Scuderia Toro Rosso giving Honda more 'freedom'

  • 07 Mar 2018 08:58
  • comments 6
  • By: Rob Veenstra

Toro Rosso says it is giving Honda "freedom" to thrive in formula one. After three years of perseverance, McLaren finally called time on its works collaboration with the Japanese carmaker at the end of last season.

But the British team is still struggling after switching to Renault power. At the same time, Toro Rosso is happy to have left the Renault camp and just as happy to now be working as Honda's works partner.

So far in winter testing, the Faenza based team's package has been very reliable and not notably slow. One theory is that Toro Rosso is being far more accommodating to Honda, with McLaren having imposed certain technical requirements on its partner in 2015-2017.

Toro Rosso boss James Key is quoted by Corriere dello Sport: "We wanted to work with Honda. Our team principal knows them well so we felt that we could establish a very friendly relationship and good understanding. So far it's been that way."

"We are trying to give Honda the freedom it needs to get back to the level of performance that it deserves. Basically we felt a responsibility to provide them a car that will allow them to express their full potential. I think they appreciated it," Key added.

As for the question of power, Key said the difference between the Renault and Honda power units is quite small. "As long as things continue like this, there is no reason to think that they will not be able to fight with Renault by the middle of the year," he said.

Key also said the Honda deal continues into 2019, whether or not sister team Red Bull also makes the switch from Renault. "We have a separate agreement. If Red Bull comes in it will be in addition to us," he revealed. (GMM)

Replies (6)

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  • boudy

    Posts: 1,068

    Just a side note about this statement: "We have a separate agreement. If Red Bull comes in it will be in addition to us,"

    No sir ... if Redbull takes the Honda engine on board they will be the factory team and Toro Rosso will be the customer team. Redbull F1 will not hand any advantage to their effective B-team. That's an very akward statement to make by Key which doesn't help Toro Rosso not sure why he said it;so might be taken out of context.

    • + 0
    • Mar 7 2018 - 09:52
    • This. As much as TR want it, Red Bull will be the works team. It'd make little sense for Honda to declare a clearly inferior and less prioritized team when they could partner with Red Bull. And Red Bull will want to have as high priority as possible on parts, upgrades and so on from Honda.

      • + 0
      • Mar 7 2018 - 17:11
    • jharr11

      Posts: 2

      James Key is an engineer and speaks as such. He is, I think, giving a very black and white answer which could be read too deeply into. All he’s saying is ‘we will have Honda engines in 2019 whether or not Red Bull decides to use one too’. Nothing to do with fighting for “works team” status. He’s not stupid.

      • + 0
      • Mar 8 2018 - 00:58
  • Methinks the deciding factors will be reliability and efficiency rather than direct power.

    • + 0
    • Mar 7 2018 - 17:15
  • Would love for Toro Rosso to become the factory team. Toro Rosso has some truly talented engineers that with a fraction of the budget of Red Bull have managed to put some spectacular performances. I've always thought that they're not better because of Red Bull keeping them down. Whether it's staff, drivers, partnerships. If it works out at Toro Rosso, Red Bull sort of hijacks it. Still, however, I will become a believer after I see Honda performing in a race. I am still skeptical after so many dissapointments.

    • + 0
    • Mar 7 2018 - 20:00
    • I've always felt that it was funds that truly held TR back. Looking at past seasons, they always started strong, and deteriorated as the seasons went on. Thats another reason for why this year is exciting: works Toro Rosso.

      • + 0
      • Mar 7 2018 - 20:34



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