Pierre Gasly is a happy man heading to Paul Ricard. Preparing for his first F1 appearance on home soil, the young Frenchman will give his recently-introduced new-spec Honda power unit its second run out. And the recent progress made with Toro Rosso’s engine supplier suggests the future is also bright for sister team Red Bull...
Handed the fresh engine after qualifying last time out in Canada, Gasly bounced back from a late grid penalty to climb eight places to finish 11th. That display demonstrated the recent improvements made by Honda this season, who are looking to bounce back from a tough three-year spell with McLaren.
And it seems they’re on the right track, with the Japanese manufacturer announcing on Tuesday that they will power Red Bull from 2019 while continuing to supply Toro Rosso with the same specification power unit. It’s a partnership Gasly suggests could flourish, if his own performance in Montreal is anything to go by.
“Yeah it’s a really good step," he said of Honda's upgrades. "I think in terms of performance, it’s clearly a good help. We saw in Canada we were able to overtake cars – (including) Force India, (and) Haas. I think it is looking pretty good.
“It’s super tight in the midfield. At the moment we still need to progress. But we are improving in terms of consistency. We know if we put everything together we can fight in the top ten. If we don’t it’s a bit more difficult.