Honda Evaluating their Options as Hartley Edges Closer to Grid Penalty


Brendon Hartley - Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda
Credit: David Ramos/Getty Images

Honda technical director Toyoharu Tanabe says the Japanese engine manufacturer are looking into their options after Brendon Hartley moved closer to a grid penalty following another engine change during the Spanish Grand Prix weekend.

The New Zealander crashed heavily during final practice at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya when he touched the grass entering turn nine and hit the barriers, with the car missing Qualifying as a result of the damage, but his Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda mechanics were forced into a change of his engine.

Hartley started the race with a new internal combustion engine, MGU-H, MGU-K, turbocharger, control electronics and energy store, as well as a new gearbox, but with it being his third MGU-H and turbo of the season, any further changes to them will force the two-time FIA World Endurance Championship champion to take a grid penalty.

Honda will look at the damaged unit to see if there is anything salvageable from it, but Tanabe says they will work with Toro Rosso on how to manage the situation and where to make tactical changes to the power unit, although with major updates being brought to the Canadian Grand Prix, their hand may be forced and Hartley might be forced to take a penalty there.

“We are thinking to make some options,” said Tanabe to Motorsport.com. “We will check the crashed power unit, but it looks like big damage.

“So, Honda will make options on the power unit side, and then we can work with the team on how we can manage the situation.

“Also, we don’t know [what will happen] in the next race!”