The prophecy that has been foretold (and very poorly kept as a secret) has been fulfilled. One highly talented Le Mans winner, Brendon Hartley, and one promising 2016 GP2 champ, Pierre Gasly, shall be Toro Rosso’s sacrifices to the Honda power unit demons. All hail the dark lord of engine woe!
Gasly and Hartley will continue driving for the Toro Rosso F1 team for all of 2018, the team announced today. It’s been a long time coming for Gasly, as Red Bull’s driver development program has been itching to move him up into an F1 drive for a while. Hartley, meanwhile, was a luckier grab, becoming available to F1 teams after Porsche closed their wildly successful World Endurance Championship team down.
Honda, I’m going to ask nicely. Please don’t suck next year. Both of these drivers are too interesting to be in an F1 car that’s only slightly less reliable than my Lemons hooptie. We’ve already had to suffer through multiple years of Fernando Alonso being the best driver in the most failure-prone car. We, the fans have suffered enough, and that’s not even getting into the drivers. Just figure out how to build a reliable engine next year, and don’t suck.
Toro Rosso clearly doesn’t enjoy having an unreliable power unit, either. The team’s ongoing divorce from Renault—that thing that had to happen in order for McLaren to rid themselves of Honda—is getting pretty nasty. Earlier this week, Toro Rosso accused Renault of holding them back with unreliable engine parts:
I’m sure this will all work out just fine if the Honda engines are as bad as they’ve been the past few years. Again: please? Please don’t suck.