Toro Rosso prepared to help Red Bull by taking grid penalties

by Tom Cairns
Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda team principal Franz Tost standing on the grid at the 2018 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda Team Principal Franz Tost says the Italian team would be happy to accept more grid penalties in the 2019 FIA Formula 1 World Championship to help Aston Martin Red Bull Racing.

Last year, Toro Rosso drivers Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley took Honda engine grid penalties on numerous occasions in an attempt to boost the Japanese manufacturer’s development plans.

With Red Bull switching to Honda engines for the first time and no mileage done with their new suppliers yet, it’s uncertain whether the senior squad are in the correct shape to be vying for the title.

Speaking to Motorsport.com Tost mentioned that Toro Rosso is willing to take more sacrifices to “improve the performance” of Red Bull and the Austrian team’s drivers not needing to take grid penalties.

“If that helps the strategy for Red Bull to win races and the world championship, of course,” said Tost.

“We do not even need to discuss this, it’s within our philosophy. I’m more than happy with it, because in parallel we also improve the performance.”

Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda mechanics working on the STR13 in the garage during pre-season testing in Barcelona.

Credit: Peter Fox/Getty Images

Toro Rosso will use Red Bull’s components including the gearbox and the rear end of the car to boost the Italian team’s developments, rather than having two customers with different rear-end architectures and Tost believes this strategy will pay off.

“There’s no doubt that we will profit from the synergies and the co-operation with Red Bull Technologies,” said Tost.

“It’s the whole rear end. We have to develop within the rules all the list of parts, and this of course we will do because we stick to the rules.

“All the teams at this stage of the year hope that the new car works better and is an improvement.

“This is the same for us, but I always say that I want to see the performance on the race track, which means the lap time. This is decisive.”

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