Pierre did a very good job and so did Brendon, who showed good pace, enjoying some good battles and overtakes. This result is down to good team work and, from our side, the fact the PUs ran reliably through all sessions. We now head to Monza, which is another major challenge for the power unit. It is also the home race for Scuderia Toro Rosso, which is further incentive to do well.

Drivers

Pierre Gasly 

#GAS10

I’m really happy to score points today! It was supposed to be a difficult weekend for us on a track like this, and to end up with two points is really positive. The race itself was actually quite calm for me, I started in 10th position and overtook Daniel and Kimi on the inside of Turn 1 which put me in eighth. A few laps later Valtteri passed me but we knew there wasn’t much we could do about that, so I just pushed as much as I could. In the end we finished in P9, so it’s really satisfying. The car felt great all weekend and Honda did a really good job, we definitely made the most out of our package this weekend. We will try and do the same in Monza in a few days, another track that on paper does not suit our car, but It’s our home race and I will give it all to get the best possible result.”

Brendon Hasley

#HAR28

I’m not happy with how today’s race went. I had a couple of good battles on track, but it wasn’t easy out there. I was right behind Daniel on the exit of Turn 1 which would have shaped up to be OK, but then he had contact with Kimi and he lost his wing. I got stuck behind and then both the Williams and a Sauber ended up passing me before Eau Rouge, so I lost out in the mix of the first corner scrap and my race wasn’t looking too good at that point. We went really long on our first stint to help the other car to consolidate a points finish, as we knew points were out of reach for me. We ran a different strategy to Pierre’s car and started on the harder compound which we knew would be tricky for Turn 1, but it made sense to split strategies. I’m happy as it’s a quick turnaround before Monza.