Pierre Gasly has underlined the passion driving Honda's determination to be a success in Formula 1 once again, having recounted how missing out on a few tenths in qualifying at Suzuka last year drove one member of the Japanese marque's team close to tears.
Honda will supply both Red Bull and Toro Rosso in 2019, having enjoyed a revival of some sorts with the junior team last year after three dismal seasons with McLaren.
Highlights of Toro Rosso's 2018 included Gasly's fourth-place finish in Bahrain – Honda's best result since returning to F1 – and a strong qualifying display in Suzuka, where Gasly was seventh on the grid, with teammate Brendon Hartley making the third row a place ahead.
Although celebrations were in order, Gasly recounted how trackside engineer Keisuke Minatoya wasn't quite in the party mood.
"In Suzuka in qualifying we were seventh, but should have been P6 or P5," he is quoted by Racefans. "I was losing three-tenths in the straight and I came to see him after quali.
"I was a bit disappointed even though it was a good result. [But] he was almost crying because he didn't manage to give me the full potential of the engine.
"When you see the people you work with so involved in the performance that's always great to see."
Honda made a clear step up when it introduced its spec-three power nit in Japan last year, but an earlier upgrade, introduced in Canada, did not have as much of an impact.
Gasly says that varying results from changes in machinery are to be expected.
He said: "The development I would say is never consistent.
"Sometimes you don't find anything for eight months and then suddenly they try something on the dyno that works and you get four-tenths suddenly. It's not like a consistent development."
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