For the current Formula 1 weekend, a lot of attention was paid to Honda. In the design chosen for the second race weekend at the Bahrain circuit, the power of the engines is crucial. The Japanese, however, were able to measure up well with Red Bull and AlphaTauri in free practice sessions.
The differences between the riders were minimal in training, so it was an exciting qualifying session. Japanese technical director Toyoharu Tanabe also saw this. “As expected, the gaps were very small. Max Verstappen lost his pole position at Red Bull in 0.05 seconds, so it’s disappointing of course.”
However, it is still a great achievement on this track to finish third so short of Mercedes. “Apart from being disappointed that we lost the pole position, it’s a great result for Verstappen, which means we can expect a good race on Sunday,” says the Honda man.
Both AlphaTauri riders also left a good impression, with Albon disappointed with twelfth place. Daniil Kvyat drove very well and finished sixth, and Pierre Gasly finished ninth. He may have had some damage to the car, ”Tanab defends.
“Albon has just lost Q3 in the group of drivers who were very close,” he looks back, even though the Japanese believe Albon has an advantage over the men in the top ten. “He has a free choice of tires, so he can have a strategic advantage during the race.”
All in all, Honda is ready for the special race in Bahrain. “It will be the longest in terms of the number of rounds. 87 rounds, so it’s hard to estimate what to expect. In any case, we’re well prepared for the different situations and strategies we may face. Getting started and managing poorly will be the biggest challenge for teams on Sunday,” Tanab said.
Romain Grosjean survived a horrific accident at the Bahrain GP. Max Verstappen was not surprised by Alexander Albon and is putting pressure on the Red Bulls. This and more on RacingNews365’s F1 podcast with host Tom Coronel, Ruud Dimmers and Thomas van Groningen, which can be heard below.