Pierre Gasly says Honda’s impending exit from Formula 1 will deny it the chance to show its full potential, pointing to the progress it has made in recent years.
Honda’s current Formula 1 stint, acting as power unit supplier to Red Bull Racing and AlphaTauri, will come to an end following the conclusion of the 2021 campaign.
The move comes in the wake of the Japan-based company realigning its long-term goals to focus on carbon neutrality.
Honda struggled for performance and reliability during its partnership with McLaren but claimed race wins, pole positions and podiums with Red Bull in 2019.
Red Bull-Honda holds second in this year’s Constructors’ Championship, which would represent the brand’s best finish since 2004, and also powered AlphaTauri driver Gasly to a shock win at Monza last month.
“Obviously on a personal level, for me and us [at AlphaTauri], I would have loved to have seen them carrying on in Formula 1,” said Gasly.
“I could see a bright future for them, they started to fight for race wins on a more consistent basis, top three finishes, podiums.
“Looking three years ago, and where they are now, I think in three years’ time I could see them fighting for the championship and be a real contender.”
Gasly holds 10th place in this year’s Drivers’ Championship, with his tally boosted by his Monza win, and says AlphaTauri can still unlock a lot from its AT01.
“At the moment I feel I am very comfortable with the way we are all working as a team, and race by race we are increasing our understanding of what it takes to get the most out of the car,” said Gasly.
“I am satisfied with how things are going and happy that the results are there. The team is doing all it can and that makes me happy. Now we take that momentum forward to the next race.”