Round 21 Abu-dhabi

  • Toro Rosso Honda came close to signing off the 2018 Formula 1 season with points in a challenging but competitive final race in Abu Dhabi.


YAS MARINA, Abu-dhabi, November 25, 2018

Toro Rosso Honda came close to signing off the 2018 Formula 1 season with points in a challenging but competitive final race in Abu Dhabi. Starting from 17th, Pierre made good progress at the start and had climbed into the top ten after his pit stop, chasing down the Haas drivers while running in tenth place. However, while pursuing those cars ahead, Pierre suffered an oil leak and was forced to retire with nine laps remaining. Investigations are ongoing to determine the cause of the leak.A major accident for Nico Hulkenberg after contact with Romain Grosjean on the opening lap forced Brendon to take evasive action and resulted in front wing damage, meaning he needed a pit stop to replace the wing and an early change of tyres. As a result, Brendon had to do the whole race on one set of supersofts, and after touching the wall early on he did well to manage his pace but was limited to 12th place at the flag.


“A very disappointing end to the season. Pierre had to retire, when running in the top ten, because of an oil leak, the cause of which we are currently investigating. Brendon fought hard but could not get into the points, after having to pit for a new nose following an incident on the opening lap. It has been a tough season, but we have learned a lot in our first year of working with Toro Rosso. We feel that over the course of the year, we have made a step forward in terms of both performance and reliability. However, there is still a lot of room for improvement, if we want to catch the frontrunners. We will be pushing hard over the winter, to have a good 2019 season, working with two teams. I wish to thank everyone at Honda and Toro Rosso, at the track, and back in the factories and of course the drivers for all their efforts this year. Thanks also to our fans: we hope to give them something more to cheer about next year.”

“It has been a difficult weekend for us between qualifying and the race. A few laps to the end we had an issue where smoke started to come out of the car, I don’t know exactly what happened, but until that point it was a really fun race and I was enjoying it. I started 17th and managed to move up the field to P10 and fight with Romain who finished P9, but unfortunately we ended the season the same way we started it, with a DNF. It was a bit emotional today because it was my last race with Toro Rosso. I’ve had a great season with them and Honda and I really wanted to finish well. Overall, it was a positive season from my side, I really enjoyed working with Toro Rosso and I will remember the good weekends we had together. I’m excited to start a new chapter with Red Bull Racing next year but, still, I will miss the guys here: they gave a lot to me and they’re great people who have a lot of passion for what they do…it was a big pleasure to work with them!”

“Unfortunately, my race was kind of over on the first lap. I didn’t have anywhere to go with the crash into Turn 8 and I had to go off track to avoid the cars in front. I ran into some debris and damaged the front wing, so I had to stop on the first lap and then did a whole race on one set of tyres with the old spec front wing, which was always going to be an uphill battle. I managed the tyres well, but after the issue on lap one, P12 was pretty much the maximum we could manage. I’ve finished the year a lot stronger than I started it as the past few races have been great, however today didn’t work out as planned. I’m happy with my progression throughout the season and I feel like I’ve come out of this year a stronger individual and racing driver.”


Formula 1 World Championship Grand Prix 2018
Round 21: Abu-dhabi


1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull
4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull
5 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes
6 Carlos Sainz Renault
7 Charles Leclerc Sauber
8 Sergio Perez Force India
9 Romain Grosjean Haas
10 Kevin Magnussen Haas
11 Fernando Alonso McLaren
12 Brendon Hartley Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda
13 Lance Stroll Williams
14 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren
15 Sergey Sirotkin Williams
NC Pierre Gasly Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda
NC Esteban Ocon Force India
NC Marcus Ericsson Sauber
NC Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari
NC Nico Hulkenberg Renault