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Gasly: Verstappen will adapt quickly to Honda engine

  • Published on 17 Oct 2018 12:32
  • comments 7
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Pierre Gasly believes that his 2019 teammate Max Verstappen will quickly adapt to the Honda power unit next year. Honda will join up with Red Bull as its engine supplier for the 2019 season after spending 2018 with its junior squad, Toro Rosso.

Gasly will join the energy drink squad to replace Daniel Ricciardo, who announced in August that he will be off to Renault for 2019. Gasly, who made his Formula 1 debut just over twelve months ago, will bring knowledge of Honda power with him, having spent the current season running with the Japanese manufacturer.

Honda spent three tough years with McLaren before 2018, and things are looking more positive for the company now. Verstappen, who is yet to drive the Honda power unit, should get the hang of the engine is five or six laps according to Gasly.

In terms of driving, I think Max [Verstappen] will be used to Honda after five, maximum six, laps. The feeling. The response that you feel inside the car. The driveability. All these things. When you are as good as he is in Formula One you do not need much time to that feeling.

“It is more about the way that I have learnt to communicate and work with Honda. It is a different culture. The Japanese culture is very different to the culture in Europe. The way that they work is slightly different and you need to get used to this. This will be a clear advantage for me. But inside the car I do not expect him to take more that five or six laps to get used to it.”

Gasly's partnership with Honda goes back to 2017 when he drove a Honda-powered Team Mugen car in Super Formula: “Super Formula was a great year for me on the track and personally, too,” he said.

“The Japanese have a lot of respect and you really need to understand that. It is all about respect. You can not tell them that they are doing something wrong or that they do it in the wrong way. You must explain it and find a way to lead them to where you want them to go.

“You can not be as straight forward as you can be in Europe with English, French or Italian speakers. You really need to objective with them and find a nice way to explain things. For sure, when you go head to head with them things will turn out in a pretty bad way.”

Replies (7)

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  • Less talking more walking, if you please. If I would walk 500 miles, surely you can too?

    • + 0
    • Oct 17 2018 - 12:53
    • As for Japanese being touchy: I cant say that has applied to the ones I've met. Im a pretty straight forward yet nice fella (shut I am), but I havent really noticed such traits. Though it probably varies.

      • + 0
      • Oct 17 2018 - 13:33
  • blade

    Posts: 341

    Hmm, Ive experienced what Gasly is saying in a corporate environment, 'face' to the Japanese is everything, you cannot ride rough shod and expect motivation or extra determination - it doesn't work like that. What a sensible chap Gasly is - he's impressing me ahead of his big debut in the top team.

    • + 0
    • Oct 17 2018 - 18:05
  • “The Japanese have a lot of respect and you really need to understand that. It is all about respect. You can not tell them that they are doing something wrong or that they do it in the wrong way. You must explain it and find a way to lead them to where you want them to go.

    “You can not be as straight forward as you can be in Europe with English, French or Italian speakers. You really need to objective with them and find a nice way to explain things. For sure, when you go head to head with them things will turn out in a pretty bad way.”

    If Pierre is right, it might be one of the main reasons why Honda has embarrassed itself since they came back to F1. Someone giving honest feedback or correction is no disrespect, it's part of the damn job. Sugar coating is a waste of time when the results are measured in thousands of a second. Although in defense of the Japanese, I sense that this is more a current Honda thing rather than a Japanese thing.

    • + 0
    • Oct 17 2018 - 23:45
    • boudy

      Posts: 1,160

      Part of being successful in F1 is to make all parties pull the same way. There is an direct way of communicating in the Netherlands also another major part of the dutch methodology is being able to get the most of out of people. They are negotiators, so from that point there is less of an issue with Verstappens attitude. The cultural differences between all parties only becomes an issue when the result don't go their way. So if Honda build a PU that is close enough and beats Renault you will not see any issues.

      Honda will absolutely love Verstappen since he is one of the best F1 drivers around and I can only see positives coming from the Redbull/Honda combination. Next year in Japan they will all be rooting for Redbull.

      With regards to Gasly, it will be interesting to see how he will survive against Verstappen. There has not been one teammate in his whole career that is fundamentally faster than him. I doubt very much that Gasly will be that person. Close enough will be good for him.

      • + 0
      • Oct 18 2018 - 15:53
    • @Boudy good points, mostly agree. Although, keep in mind that good communication is prerequisite to building a 'good' anything. Sure, nobody complains when they are successful, but you don't get there by being overly sensitive to criticism and having to walk on egg-shells to avoid offense.

      Regarding Pierre Gasly, I think he will be relegated to a solid #2 driver within 5 races.

      • + 0
      • Oct 18 2018 - 17:23
    • Expect funny Red Bull hats for next year's GP at Suzuka. ;)

      • + 0
      • Oct 18 2018 - 17:23
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