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Toro Rosso: Rivals called us 'crazy' for taking on Honda

Written by  Dec 27, 2018

Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost has revealed rivals called him "crazy" for taking on Honda engines in 2018.

The junior Red Bull team intervened to give the Japanese manufacturer an outlet when McLaren ended their tumultuous three-year partnership at the end of 2017.

Given the lack of performance or reliability that Honda had shown since returning in 2015, expectations certainly weren't high for the new alliance but for some, the fact it existed in the first place was enough of a surprise.

“Honda was a highlight for us. You remember what last year, at this stage, other teams said about Honda,” Tost recalled and was quoted by PlanetF1.

“I remember meeting some people here and they said ‘you must be totally crazy, we wish you all the best for next year’. I said ‘yes, we will have a good season, you will see, we will be in front of you’.

“They thought that maybe I am totally crazy, but I was convinced that Honda is the right decision to go with.”

His feeling would largely be proven right as Toro Rosso enjoyed a strong pre-season in Barcelona and would enjoy Honda's best result since returning with fourth in Bahrain via Pierre Gasly.

At the first meeting though, the Austrian admits the initial signals were a little worrying.

"I was shocked because they didn't know things which are related to the chassis or power unit," Tost claimed. "If you are coming together with a new partner, first you have to sit together to discuss to find out where we need to be concentrating.

"But it went very fast and very well because they were totally open and so were we from our side. We had very good cooperation and we have a very good business relationship," he concluded.

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Such was the improvements made over the year that now sister team Red Bull will join forces with Honda from 2019.

With performance now considered equal if not ahead of former supplier Renault, perhaps the one concern left is reliability after Toro Rosso used the most engines of anyone during this past season.

“It was clear for me that during the season we will not finish the season with three engines, but the last changes of the engines were more or less the wish from our side," the team boss explained.

“I see this season as a preparation for next year. This year was gone for us. Forget it.

“There was very close cooperation, and Honda could improve reliability as well as the performance.”

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