Franz Tost feels Honda’s latest updates to its power unit has put it ahead of Renault’s power unit, and he is excited by the prospect of its first proper race weekend next weekend at the Suzuka International Racing Course in Japan.
Both Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley took the new unit for Friday’s running at the Sochi Autodrom, with both acquiring grid penalties as a result, although from Saturday onwards both Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda drivers reverted back to the older specification.
Tost, the Team Principal of Toro Rosso, has said that the new update is a significant step forward and has not only caught up with the performance levels of Renault but exceeded them, and it gives them confidence for the remainder of the season.
“Honda is making big steps forward,” said Tost to Motorsport.com. “Yesterday [Friday] we had the new spec in the car and it was really fantastic.
“It is in front of Renault. [The] complete package. We had it in the car yesterday, but we have to start from the back of the grid and then we decided we go back to spec 2 just to save some mileage and to make some fine-tuning.
“In Suzuka we will have it.”
Tost has revealed the 2019 unit will not have the same design but he stopped at saying just what will be different when it comes to next season.
“There are changes, but I do not want to go into details – I can only tell you they are really on a good way,” said Tost.