Honda say new engine "performing as expected" despite qualifying performance

22-06-2019 18:04
by Nicolás Quarles van Ufford
Honda say new engine performing as expected despite qualifying performance

Honda technical director Toyoharu Tanabe has said he's happy with the way the new, upgraded Spec 3 engine is running for both Red Bull Racing as well as Toro Rosso, even though Max Verstappen was over a second slower than pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton.

Three of the four Honda-powered cars were fitted with the new engine, with Alexander Albon's car being the only one still running the old spec.

Star driver Verstappen was well over a second slower than Hamilton in P1, and just about beat McLaren rookie Lando Norris in P5 by nine-thousandths of a second. For Pierre Gasly it was a worse day as the Frenchman only qualified ninth for Red Bull at his home race, with Albon following suit in P11 and Daniil Kvyat starting in P19 because of a grid penalty.

"Since Friday, we have made progress with our overall package and Max’s fourth place on the grid is a good result," Tanabe said post-qualifying.

"Albon missed out on Q3 by a very small margin but eleventh is a good place to start, with a free choice of tyre.

"So far, our first weekend running the Spec 3 Power Unit has gone smoothly and it is performing as we expected. We must now look at the data, as usual, to prepare for tomorrow’s race."

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