Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko is upbeat about the prospects of junior team Toro Rosso in 2018 from their driver line-up to the change to Honda engines.
The Faenza-based team ended last season on a negative note with just one point-scoring finish in the final six races and losing out on sixth in the Constructors' Championship to Renault at the final race in Abu Dhabi.
This was due mostly to the changing in their driver pairing from the start of the year, as Brendon Hartley and Pierre Gasly replaced Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat, with neither of the rookies managing a top 10 result.
Marko, however, looked past that claiming in an interview with the official Formula 1 website: “Toro Rosso ran into unbelievable reliability problems - unbelievable! Also in terms of the car development, it was not what it should have been. I think for the circumstances Gasly and Hartley did really well."
The return of the Kiwi to the Red Bull program after being dropped seven years prior was certainly one of the surprise stories of 2017 and also led to a busy stint of eight races in eight weekends as he combined Toro Rosso and WEC duties.
"Hiring Brendon was out of the norm - a different story - and we are happy with him," the Austrian added. "The good news is that he doesn't have to switch anymore between Porsche and F1, so I am sure for next season Toro Rosso has a very promising driver line-up."
Perhaps the most significant factor in determining their 2018 campaign will be the performance of Honda after agreeing to take on the Japanese manufacturer to enable McLaren to end their partnership after three tough years.
"We are very happy with the Toro Rosso and Honda cooperation," Marko claimed, however. "We do believe in Honda otherwise we wouldn’t have made that deal.
"I am very impressed with the facilities that they have and their determination to win. It is just a matter of bringing everything together and we believe that this moment will arrive sooner than everybody is expecting."
The Red Bull advisor even hinted it could be the start of a greater alliance in the future with the senior team considering its engine future.
"We will observe very closely - beyond 2018 everything is open!" Marko concluded.
Ericsson says Leclerc not only responsib
Alonso: F1 no longer the show that made
Mercedes warn Liberty of tough fight ove
Stroll: I've 'improved well as a driver'
Ricciardo: Abu Dhabi podium would be 'fi
Hamilton expects to raise game against V
Prost: Reaching F1 without financial sup
Hamilton sees greater Mercedes satisfact
Perez: Alonso's plight with McLaren 'sho
Toro Rosso target Albon named on Formula
F1 weekends could be shortened & 'unattr
Mercedes: Baku loss cost Bottas champion
Raikkonen draws Lotus comparison ahead o
Hamilton forced to clarify 'poor' India
Ferrari expecting 2018 loss to motivate
Ricciardo expecting his bad luck 'to dis
Hamilton could face Abu Dhabi engine pen
Sainz rejects idea Verstappen blocked 20
Haas concede defeat to Renault in race f
Honda hopes to 'accelerate' engine gains
Hamilton praises Formula E project but r
Sauber team up with Charouz to launch yo
Brawn: Simulations producing 'tangible'
Alonso hints at more 2019 announcements
Hamilton would add races in historic F1
Hamilton hoping for more battles with Ve
F1 CEO Carey does see path for new manuf
Red Bull don't 'condone violence' but 'd
Kubica & Ocon set to confirm Williams ro
Hartley frustrated by Gasly ignoring tea
FIA rule out changes to weighbridge rule
Bottas: Regularity of defending from riv
Verstappen 'still not able to manage his
Whiting: Hamilton/Sirotkin incident 'an
Whiting: Ocon 'wrong' to fight Verstappe
Raikkonen believes P3 the best he could
Ricciardo: 'Every time we start out of p
McLaren 'confident' Indy 500 plans won't
Red Bull call for Ocon race ban as Verst
Mercedes reveal Hamilton had 'failure im
Vettel gives Brazil race 'one out of ten
Hamilton tells Verstappen: 'You had more
Hamilton 'proud' of Mercedes as double c
Ocon claims Verstappen 'wanted to punch
Brazil GP: Hamilton inherits victory as
Ricciardo jokes 0.002s loss to Max 'more
Alonso & McLaren confirm Indy 500 return
Hamilton blasts 'disrespectful' Sirotkin
Vettel slams FIA weighbridge process aft
Brazil GP: Hamilton beats Vettel to pole
Brazil GP: Vettel sets new lap record in
Ferrari's Clear to have key Leclerc role
Hamilton says 25-race calendar would dri
'Realistic' Verstappen insists Red Bull
Red Bull reveal a Mexico marshal caused
Vettel expects Ferrari progress in Brazi
Williams offer Kubica 2019 seat but Ferr
Red Bull see race potential even if Braz
Brazil GP: Bottas pips Hamilton by 0.003
Brazil GP: Verstappen leads Vettel & Ham
Tyres and two-tier F1 to dominate driver
Verstappen: Mexico anger post-qualifying
Hamilton doubts Bottas would want F1 win
Alonso: McLaren optimistic 2019 car will
Ocon rejecting non-F1 offers to 'stay cl
Massa: Vettel 'more guilty' for 2018 tit
Hamilton to Leclerc & Gasly: 'No substit
Red Bull: 2019 front wings a costly 'sho
Sainz claims Schumacher name alone won't
Bottas: Hamilton's adaptability is his b
Force India: Signs point to Stroll being
Liberty want to 'preserve' classic F1 ra
Williams still getting over 'enormous sh
Hamilton doubts he would have recovered
Brazil step up security ahead of F1 race
Vietnam confirmed for 2020 F1 calendar
Studious Schumacher 'not as crazy' as Ve
Arrivabene: Ferrari still lack winning '
Ferrari CEO admits F1 budget cap 'makes
Mercedes target tyre woes and Constructo
Force India see catching F1's big three
Sainz has no issue with Renault over sig
Ferrari slam 'fake' Binotto rumours aime
Smedley confirms Williams departure afte
Sauber: Don't compare Leclerc to Hamilto
Two prospective manufacturers rule out F
Magnussen claims current cars leave F1 d
Red Bull: Immediate Gasly comparisons to
Vettel: 2018 Ferrari 'strong' but never
Webber fears Renault a threat to Ricciar
Hamilton: Bottas relationship as teammat
Magnussen: Haas should be 'proud' to be
Tombazis: FIA had to 'intervene' with 20
Zandvoort reportedly offered 2020 Dutch
Vettel wants himself & Leclerc to 'work
Mercedes: 'This is the best Lewis Hamilt
Ricciardo confirms participation in fina
Haas fail in bid to overturn Grosjean's
F1 bosses warn of 'step backwards' with
Hamilton believes Alonso made one crucia