A crash on the opening lap of the Canadian F1 Grand Prix has Brendon Hartley wondering ‘what-if’. While trying to pass Williams F1 driver Lance Stroll, it appeared that a combinatin of not enough room and Stroll under-steering has sent both cars into the wall.
“I’m really disappointed for Toro Rosso and Honda, because we’ve been quite strong all weekend with a good update from the power unit,” commented Hartley (STR13-03, Car 28). “I think we definitely had the pace to challenge for points today. I had a good start, similar to the drivers around me, but I got left a bit on the outside of Turn 2 which lost me a position.
“I got a good run on Lance out of Turn 4 on the outside, but he lost the car which put us both into the wall. It’s very disappointing as there was room to make the overtake, and I was looking forward to a strong race. It’s a frustrating way to end the Canadian Grand Prix as I’ve been really happy with my performance all weekend. I was delayed getting back to the circuit because I was flown to the hospital for precautionary checks. However, I’m definitely fit, healthy, and ready for the next race.”
“This was not our race weekend… our problems started in qualifying with a change of power unit on Pierre’s car, and as a result he had to start from the back of the grid,” said Franz Tost (Team Principal). “Pierre drove a good race today, but unfortunately he was not in the position to score points and finished 11th in the end. After having a good start to the weekend, it’s a shame Brendon retired on the first lap of the race after he was pushed into the wall by Stroll. I think we can get more out of our package than we were able to show today, and I’m confident that we can have a better performance in the upcoming race weekend in France.”
“Overall, I think it was a really good race for me,” commented Pierre Gasly (STR13-05, Car 10) who finished in 11th. “We managed to make up many positions after starting from the back row, but it’s always tough when you finish so close to the points! I was pretty close to Charles a couple of times, then I damaged my front tyres so in the end it became difficult to pass.
“The new power unit seems to work well… we overtook multiple cars on the straight, so it looks promising for the upcoming races. Honda worked very hard to bring the upgrade to Canada and they did a fantastic job! Now we need to put everything together and find some consistency, because the next race is my home Grand Prix in Le Castellet – I’m really excited to go racing there!”
“A weekend of positives and negatives: on the positive side, the PU updates we brought here delivered a noticeable increase in performance, which is a good sign for the next stage of the season,” said Toyoharu Tanabe (Honda F1 Technical Director). “On the negative side, we had a reliability issue on Pierre’s PU on Saturday and Brendon’s race was very short.
“However, Pierre had a strong race from the back of the grid and now we will focus on ensuring both drivers can perform well, starting with Pierre’s home race in two weeks’ time in France.”