Pierre Gasly says he expects the Honda power unit for next year to be more closer to rivals Mercedes and Ferrari when the Japanese engine supplier joins Aston Martin Red Bull Racing.
Red Bull will start their partnership with Honda next year, after ending their 12-year relationship with Renault. The pairing won drivers’ and constructors’ championships consecutively with Sebastian Vettel between 2010 and 2013.
But the switch from V8 engines to V6 Hybrids put Renault on the back foot and lost out to Mercedes, who have dominated the sport ever since. The relationship between Renault and Red Bull became intense, ceasing their partnership in 2018.
Red Bull’s sister team, Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda fielded the Honda engine in 2018 after the Japanese engine supplier was dumped by McLaren F1 Team after three unsuccessful years. McLaren took the Renault engine for the 2018 season.
Gasly competed 2018 with Toro Rosso and Honda and recorded the engine supplier’s best result to date since their return in 2015 with a fourth place at the Bahrain Grand Prix. The impressive results from Gasly against team-mate Brendon Hartley earned him a promotion to Red Bull after Daniel Ricciardo departs from the team for Renault next year. Gasly will be partnered with Max Verstappen.
In an interview with Sky Sports F1, Gasly was asked whether Honda can match the pace with the likes of Mercedes and Ferrari, the Frenchman replied: “Pretty close.”
“I really believe in this project and I can see how much work and dedication they are putting.
“I’m sure they are going to close it at some point.
“We just need to give them time but I’m sure with the experience of Red Bull, mixing these two really strong companies, they will come up with something really exciting for next year.”
Gasly and Honda have been partners before the 2018 season, having collaborated together during the 2017 Super Formula season in Japan.