It was a Friday to remember for Honda-powered teams as Red Bull and AlphaTauri saw all four of their drivers finish in the top 10.
Max Verstappen was the fastest of the four, along with the fastest driver on the F1 grid after topping the second free practice, while Yuki Tsunoda, Pierre Gasly and Sergio Perez finished seventh, ninth and 10th respectively. As a result Honda technical director Toyoharu Tanabe had nothing but good things to say about the start of the weekend.
"The first two sessions of the new season went reasonably smoothly and overall it was a good day for both our teams," Tanabe stated in a Honda press release. "We have the unusual situation of the first race taking place at the same circuit where we tested two weeks ago, so it was straightforward to establish a baseline for PU and chassis for the start of free practice.
"From an operational point of view, this was the first Friday with the two sessions reduced from 90 minutes each to 60 and we adapted our programme accordingly. However, we were still able to complete all the set-up programme we had scheduled for today. All four drivers did a good job with no mistakes."
The next test comes on Saturday with the first qualifying session of the season.
"Now, as usual, we will study all the data to optimise our settings prior to tomorrow’s first qualifying of the season and we hope we can perform well with both our teams," Tanabe concluded.