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Gasly plays down Red Bull power loss in free practice

Australian Grand Prix – A power loss problem in one of the Red Bull cars was revealed to be a quick fix, according to Pierre Gasly.

The Frenchman reported a loss of power in the closing stages of the second free practice session ahead of the Australian Grand Prix, causing concern that bigger issues may hamper Honda.

However, the Red Bull debutante confirmed later on that the problem was related to a sensor, and therefore easily-fixable.

“On the engine side, we had a small loss of power on the last lap and after some checks, it turned out to be a minor sensor issue,” confirmed Gasly.

Honda F1’s technical director Toyoharu Tanabe was also quick to dismiss the problem as a “minor issue” ahead of the power unit supplier’s first race with the Red Bull senior team.

“At the end of FP2, we spotted something on Pierre’s PU which we investigated. It was a minor issue and has no effect on the rest of the weekend.”

Power unit problems aside, Gasly added that his first free practice outing for Red Bull was a successful one, with the 23-year-old driving for the first time since a big crash during testing in Barcelona.

“It was great to be back on track for the first Free Practice of the season, and my first Friday at the track with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing was a special moment for me.

“It was a positive day, we tested a lot of things and my feeling in the car is getting better lap after lap. There’s still work to be done but we’re pretty happy with the package.

“We didn’t have any expectations today, as after testing it’s difficult to have a real idea of the pace of others. We managed to find some good direction for FP2 and I felt better in the car than I did in FP1. Let’s see what we can do tomorrow.”

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Luke Murphy

As an FIA-accredited motor sport journalist, degree-level Motorsport Engineer and amateur karter, Luke's passion for motor sport is evident. He is one of the editors at FormulaSpy and one of the longest-standing members of the team.

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