Above: Honda Motorsport general manager Masashi Yamamoto and Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost.
Toro Rosso expects to benefit from an even better Honda relationship as a result of the Japanese manufacturer’s partnership with Red Bull in 2019, according to team principal Franz Tost.
Honda supplied Toro Rosso exclusively in 2018 — the first time the former Minardi team had enjoyed a works partnership — but will also work with Red Bull this year. Tost insists there will be no change in status for his team and believes the closer working relationship between Toro Rosso and Red Bull will ultimately lead to an improvement in the Honda partnership in the coming season.
“I expect even more support,” Tost told RACER. “Support not directly now from Honda — from Honda we will get the same — but because of the synergies with Red Bull Racing, I expect that we will improve the performance because it’s always better if there are two teams out on the track instead of only one to be able to deliver feedback from the technical side.
“And Red Bull Racing is a top team and that means the feedback will be much more in detail in 2019, and this will help us to improve the performance too because we will also get this information.”
However, while Tost has previously stated how happy he was with Honda’s progress in 2018, he says that is no guarantee of continued competitiveness in the future.
“The power unit must be developed and there is still some work to do. You know, this is the case in general in Formula 1. The research and development is key to success, you can’t stand still. It’s a development process regarding the power unit as well as regarding the car I shall say.”
Toro Rosso and Red Bull both carried out shakedowns of their respective new cars before pre-season testing last year, but neither team has announced the launch date for their 2019 car yet.