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Toro Rosso fire shot at McLaren as woes continue

Written by  Mar 08, 2018

Team boss Franz Tost believes Toro Rosso will end the year ahead of McLaren as the two teams endure vastly different experiences in Formula 1 testing.

For 2018, the junior Red Bull outfit agreed to swap engines with their Woking-based counterparts, taking on the Honda unit which had proven so troublesome with Renault going in the other direction.

So far, however, it has been Toro Rosso and Honda that have racked up the laps with solid pace while McLaren struggle with cooling, electrical and hydraulic problems, the latest being an oil leak which cost them most of Wednesday.

“I don’t care about McLaren but I am convinced that by the end [of the season] we will have a more competitive package than them,” Tost said in Barcelona.

“We are happy with the Honda engine which is doing a fantastic job. Our target is to be in the front part of the midfield and I am sure that during the season we will catch up and we will have a very competitive car."

At McLaren, though, the team insists everything remains under control despite having not completed 100 laps yet over the two days, a figure most are surpassing comfortably in one.

“At the end of the day, we discovered things – yesterday with Stoffel and today with myself,” Fernando Alonso commented. “This is part of testing and hopefully these things won’t happen on Lap 10 in Melbourne.

"In a way, I’m happy to keep making the car stronger and stronger."

The Spaniard claims the only priority now for McLaren would be to complete some race simulations as the rest of the testing checklist has already been ticked off.

"In terms of fundamental answers that we need over the winter test, they are already OK and we have all of them, so I don’t need the last day, to be honest," he claimed.

“I will be in the car, I will drive – hopefully, we will keep discovering new things on the car but if [the first race in] Australia was tomorrow it’s OK.”

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