Pierre Gasly says suffering an MGU-H component failure at the 2018 Formula 1 season opener in Australia will be a “pain in the ass” later in the year for Toro Rosso Honda due to the component number cut down.

The French driver completed just 13 laps before suffering an MGU-H breakdown during the first race of the season as Honda’s unreliability returned after a flawless pre-season testing.

Gasly says the team were braced for these issues but still vented his frustration at his first breakdown coming in the opening race after completing hundreds of laps without issue in testing in Spain and in practice and qualifying in Australia.

The Toro Rosso driver pinned his annoyance on the 2018 F1 regulations rather than the breakdown as he is already bracing for future grid penalties having seen one of permitted three MGU-H units for the whole season suffer an issue with 20 races to come.

“It’s a pain in the ass to have it but that’s how it is and everyone will try to just make it as smooth as possible for the next races,” Gasly said. “I think the regulation is tough for everyone. Testing went well with no issues at all so it was looking very good, so it’s just a shame that we faced it now.

“I would rather have it on the last day of testing and then come here with no issues. For sure it’s not going to be easy, it means probably at some point we will have a penalty.

“We knew that it was the sort of situation we could face but of course after the testing we were optimistic. I think we should stay optimistic about the season because as we had one issue now it isn’t mean we’re going to have one every race weekend. The main thing is we just need to understand exactly what caused the issue.”

 

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