Both Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley will experience early changes to Honda engine components in race two of the 2018 Formula 1 season after the Japanese manufacturer discovered a mechanical problem in Australia.
Gasly saw that his Australian Grand Prix ended after just 13 laps due to an MGU-H failure that also damaged his internal combustion engine and turbocharger.
After analyzing the problem, Honda’s new F1 technical director Toyoharu Tanabe has confirmed that the French driver in Bahrain will move on to his second elements of all three components while his teammate Hartley will also take new MGU-H and turbo parts as a “precautionary measure” . .
“In Bahrain, Pierre will be using a new ICE, MGU-H and turbocharger,” said Tanabe. “The MGU-H and the Turbo have both been modified based on what we learned in the first race.
“In view of the problems we encountered in Melbourne, we made a precautionary decision to also change the MGU-H and the turbocharger on Brendon’s car and to install the new modified components.”
Due to the stricter rules for F1 engine components for 2018, drivers are only allowed to see a maximum of three engines, MGU-Hs and turbochargers (and only two MGU-Ks, energy storage and controlled electronics) that effectively see Toro Rosso throughout the season. Honda consumed a third of its components in just one race in the 21-lap campaign.
Tanabe accepted that it was a difficult task given the possible consequences later in the season with possible net penalties for exceeding the allowable number of engine components, but believed the change was crucial to avoid repetitions of mechanical errors at the Grand Prix Avoid Bahrain.
“Replacing components for race two is obviously a difficult decision and not ideal,” he said. “However, we believe this is the way to go and we will continue our development to make sure the same problem doesn’t happen again.”
Honda began its new F1 partnership with Toro Rosso early in the 2018 season after parting ways with McLaren after three years of underperformance and unreliability.