Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda technical director James Key said that the 169-laps driver Pierre Gasly completed in Thursday’s testing session is a record for the team ‘in the Power Unit era’.
Gasly – who amassed three podium finishes at the track during his GP2 Series career – ran multiple compounds and a mixture of different runs on his final day in the car, before completing Thursday’s testing with pit stop practice.
This marked a ‘productive bit of work for Pierre’, who has only five race starts with the team to his name.
“It was good to do 169 laps today which was a lot of work for Pierre to cover and a lot of work for the team to get through,” said Key. “It also represents a record for us with a single day’s mileage in the Power Unit era.”
Commenting on the day’s running, Key said that whilst they struggled to find a balance on the soft tyres in the morning, the afternoon proved fruitful – and that they’re hoping to repeat the progress with Gasly’s team-mate Brendon Hartley in tomorrow’s final testing session.
“In the morning we struggled a little bit to find a balance that was working in the conditions we had and that’s something we need to look into a little bit further, but we managed to begin to pull that together during the afternoon,” said Key.
“We ran the softer compounds this morning, with a lower fuel level to try and give Pierre some short run practice. This afternoon we did a race run that was a little bit variable, so we went out again for a further long run on high fuel which was a good step forward with the balance of the car – that proved to be a productive bit of work for Pierre.
“We covered some shorter runs again towards the end of the day with an improved car balance from what we learned in the morning, finishing off with some live pit stops which, of course, is important for the crew as we head towards the start of the season.
“The final day for Pierre was as productive as we had hoped as we covered a lot of work and a lot of laps, and we learnt from what we tested. We look forward to repeating that tomorrow with Brendon.”