AlphaTauri and Pierre Gasly enjoyed great success at Formula 1 pre-season testing in Bahrain with the Frenchman commending the progress made by Honda over the winter break.
One of the standout performers of winter testing, AlphaTauri covered the most distance (422 laps), while rookie Yuki Tsunoda clocked the second-fastest time of the test just 0.093s off of pace-setter Max Verstappen.
Gasly was impressed by the progress made by Honda, who have brought forward their 2022 package, hailing a step forward in both performance and reliability.
“It is a step forward compared to last year and the reliability is perfect,” Gasly said to the media.
“After three days we are already a lot better than last year around this time in Barcelona, after just as many days and I am very happy.
“We know who will be fast and where we still need to improve. I hope we will find the answers in the coming days before we start racing here. I hope we can compete for good points.”
The acceleration of Honda’s development was a risk with overall performance thought to be prioritised over reliability. Whether there genuinely are no concerns with the reliability of the Honda power unit is tough to say after just three days of testing.
Gasly, the winner of the 2020 Italian Grand Prix, remains cautious in his approach to 2021, knowing well that Mercedes have been the benchmark in the V6 turbo-hybrid era since it’s conception.
“Mercedes also has a very strong engine, they have shown that with McLaren and Williams,” Gasly continued.
“They have a lot of potential, in two weeks’ time, we know exactly how the relationships are.”
However, confidence remains with Gasly and AlphaTauri in the midfield battle: “We were able to complete our entire program and we have a good idea of what kind of car we have. What we need to improve and where we are strong. It was a very positive test.”