Honda’s boss Masashi Yamamoto has said that the communication between his team and Toro Rosso is the key progress that has happened from their previous bond and ties with McLaren. Honda will now supply Red Bull in the next year after an impressive campaign with the front-runners’ sister team in the 2018 season.
Not much was expected from a union between Honda and Toro Rosso after the McLaren-Honda combo finished ninth back in the 2017 championship. Toro Rosso also finished ninth in 2018, however with a far more competitive season, which was of course highlighted by Pierre Gasly‘s fourth-spot finish in the Bahrain GP and further more points hauled in Monaco GP as well as the Hungarian GP.
These results were enough to convince Dr Helmut Marko as well as Christian Horner to replace Renault for the Japanese marque for the next season, with Gasly also stepping up to replace the Australian Daniel Ricciardo.
With Red Bull having positive predictions for 2019 in partnership with Honda, Yamamoto is pretty sure that they can continue building and piling on the upward trajectory. He compared the changes that have transpired in Toro Rosso and McLaren.
“The biggest change to Toro Rosso (compared with McLaren) is we had much better communication with the team compared to the past,” Yamamoto revealed in an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com. “As a result of that we had better connection between the chassis and power unit on the technical side”, he continued.
“In terms of the engine itself we were able to see the improvement of reliability and performance”, said Yamamoto. “We had Spec 2 and Spec 3 and improved the performance gradually. It was a good preparation for next year”, he added. “We had some troubles at the beginning of the year, reliability issues, and some delay on development but in the end both reliability and performance improved”, he concluded.