Bahrain Grand Prix – Honda have confirmed that Toro Rosso’s Brendon Hartley and Pierre Gasly will receive new turbochargers and MGU-H components for the second round of the season.
Toro Rosso’s power unit suppliers have reacted to Pierre Gasly’s Australian Grand Prix retirement by modifying the design of the turbocharger and the MGU-H (Motor Generator Unit – Heat).
Gasly’s retirement on lap thirteen of the season opener was caused by an issue with the turbocharger and the MGU-H, which in turn damaged the internal combustion engine.
With the number of complete power units used over a season reduced from four to three for this season, this has already increased Toro Rosso’s chances of incurring grid penalties later on in the year.
Grid penalties are handed out if more than three of any of the power unit elements is required during the season.
Speaking ahead of the race in Bahrain, Honda F1 technical director Toyoharu Tanabe explained that both Toro Rosso’s will take the new power unit component designs as a precaution.
“During the race in Australia, we had an issue with the MGU-H and turbocharger on Pierre’s car and this had the knock-on effect of also damaging the ICE (internal combustion engine.)
“Therefore, in Bahrain, Pierre will use a new ICE, MGU-H and turbocharger. The MGU-H and turbo have both been modified, in light of what we learned in the first race.
“Given the problems we encountered in Melbourne, we have decided, as a precautionary measure, to also change the MGU-H and turbocharger on Brendon’s car, fitting the new modified components.
Tanabe added that Honda believed the decision to change the components would benefit the long-term performance of the power unit.
“Replacing components for the second race is obviously a difficult decision and not ideal, given that the number of Power Units and ancillary components is now limited to just three per season, however we believe this is the right way forward and we will continue our development in order to ensure the same issue does not reoccur.
“Although Sakhir is a tough track for the PU, we hope to move on from this difficult moment, as we focus on this race and those that follow.”