Honda F1 Technical Director, Toyoharu Tanabe, felt the German Grand Prix was turned on its head by the arrival of rain on Sunday, and it allowed Brendon Hartley to return to the points for the first time since the Azerbaijan Grand Prix at the end of April.
Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda has had a troubled start to the season, with only three points finishes in the opening ten races, but Hartley made it four at the Hockenheimring by staying out of trouble and driving well when the track was at its trickiest, although team-mate Pierre Gasly had a much more difficult afternoon.
Gasly made a gamble on running the Full Wet tyre when the rain began to fall but returned to the pits three laps later to return to slicks as the promised harder rain failed to materialise, but Tanabe was pleased to see both cars finish the race without any mechanical issues or gremlins.
“The arrival of rain changed the story of this race,” said Tanabe. “It was good to see both our cars take the chequered flag.
“Brendon did a good job to work his way up from sixteenth on the grid into tenth place, to pick up a well deserved point.”
Tanabe admits that the recent races have shown weaknesses in both the team and engine, but with the Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend, it gives them an immediate opportunity to try and turn their form around.
“However, as we now look ahead to next week’s Hungarian Grand Prix, we know that we have not been competitive in the past few races and we have to work hard to improve our overall performance,” insists Tanabe.