Gasly sees 'good potential' for Red Bull as Honda eyes power gains

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Pierre Gasly expects the Red Bull threat to be stronger at the upcoming venues on the calendar.

Next up sees what has been the prime target for victories in recent years for the Anglo-Austrian outfit in Monaco albeit then followed by more power-sensitive tracks in Canada, Paul Ricard and Spielberg.

However, having made enough progress to beat Ferrari in Spain via Max Verstappen, the Frenchman says the push will go on to close down Mercedes.

“Today was all about trying to establish a direction for the races to come and also to extract a bit more performance from our package," he explained after driving on Day 1 of the Barcelona test.

“It was a busy day in the car and we managed to get through quite lots of test items."

A gearbox problem towards the end curtailed running but it was still a productive day for Gasly with 118 laps on the board.

"Looking forward, I think we have good potential on some of the upcoming tracks which should suit our car better,” he added.

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Integral to Red Bull's competitiveness will be the improvements of Honda, who have already brought one upgrade last month in Baku.

But with the next updates expected around Canada, the head of the Japanese manufacturer's F1 program Masashi Yamamoto revealed how their focus is switching.

"For Honda, the goal is always to win races," he was quoted by Germany's SpeedWeek.

"So far we have focused on the balance of horsepower and reliability. I think we definitely need more horsepower now.

"So we need to keep our heads down and improve."

While it is Ferrari and Mercedes that continue to lead the engine stakes, the Honda chief admits an eye also must be kept behind them.

"With the help of Red Bull and Toro Rosso, we are in better shape than Renault at the moment, but I do not think we are far ahead of them," Yamamoto claimed.

"We have to work hard to increase power while maintaining reliability at a high level, that requires a lot of development work, but without it, it's difficult to catch up."