Toyoharu Tanabe was ecstatic to see Pierre Gasly finish fourth in the Bahrain Grand Prix for Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda, the best result for a Honda-powered car since they made their return to Formula 1 ahead of the 2015 season.
Throughout their three years with the McLaren F1 Team, the best results were a trio of fifth places for Fernando Alonso, but in just their second outing with Toro Rosso, Honda has taken a fourth place finish with Gasly, who earned extra praise from Honda’s F1 Technical Director for his performance throughout the weekend at the Bahrain International Circuit.
And although the result wasn’t there for Brendon Hartley, Tanabe was also happy that the New Zealander was able to show good pace in Bahrain, and overall it was a satisfying weekend for Honda in the desert.
“It was a very exciting race and it is satisfying to have seen both our cars perform well to take the chequered flag,” said Tanabe. “Special congratulations must go to Pierre who drove brilliantly all weekend to finish fourth, to give Honda it’s highest finish since we returned to Formula 1 in 2015.
“Brendon drove very well to fight back from a 10 second penalty, but unfortunately it was enough to drop him out of the points.”
Tanabe was delighted to see the fightback the whole team made in Bahrain after the disappointments they had in the Australian Grand Prix last month, and the first points of the season are just reward for their efforts.
“In the two weeks since our difficulties at the Australian Grand Prix, everyone in the team, at the track and back in the UK and Japan, has worked very hard and this nice result is a well-deserved reward for all our efforts,” said Tanabe.
“We feel we have made some progress, improving our reliability and it is also clear that the aero updates introduced here worked really well. We can enjoy this moment for a few hours, but as from tomorrow, it’s time to focus on the next round in Shanghai.”