Honda motorsport boss Masashi Yamamoto believes 2018 taught them how “important communication” is with the FIA ahead of their 2019 partnership with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing.
The Japanese manufacturer powered Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda in 2018 and will power both Red Bull backed teams in 2019, but it was their first year with Toro Rosso that has helped them gain an understanding of the way the FIA interprets the rulebook.
An incident at the Japanese Grand Prix saw the manufacturer forced to cancel a planned change to its engine and be forced into discussions the governing body.
“It shows how important communication is,” Yamamoto said to Motorsport.com when discussing the incident in Japan.
“What happened there, is that the current FIA [rules] are really complicated. So, some data changes, understanding some data changes and looks different from the aspect from where you see it first.
“From Honda’s point of view, we though we were right, but from the FIA’s point of view they thought they were right. We can’t really say which is right but it’s just coming from that difference of understanding.
“We now have a major understanding together.”
Yamamoto also believes the communication between Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost and Honda has helped them this year, something which the manufacturer reportedly lacked during their three year partnership with McLaren F1 Team.
“This year we have basically been talking through Franz,” Yamamoto added.
“Franz gave us some information about FIA, FIA resources, regulations as well.
“We directly talk as well, but the team supports us in terms of key aspects of the regulations.”
Honda still find themselves a way off the power output of Mercedes-Benz and Ferrari but Yamamoto is hopeful that the improved relations between Honda and the FIA can also see an improvement on the track.
“At least compared to the last three years, those kind of friendly, or mutual, communications between FIA or FOM is getting much better.
“A tendency of Japanese people, of personality, or nationality, is to be a bit hesitant to say something to everybody. But this is motorsport, we have to win together.
“So in order to make that come true, we have to have more open communication.
“We have to say what we think more. That’s the important thing.”