The Scuderia Toro Rosso team will be supplied with Honda engines next year after they split with their current engine supplier, Renault.
The complex arrangement was officially announced today after Free Practice One at the Singapore Grand Prix.
The split came about as part of a ‘swap’ of engine suppliers between Toro Rosso and the McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team, who will now receive the Renault engine in 2018 and beyond.
McLaren decided that the split with Honda was necessary after three years of the Japanese company failing to meet their performance targets. Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team and Scuderia Ferrari refused to supply McLaren with engines, leaving only Renault – who already supplied three teams.
The swap of engine suppliers came as a result of Renault’s reluctance to supply a fourth team. Therefore, McLaren will receive the Renault engines, and Toro Rosso will allow Honda to remain in Formula One.
Toro Rosso’s Team Principal Franz Tost thinks that the partnership will be beneficial for the team.
“Everyone in our team is very much looking forward to working with Honda,” he said.
“It’s a very exciting challenge and I hope that both parties will gain a great deal from it as we develop together. This heritage, together with the full confidence that we have in Honda’s capabilities to succeed, make me strongly believe that we will achieve a fruitful future together.’
The Techincal Director of the team, James Key, is of a similar mindset, and he claims that the plans for the 2018 car will be adapted, rather than completely changed.
“It will be a question of adaption of our plans rather than a wholesale change and we are in the process of re-planning our design and production activities in conjunction with Honda to ensure that we both hit all our important deadlines.
“There are some challenges to face given the time of year but Toro Rosso has faced many difficult tasks with timing in the past and has the flexibility to deal with it. We will be working hard not to only re-design the PU installation but also ensure that this has minimal or no effect on the ongoing development work for 2018 – that is our current target.
“The architecture of the car will change in line with the PU requirements and our chassis and gearbox designs are currently under review to be adapted accordingly, similarly we will be working closely with Honda on the performance aspects of the PU installation that the chassis will influence to ensure we maximise the potential of the package as a whole from the outset.”
Honda are similarly optimistic about the partnership, with President and Representative Director of Honda Motor Co., Ltd, Takahiro Hachigo commenting that:
“Honda and Toro Rosso will work as one team to strive for progress and a successful future together. We appreciate the support of our fans as we begin this challenge.”