Honda F1 Italian Grand-Prix qualifying

Honda F1 Italian Grand-Prix qualifying

07.09.2019: Alex will be the lead Honda-powered car on the grid at the Italian Grand Prix after a tricky qualifying session for both Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso at Monza.

Alex will be the lead Honda-powered car on the grid at the Italian Grand Prix after a tricky qualifying session for both Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso at Monza.
 



Max and Pierre were already set to start from the back of the grid as a result of fitting the Spec 4 power unit this weekend, but Max was hampered by a red flag during Q1 and on his next run he got excessive wheelspin going over a kerb with a resultant rise in engine revs, causing a Honda protection mode and then an FIA  system to cut in and reduce power. Both Toro Rosso drivers advanced to Q2, with Pierre being used to give Daniil a tow as the slipstream plays a major role in qualifying at the high-speed venue.



However, traffic hindered Daniil’s lap and he ended up dropping out in 13th place, with Pierre two positions further back in P15. Alex advanced safely into Q3 but was then caught out by a messy end to the session when a number of drivers backed off in order to try and avoid being the lead car without a slipstream. The slow pace on the out laps meant time ran out for most drivers to start their final laps leaving Alex starting from eighth on the grid having failed to set a time.
 
 


 
Toyoharu Tanabe
Technical Director, Honda Racing F1   



“As always in Monza, qualifying was exciting and very close, with teams using slipstreaming tactics to gain lap time. Kvyat was unable to get further than Q2, not getting a clean lap. Albon was unlucky in not setting a time before the red flag in Q3 and then, like many other drivers got caught out by the slow out lap and could not set a time on his second run. Max was unable to set a time in Q1, after he got excessive wheelspin going over a kerb with a resultant rise in engine revs, causing a Honda protection mode and then an FIA system to cut in and reduce power.



However, even before the start of the weekend, we knew that Verstappen and Gasly would be starting from the back of the grid, in order to switch to our Spec 4 PU. Overtaking is not too difficult at this track, so we expect all four of our cars to have a strong race tomorrow.”
 
 


 
Pierre Gasly
Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda    FP3 : 13th
Q1: 1'20.508
Q2: 1'21.125 pos. 15th


“It’s been a positive Saturday for us. As we have the penalty this weekend, we focussed on the long run this morning, trying to get a good read with the car on high fuel. However, we decided to give it a go in Qualifying to see what we had. I felt really good in the car and we were quite competitive, finishing ninth-quickest at the time.



In Q2 we fitted the used tyres from Q1 to get some laps in, as we knew we would start from the back of the grid. The car has been pretty good all weekend and we’ve shown good pace so, even with the penalty, I think we will have our chances in tomorrow’s race and I’m excited to see what we can do.”
 
 


Daniil Kvyat
Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda    FP3 : 10th
Q1: 1'20.723
Q2: 1'20.630 pos. 13th



“Unfortunately, today wasn’t representative of our true pace. On the last lap in Q2 we caught quite a few cars and it became quite messy. I had a lot of traffic on my lap, where cars ahead were making mistakes and aborting their runs, and even coping with that, I still almost made it to Q3. It’s a shame because I think we had Q3 within reach and we just made our life more difficult. We tried something different but it didn’t work, so it’s a good lesson for the future.



It’s not going to be easy but we will try as always to get into the points tomorrow. Our race pace didn’t look too bad yesterday and our package looks quite competitive here, so if we prepare well and have a race like we had in Spa we should hopefully be on for a good result, to make it up for today.”
 
 


Alexander Albon
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing    FP3 : 8th
Q1: 1'20.382
Q2: 1'20.021
Q3: DNF pos. 8th



“Although I’m still learning what the car needs to be really quick, it felt good before the final run in Q3. I was fighting for P4 or P5 on the grid but then we got the red flag and the lap was compromised. On the second lap it was more of a priority for us to put in a good time but the guys who had already done a lap could afford to be a bit slower. Everyone came out too late because no one wanted to be in front as we all wanted the slip steam and that created a delay. These cars have quite a lot of drag so getting a tow can gain you an extra two or three tenths which you need to get up the field.



I was trying to pass the other cars but because everyone was weaving down the straights to keep the tyre temperature up as we were going so slow, it got backed up and it became impossible to overtake. I realised by Turn 4 that it was going to be difficult to make it. When we all knew time was running out everyone suddenly picked up their pace, so we were almost flat out by the end of the lap. We should have taken less risk on the second run, but we were fighting for a top five position. It’s frustrating as getting a good position in qualifying would have made tomorrow’s race a lot easier but I had good pace yesterday so there is everything to fight for.”
 
 


Max Verstappen
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing    FP3 : 2nd
Q1: DNF pos. DNF



“Qualifying didn’t exactly go to plan. I wanted to go out and do one lap to see how competitive we were in Q1, even though we are starting at the back because of the penalty, but out of Turn 2 I felt a loss of power and we chose to abort the lap. I’m not worried about the power unit for tomorrow as we haven’t seen problems in the race before and the upgrade seems to be working well in terms of performance as you could see from our times in FP3.



In the dry it will be pretty tough tomorrow as the leaders should be able to pull away quickly in the first few laps and there are a lot of cars that look competitive around here. On a track where there aren’t many corners and the lap times are so similar it is harder to close that gap, but in the wet the differences are normally a bit bigger and then we can definitely move to the front. Rain tomorrow would give us a better chance but even in the dry we have a good race car so it should be fun and I’m aiming for the top five.”
 


 

 Honda Motor Co., photos Red Bull

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07.09.2019 / MaP

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