The race at Australia’s Albert Park last weekend proved to be interesting with a controversial safety car condition which arguably stole the race win from Lewis Hamilton
Results have been surprising for every team but no real conclusions can be drawn since it’s the opening of season and cars would be amended every now and the. However, maybe the ‘Honda curse’ still exists
The Honda engine in past has shown their unreliability with McLaren cars often resulting in a break down.
In 2015, Jenson Button’s car was lapped not once but twice!
It was in Monaco where Jenson managed to get some points for McLaren and just when things were getting a bit better with both drivers managing a point at Hungary, McLaren was handed a record-breaking 105 grid place penalty! 50 for Alonso and 55 for Button and subsequent enough McLaren finished 9th that year.
In 2016, the Honda engine again was at its ‘characteristic best’ breaking down at Bahrain with Jenson Button stranded just after 8 laps.
Things got better at Sochi as McLaren drivers ended up within points. In 2016 alone, the McLaren Honda saw 9 retirements out of 21 races and scoring in just 13 out of 21 races. McLaren finished with 76 points that year
2017 also ended up in a similar pattern, McLaren could just manage 30 points and finished 9th in the constructor’s championship.
13 times McLaren had to end the race courtesy Honda engine with just 8 times in 20 races scoring points.
Evident enough everyone thought that Honda won’t find a buyer and the Honda market would end but Toro Rosso decided to partner with Honda as they many believed that Honda would improve with all the data they would have collected from McLaren and evidently enough Honda did improve showing surprising results at testing with the kiwi Brendon Hartley doing 93 laps on the first day of testing.
At the end of testing, Toro Rosso amassed 822 laps which was a great relief for Honda as the Japanese giant had faced reliability problems in past.
However, on the Australian GP weekend, the Toro Rosso finished 16th(Brendon) and 20th place(Gasly). In the race, Gasly retired facing an engine problem again putting a question mark on the reliability of Honda.
After the race, an agitated Pierre Gasly said, “For sure I’m not going to lie, it’s a pain in the ass to have it but that’s how it is and everyone will try to just make it as smooth as possible for the next races,”
Despite having a not so good start at Australian GP, Toro Rosso is still optimistic about coming races.