Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost says rival teams told him that he was “crazy” for signing a deal with Honda for the 2018 season. The Japanese manufacture became Toro Rosso’s engine supplier following a failed partnership with McLaren.
The two enjoyed a successful partnership, with senior team Red Bull taking the decision to pair up with Honda in 2019. It scored a best result of fourth at the Bahrain Grand Prix, courtesy of Pierre Gasly.
But Tost says fellow F1 teams labelled him crazy for agreeing to take on Honda power units: “Honda was a highlight for us. You remember what last year, at this stage, other teams said about Honda,” Tost said.
“I remember meeting some people here and they said ‘you must be totally crazy, we wish you all the best for next year’. I said ‘yes, we will have a good season, you will see, we will be in front of you’.
“They thought that maybe I am totally crazy, but I was convinced that Honda is the right decision to go with.”
Red Bull claimed that Honda’s development throughout the 2018 season took it ahead and beyond Renault this year. But Tost states that the development started from a higher level than expected.
“The Honda engine last year was already much better than other people said. During the winter months Honda and Toro Rosso worked really hard, we were at the dynos in Milton Keynes, we were at the dynos in Sakura.
“There was a very close cooperation, and Honda could improve reliability as well as the performance.”
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing