Honda‘s F1 Technical Director Toyoharu Tanabe says the Japanese engine manufacturer must work on improving its performance as soon as possible, after leaving the Canadian Grand Prix with three Honda-powered cars in the points – but not in high scoring positions.
Both Red Bull Racing drivers of Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly managed to secure points for the Milton Keynes based team, in a weekend of damage limitation for Verstappen after getting knocked out in Qualifying 2. The Dutch driver was able to recover to a fifth place finish behind Mercedes AMG Motorsports’ Valtteri Bottas. Gasly achieved his best qualifying of the season with fifth place, but fell back in the race with an eighth place result.
The Toro Rosso Honda‘s leave Canada with mixed feelings as Daniil Kvyat clinched a point with tenth place, capturing it by passing McLaren‘s Carlos Sainz Jr. in the final laps of the Grand Prix. Alexander Albon‘s race was ruined after a Turn 1 opening lap collision with an Alfa Romeo Racing and Racing Point car, losing his front wing in the process.
Albon was able to bring his car back into the pits for a new front wing and repairs. but the damage was done as Albon struggled to recover ground. He would retire from the race on Lap 59.
Honda showed initial promise in the early stages of the weekend with Verstappen setting the fourth fastest time whilst the Toro Rosso pair were among-st in the midfield. But the race proved to be a challenge as Honda overall with three cars in the points, only collected 15 points, equaling Renault who got both of their work team cars into the high end of the points with sixth and seventh place.
Reflecting on the weekend in Montréal, Tanabe says that Honda must work on improving their performance as soon as possible, with two back-to-back races coming up at Paul Ricard and at the Red Bull Ring.
“We leave Canada having got three cars in the points, but in every case not as high up as we would have liked, after a difficult qualifying on Saturday,” commented Tanabe.
“Daniil never gave up fighting and claimed his point for tenth right at the very end. As for Alex, he was unlucky to be involved in a first lap collision which meant he had to pit to change the nose and there was nothing much he could do from there.
“We must work to improve in order to perform better as soon as possible, given that we are now coming to our first back-to-back races in France and Austria.”