Tost confident Honda can ‘close the gap’

Date published: February 18 2019

Honda: Big progress

Toro Rosso team principal, Franz Tost, is upbeat about the impact Honda can have on both Red Bull and the junior team this season.

Toro Rosso have already had a year working with the Japanese manufacturers, but now plans have stepped up with Honda powering both the junior outfit and the senior team in Red Bull.

Whilst the RB15 and STR14 were pumping in the laps on the first day of pre-season in Barcelona, Tost gave his opinion on how the Honda relationship has developed over the past 12 months.

“I am very happy about this,” Tost said in a media session at the Circuit de Catalunya.

“All the expectations I put into them, they delivered.

“And I am quite sure that they will close the gap to the top teams, and that Red Bull will be able to win races with them, and we will also gain a lot of advantages out of this co-operation.”

Tost has also predicted that the team will not have to burn through as many Honda engines as they did in 2019.

He added: “In 2018 we knew from the very beginning onwards that it is a development process which we have to go through and this is what we did.

“In the mean time Honda has reached a very high level on the reliability side as well as the performance side, and I don’t expect that we will have so many additional engine changes this year.

“First of all, we calculate with three power units, and the rest we will see.”

As for the STR14, Tost said the new car represented a “big step forward” from last year’s model.

He said: “Much better I must say. If you look at the car, how the power unit is integrated, then it is a big step forward.

“I must say it was a big step from the engineering side as we had much more time, and there was a really good cooperation with Honda and also Red Bull Technology and from this side we are quite well organised.”

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