Toro Rosso urgently needs an update to its car after struggling to add performance during this season, according to Brendon Hartley.
In its first season as Honda’s works team, Toro Rosso has enjoyed some standout results such as fourth place for Pierre Gasly in Bahrain, as well as a sixth in Hungary and seventh in Monaco. The latter two results suggested Singapore should be a good track for Toro Rosso, but it struggled throughout the weekend and Hartley points to the car’s in-season development as central to that result.
“The last update we brought, which was Austria, didn’t bring us much performance,” Hartley said. “That was a long time ago, so we are definitely craving another update. There’s one from Honda and from Toro Rosso on the cards coming soon.
“Singapore is not a power-sensitive track and we haven’t been pointing the finger at Honda regardless. Monza was a reasonably competitive outing for us, and showed that we were right in that midfield scrap.”
Toro Rosso had to revisit its development plan as a result of the issues it had in Austria, and Hartley says work that has been going through behind the scenes during this season should not be overlooked.
“It’s partly because our update in Austria didn’t bring the performance we needed,” he said. “That asked a few questions [regarding] the ongoing development, and they are working really hard to resolve that.
“There’s been a lot of changes over the winter months with Honda and new staff and aerodynamics, so I think we are going to be reaping the benefits later in the season, but no-one is hiding the fact the update didn’t work in Austria. We haven’t had one in a while, but we didn’t perform as well as we would have liked [in Singapore].”
After Sauber scored two points in Singapore, Toro Rosso is now just nine points clear of the Swiss team in the battle for eighth in the constructors’ championship. Sauber has scored points in nine different races – including one double-points finish – compared to six for Toro Rosso.