Honda F1 Technical Director Toyoharu Tanabe is “satisfied” with how the relationship between the engine suppliers and their partners Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda since their marriage began with them in the 2018 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.
The Italian team unveiled their STR14 on Monday 11 February and Tanabe thinks Toro Rosso can continue to move forward this year.
“Honda is satisfied with the way the partnership with Toro Rosso worked in 2018. Whenever you start working with a group of people for the first time, it can take a while for each group to adapt to the way of working of the other,” Tanabe added.
“But with Toro Rosso, I can honestly say, we found a good way very quickly. It was a relationship based on mutual trust and respect and that continues today.”
Tanabe disclosed an update on the progress of the Honda power unit, as they have worked closely with both Toro Rosso and Aston Martin Red Bull Racing over the winter.
“There was no specific date when we began to work on the PU for this year. That’s because, with no real changes to the rules regarding the PU, apart from being allowed to use 5 kilos more fuel per car in the race, our development work has really been a continuation of what we have been doing over the past year,” Tanabe explained.
“Naturally, with no racing over the winter, the work in Japan and Milton Keynes has stepped up in preparation for the new season.
With a competitive grid last year, Tanabe sets his sights on achieving more in the 2019 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.
“Our aim is to achieve better results than in 2018 for both teams. For our partnership with Toro Rosso, that means finishing higher up in the Constructors’ Championship, scoring more points, running more reliably and, maybe even repeating last year’s Bahrain result or doing better,” Tanabe mentioned.
“However, at this stage, we cannot know what to expect, because as in all sports, our result also depends on what our opponents can do.”