Honda appear to have resolved their reliability gremlins, for the most part, having run the “same power unit” throughout the second pre-season test.
Although Honda spent the past three seasons being berated, and at times mocked, for their reliability woes, those appear to be a thing of the past in their new relationship with Toro Rosso.
Brendon Hartley and Pierre Gasly ran almost completely trouble-free in the second of the two pre-season tests with only an engine “anomaly” late on Day Four curtailing their running.
That's pre-season testing finished for 2018! A solid final day with 156 laps completed and a best time of 1:18.949 ✅
Next stop: Melbourne!
— Toro Rosso (@ToroRosso) March 9, 2018
“We used the same power unit throughout test two,” said Honda’s new F1 technical director Toyoharu Tanabe.
“Therefore, it was disappointing that we spotted an anomaly on the data from our PU towards the end of the session and decided to stop running, as there would not have been enough time to investigate the situation fully and send the car out again.
“Overall, the results of winter testing have been satisfactory, as we managed to get through nearly all items on our programme, thus acquiring plenty of valuable data.
“Equally important, it was our first eight days of working at a race track together with Toro Rosso.
“Our relationship has been very open and honest and communication has been effective between all of us.
“It’s only testing, but it has been an ideal start and now we look forward to racing together in Melbourne.”
Gasly posted Honda’s best time in testing, a 1:18.363 on the hypersoft tyres, which put him seventh on the overall timesheet.
Meanwhile, Toro Rosso tech boss James Key was happy with Honda’s new faultless run in Spain.
“They really have only run one engine for the entirety of test two,” he said.
“It’s run pretty much faultlessly throughout, other than a minor issue towards the end of the test where we stopped the car as a precaution to have a look at the issue in more detail and not take any risks.
“Given we were close to the completion of our programme anyway, we felt it was better to spend some time on that, but otherwise everything with them has run faultlessly.”