Toro Rosso Formula 1 drivers Brendon Hartley and Pierre Gasly are confident the brake issue that forced them both to retire early in Russia last weekend has been resolved ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix.
Both Hartley and Gasly suffered an issue with the brake calipers that caused the brakes on their STR13 cars to fail, leading to them spinning off the track early in the race before the cars were ultimately retired.
The team arrives in Japan for the home race of its engine supplier, Honda, hopeful of a strong showing, and both Hartley and Gasly are confident that the brake issues have been resolved ahead of the weekend at Suzuka.
“The caliper was stuck, overheated, boiled the brake system and then the pedal went to the floor eventually. Already from Lap 1, I had a long pedal,” Hartley explained.
“The fact that it happened on both cars makes it very easy for the cars to understand exactly what happened. It hasn’t happened all year. I think there was a certain spec on the car that was in terms of cooling maybe different for this race.
“I think they have a very good understanding why it happened. Start of the race, in traffic, heavy fuel - three or four things combined made the problem.
“I don’t think there’s any worry from anyone that they won’t resolve it for this race.”
Gasly added that a tweak has been made on the Brembo brakes system used by Toro Rosso ahead of Friday’s running at Suzuka to ensure there is no repeat of the incident.
“Since the beginning of the year, it was only in Sochi that we had this issue,” Gasly said.
“I think they found out what the problem was. They changed a little bit the system to make sure that we won’t feel this issue any more.
“I mean we never know, but I’m quite confident that this will be sorted for the weekend.”
C-SPEC ENGINE TO BOOST TORO ROSSO'S HOPES
Toro Rosso will head into the Suzuka race weekend hopeful of maximising the potential of the updated C-spec Honda engine, having shelved its usage following Friday's running in Russia.
The team has been without an engine update since Canada, and with its most fresh aerodynamic package in Austria failing, the C-spec engine comes as a much-needed boost for the team.
"We haven’t had an update for a long time. We did have an aero update which didn’t really work," Hartley said.
"We’ve definitely been waiting for an update on any description. I think the one from Honda is one that we’ve very excited about. We believe it will bring a good step in performance."