German Grand Prix – Red Bull have given permission to Honda to use Toro Rosso to test updates throughout the remainder of 2018, even if it means grid penalties for the junior team.
With Red Bull Racing dropping Renault power units in favour of Honda for 2019, the focus of the entire Red Bull motorsport division has switched to helping Honda improve their engines ahead of the Japanese manufacturer’s full scale supply to Red Bull Racing & Toro Rosso.
According to Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport, Dr. Helmut Marko has given permission to Honda to use Toro Rosso as guinea pigs for testing for the remainder of this season in order to give them as much time as possible to improve for next year: “Of course we leave the decision to Honda,”
“But if they find a tenth with the development, of course, they can try the expansion stage right in the race. Even if that means we’re taking penalties for it.”
Brendon Hartley has already taken grid penalties this year, due to the addition of extra power units to his pool for the year. He is currently on his sixth power unit, with only three permitted for the whole year. He is also on his fifth MGU-K (two permitted), and his fifth turbo (three permitted). Unless he can get to the end of the year without any further parts being needed, he will take further penalties.
Pierre Gasly is not much better off. He is on his fourth engine, fourth turbo, fourth MGU-H, and on his third MGU-K.
This move is likely to stymie any progress from P8 in the Constructor’s Championship.