Toro Rosso remains optimistic despite issues in Melbourne

Vettel win offers hope of close-fought season (1:30)

As Sebastian Vettel wins the season opener in Melbourne, Jonathan Legard looks ahead with hope for the rest of the year. (1:30)

Pierre Gasly says the Honda-related engine issue suffered in the season-opener in Melbourne is no cause for concern.

Toro Rosso endured a difficult start to the season in Australia with Brendon Hartley finishing last of the classified runners and Gasly retiring in the early stages due to an MGU-H failure. The Italian squad had enjoyed a positive start to life with Honda with strong reliability and a competitive turn of pace shown throughout testing in Barcelona.

Despite the issues suffered in Melbourne, Gasly is remaining optimistic moving forward.

"We knew that it was the sort of situation we could face but of course after the testing we were optimistic. I think we should stay optimistic about the season because it's not because we had one issue now that we're going to have one every race weekend. But the main thing is we just need to understand exactly what caused the issue. It's not nice for anyone in the team, for Honda, for Toro Rosso and also for us drivers so I'm sure they will try to understand and just make sure that we don't have these sort of issues for the next races."

Hartley's first Formula One race around Albert Park did not go to plan as he suffered a flat-spot on lap one after locking up heavily into Turn 1 forcing him to make an unscheduled pit-stop. His chances were further compounded when he got a left rear puncture after a loose bit of bodywork damaged the tyre.

While Hartley did not score his first F1 point, the Kiwi is confident of breaking his duck in the upcoming rounds.

"I really hope so," Hartley replied when asked if Toro Rosso will be able to fight for points in the upcoming races. "I think even yesterday in qualifying we saw how tight it was. Hindsight obviously is great. If we played our cards differently we could have been fighting... I think from P12 back that's where were in qualifying and those from P12 to the back is crazy tight, it's within two or three tenths.

"If we can put everything together and qualify closer to that top ten and wait for our opportunity then definitely yes. On top of that, the team has an aggressive development programme for the next months so I think we all remain optimistic, but we know everyone else is working hard too. We still think this as a positive start.''