Pierre Gasly believes Honda has done “a really good job over the winter” with its power unit after completing the highest mileage on the final day of the first pre-season test in Barcelona.
Honda is supplying two teams for the first time since returning to Formula 1 in 2015, adding Red Bull to the deal it already had with junior team Toro Rosso. Gasly drove for the latter last season before making the move up to Red Bull this year, and after completing 146 laps on Thursday he says the signs during the first test have been positive.
“I think it’s really good,” Gasly said. “Looking at Toro Rosso, they have been really fast with the Honda engine and we are happy with it as well. There is still some work to be done but I think Honda did a really good job over the winter. Still a few things to come next week but the first four days have been really good.
“This is only my second pre-season test, but last year was pretty smooth and this one was pretty smooth. I managed to do a lot of laps in the car, which is important to me, get used to it and get comfortable as well with my new engineer and do some productive work for the team.
“So far we managed this good work and now we have to analyze all the data from this week, stayed focused, do a lot more work for next week and try to be as ready as possible for Melbourne.”
Gasly finished day four in 11th place on the timing screens, 1.3 seconds slower than pace-setter Nico Hulkenberg in part due to using a harder tire compound. The Frenchman says that position does not tell the full story of his feeling within the car, and is confident in the RB15’s potential.
“It was a really productive day — we managed 146 laps, a lot of long runs, a lot of tests done for the team. Overall, the overall feeling for the car is really good even if it doesn’t show it on the lap times — we are testing and we know what we’re doing, so I’m pretty happy and there a lot more tests coming next week.”