Pierre Gasly admits he is “really excited” by the prospect of Honda’s first performance upgrade of the season at the Canadian Grand Prix.
Honda joined Toro Rosso as power unit partner over the winter and the team’s drivers were warned to expect a difficult start to the season before performance steps were introduced. Despite that conservative outlook, Gasly was able to finish fourth in Bahrain and brought home more points with seventh in Monaco last weekend.
Asked if he has been told what to expect from the Honda upgrade at this point, Gasly replied: “Not really. I’ll wait until FP1 to see exactly on the computer what the difference is. I’ve learned in Formula 1 it is better to wait and see until you put on the new part, because sometimes it doesn’t work as well as you expect. Sometimes it works better. That’s why I want to see.
“It can only go in the right direction, I think. Really excited about this upgrade. I think we did a good step this weekend — Monaco is a special track, but I hope we can carry that pace in the coming races.”
Having been buoyed by the performance in Monaco — Toro Rosso’s third point-scoring result in six races — Gasly admits the more power-sensitive track in Montreal is likely to provide a bigger test for Toro Rosso and Honda.
“If we can start a bit better it will be even better. Monaco is a special track so we need to be careful. In Canada it will be a first for me and apparently it is quite a challenging track as well. It is a much longer straight in Canada than Monaco, so we will have to see how it works with the upgrade but if we can have a similar car to what we had last weekend it will be great.”
Gasly’s teammate Brendon Hartley is also hopeful there will be a notable difference with the upgrade, adding: “I don’t know exact numbers; I think it’s better you ask someone from Honda or Toro Rosso [but] I think it’s meant to be a sizeable step.”