Honda says it has started a "different story" in formula one. After three woeful seasons together, McLaren dumped Honda at the end of 2017. The Japanese manufacturer went off to Toro Rosso, which could have been the start of a deeper collaboration with Red Bull Racing for 2019 and beyond.
And in Bahrain last weekend, the chances of that happening increased, as Pierre Gasly qualified sixth and finished fourth -- Honda's best result since returning to F1 in 2015. Spain's El Confidencial quotes a reporter as asking new Honda technical director Toyoharu Tanabe if it is a relief to no longer be subject to Fernando Alonso and McLaren's complaints. "This year the story is different," the Japanese smiled as he answered.
So while McLaren's fans wonder if the timing of the Honda split was right, Toro Rosso boss Franz Tost is in no doubt about his team's move. "This result shows that being with Honda was the right decision," said Tost.
However, Honda's Tanabe said he wants more. "I cannot afford to be satisfied with this result, because there were three retirements and a minute of difference to the first three," he said. "We do not want to say great things now, as there is no choice but to keep climbing steps. Because we aspire to win and be number 1." (GMM)
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing