F1 Grand Prix winner Pierre Gasly has commended Honda for their 2021 engine, saying that the Japanese manufacturer has definitely made a step forward over the winter.
The AlphaTauri team were one of the biggest surprises of the preseason test. Not only did they accumulate the joint highest number of laps over the course of the three days, but their rookie driver Yuki Tsunoda set the second-fastest time of the test finishing a mere .093 of a second behind Red Bull's Max Verstappen. Gasly credits the efforts of Honda for the team's amazing performance.
"It is a step forward compared to last year and the reliability is perfect," Gasly told F1TV.
"After three days we are already a lot better than last year around this time in Barcelona, after just as many days and I am very happy.
"We know who will be fast and where we still need to improve. I hope we will find the answers in the coming days before we start racing here. I hope we can compete for good points."
Gasly however remains cautious about his expectations, especially given the fact that Mercedes has been the benchmark in the V6 turbo-hybrid era.
"Mercedes also has a very strong engine, they have shown that with McLaren and Williams," Gasly continued.
"They have a lot of potential, in two weeks' time, we know exactly how the relationships are."
Despite his wary approach, the Frenchman was still optimistic with the way the preseason transpired.
"We were able to complete our entire program and we have a good idea of what kind of car we have," Gasly explained.
"What we need to improve and where we are strong. It was a very positive test."