18 Feb 2019 ID: 161889

Honda Begins F1 Pre-season Testing

Honda Begins F1 Pre-season Testing

In preparation for the 2019 FIA* Formula One World Championship (F1TM), which gets underway with the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, on March 17, all ten F1 teams now have just 8 days of pre-season testing, starting from today February 18 to 21 and from February 26 to March 1. Testing takes place at Spain’s Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit.

This year, for the first time in the hybrid power era, Honda is partnering two teams, continuing with Red Bull Scuderia Toro Rosso and also supplying Aston Martin Red Bull Racing. In the short time since the end of last season, Honda has worked very hard to establish an expanded structure to deal with supplying two teams.

* FIA: Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile

Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda

■Franz Tost, Team Principal, Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda

“It was a great decision to move to Honda last year at the start of what we hope will be a very long relationship. Even in our first season together, the cooperation between us has been amazing. If there’s something you can’t buy in Formula One it’s time, and the step forward they made in just one year reflects the enormous commitment they put into the project with us. Taking into account the quality of the synergies with Red Bull Technology, the belief in our very high level of in-house technical knowledge, the impressive development trajectory Honda has shown so far, and our strong young driver pairing, make me feel confident we will put ourselves in a strong midfield position in the Championship.”

■Drivers

No.

Name

Age

Nationality

2018 Result

23

Alexander Albon

22

Thailand

F2
3rd

26

Daniil Kvyat

24

Russia

-

■Car: STR14

STR14 Launched ahead of 2019 season

 

Aston Martin Red Bull Racing

■Christian Horner, Team Principal, Aston Martin Red Bull Racing

“A change of engine supplier represents a significant shift for a team but we are excited and optimistic about the future. In Honda, we feel we have united with a partner whose passion for competition and the technical challenge of Formula One matches ours. It is extremely encouraging to see our designers and engineers working so collaboratively with Honda’s and there is a truly integrated approach between chassis and engine. There has been a colossal effort from both sides over the winter and progress has been made on all fronts. We also have the benefit of Red Bull Technology working with Honda and Toro Rosso on the drivetrain over the last 12 months, which has significantly aided the integration process. However, nobody stands still in Formula One and despite progress being made the real test comes when we measure ourselves against our opponents. We will get snapshots of performance during testing but we won’t really see how much progress has been made until two or three races into the season. The objective is to be more consistent across all circuit types and hopefully with more horsepower than last year, we will be able to reduce the gap to our rivals. If we can accomplish that then we know we have a team – at the track and at the factory – capable of delivering victories and ultimately championships. We do however have to be realistic about the immediate road ahead and we don’t expect overnight success – although I’d happily take it! There will be weekends of good progress but also, given the parameters of the engine rules, there will be times when we will encounter difficulties too. Nevertheless, we are confident that the enormous potential we see in this partnership will deliver consistent progress.”

■Drivers

No.

Name

Age

Nationality

2018 Result

10

Pierre Gasly

23

France

Formula One
15th

33

Max Verstappen

21

Holland

Formula One
4th

■Car: RB15

Honda Begins F1 Pre-season Testing

 

■Katsuhide Moriyama, Chief Officer for Brand and Communication Operations, Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

“The start of the Formula One season is just around the corner and today we begin the final part of our preparation, with the first of eight days of testing at the Barcelona circuit. Needless to say, this will be a very important year for Honda as we embark on our fifth season running under the current PU regulations.
Last year, we began a new partnership with Scuderia Toro Rosso, with whom we have established a very good relationship. We achieved some encouraging results, which demonstrates that we made good progress. However, last year also showed that there was still a gap between us and the top PU manufacturers, in terms of both reliability and performance. This year, we also start a new partnership with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing. They are one of the top teams and are multiple champions, therefore it’s natural that we feel we are under increased pressure. However, that will only inspire us to fight to do better and achieve stronger results with both the Red Bull teams. Our priority for this season is to close the gap to the front runners, with the target of helping both our teams to achieve better results than they did last year. Specifically in this test, we will be aiming to collect as much data as we can, to be as well prepared as possible for the first round in Australia in mid-March.
Finally, I wish to thank our fans for all their support, in the hope of giving them more good moments to celebrate this year. I want to assure them that we will be pushing as hard as we can.”

A daily testing report will be uploaded on the Honda F1 official website 
(https://en.hondaracingf1.com/.)

■2019 Formula One calendar

Rd. 1 March 17 Australia Melbourne
Rd. 2 March 31 Bahrain Sakhir
Rd. 3 April 14 China Shanghai
Rd. 4 April 28 Azerbaijan Baku
Rd. 5 May 12 Spain Barcelona
Rd. 6 May 26 Monaco Monte Carlo
Rd. 7 June 9 Canada Montreal
Rd. 8 June 23 France Le Castellet
Rd. 9 June 30 Austria Spielberg
Rd. 10 July 14 Great Britain Silverstone
Rd. 11 July 28 Germany Hockenheim
Rd. 12 August 4 Hungary Budapest
Rd. 13 September 1 Belgium Spa
Rd. 14 September 8 Italy Monza
Rd. 15 September 22 Singapore Singapore
Rd. 16 September 29 Russia Sochi
Rd. 17 October 13 Japan Suzuka
Rd. 18 October 27 Mexico Mexico City
Rd. 19 November 3 USA Austin
Rd. 20 November 17 Brazil Sao Paulo
Rd. 21 December 1 Abu Dhabi Yas Island
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