Toro Rosso: A record for the power unit era for Honda

Toro Rosso report from the fourth day of preseason testing at Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona, ahead of the 2018 Formula 1 World Championship.

Pierre Gasly: “It was really satisfying to have done so many laps today! It’s only the second day for me at testing in the car so I was still learning many things about it and we still need to find the right directions to maximise the performance for Melbourne. It was really important for the team and also for myself to be able to learn so much! We’ll have to go through everything in the next couple of days before the second test, but it was a really positive day overall. I think the reliability of the engine is great -147 laps is more than double a race distance and we didn’t have any issues. Hopefully, we can carry on like this. I would say the first feeling with the car is positive – I’m happy with both the car and the engine. We should have a couple of new developments to test for next week, so it’s a process where we will try to improve the car day by day, to get ready as much as possible for the first race.”

James Key, Technical Director: “It was good to have some normal running today, although we had wet conditions to begin with which took a surprisingly long time to dry during the morning but then dried very quickly over lunch time. That allowed us to get some wet running with Pierre in the morning and do a little bit of work on the inter tyres, understand how those tyres were behaving and what setup implications there could be. We made some headway again on a few ideas on the car and Pierre seemed to be happy with the car in wet conditions. In the afternoon the plan was to try and catch up a little bit on the basic setup parameters that we wanted to study in preparation for next week. We worked through a programme of some basic tests and learnt some useful directions to pursue further next week. We finished off with a series of long runs that permitted us to get our first view of the car and tyres over a longer run and slightly better track conditions. In that respect, I think it’s been a good day and we’ll go into T02 now with some development items arriving and start getting into the details of the cars’ performance. Our mileage accumulation plans have general worked well and been useful for this week. I think it’s been an excellent test for Honda – they came here with a completely new engine after a lot of preparation work on their side, and on our side with them too. To come out of the test with no issues at all on the power unit side has been an excellent result and a situation we have never had during winter testing. With 147 laps today I think that’s a record for the power unit era for Honda – we have been testing for effectively only three days so this is an outstanding achievement.”

Toyoharu Tanabe, Honda F1 Technical Director: “The fourth day of this test started with a wet track, due to overnight rain. As the surface dried, we were able to switch to slick tyres around midday and with warmer temperatures, we were finally able to run in suitable conditions. By the end of the day, Pierre had completed 147 laps, making it a very productive session. In the dry, we were able to start work on finding the best settings for the PU, as well as continuing with function checks. We also completed some longer runs, which meant we could gather valuable data for race conditions. I am reasonably satisfied with the way Test 1 went, as we were able to complete most of our programme without having any issues. I feel we have taken a positive first step in this very important first test as Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda.

“We now have just a few days in which to further analyse our data in order to be as well prepared as possible for the final four days of winter testing.”