Honda engine cleared after power loss
Red Bull have been given the all-clear by Honda after Pierre Gasly’s engine suffered a loss of power in FP2.
Just as the chequered flag was waved, Gasly slowed dramatically at the penultimate corner of Albert Park, quickly going on the radio to report a loss of power, with an alarming noise bellowing from the RB15.
The Frenchman, who finished behind Max Verstappen in both sessions, was able to crawl back to the pits.
After an inspection, Honda confirmed there was an unspecified issue with the power unit, but that it wouldn’t impact upon Red Bull’s running on Saturday.
Speaking via Motorsport.com, Gasly said: “There was a small loss of power on the last lap, so we decided to pit to look into it.
“It was a positive day, I did what was possible with the car, but there is still work to be done.
“I think we saw Mercedes is fast, as we expected, and at the moment we try to focus on the package and how to make the best out of it.”
Pretty happy with our first day. The balance of the car is good, we did a lot of laps and our pace is fine. We will #KeepPushing to improve 🇦🇺 #AusGP pic.twitter.com/fhGBRKQlsM
— Max Verstappen (@Max33Verstappen) March 15, 2019
Verstappen also spoke of a need for the team to improve, despite finishing just 0.193s shy of the pace-setter Lewis Hamilton in FP1.
“I think we saw Mercedes is fast, as we expected, and at the moment we try to focus on the package and how to make the best out of it,” he explained.
“We can only look at ourselves and for sure we have things to improve.
“I think everyone has: it is the first day. It has been alright. Mercedes looks very quick. We have lots of work to do and will analyse a lot.
“From the engine side, no problems. It ran very smoothly and it was good. We will find out more tomorrow.”
Asked if he believed Ferrari were sandbagging in FP2, Verstappen said: “I don’t know. You should ask them! I don’t have an answer for them. We just focus on ourselves and we still have work to do.”
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