McLaren announced the end of their three year partnership with Honda on Friday at the Singapore Grand Prix. This created a domino effect and several official announcements followed. Renault ended their engine supply agreement with Toro Rosso and switched their supply to McLaren from 2018. Toro Rosso, in turn, will be supplied by McLaren’s former engine supplier Honda.
Toro Rosso will use Honda power in 2018
The new owners of Formula 1 Liberty Media wanted to keep Honda in the sport as the Japanese manufacturer is an important car manufacturer worldwide. The Toro Rosso-Honda partnership makes that possible and the Faenza-based team will also receive significant investments from Honda.
Red Bull Racing will be happy with the funding Honda will bring to its junior team along with the engines. If Honda irons out the problems with its engines in 2018 and delivers on its promises, it would be a boon for Red Bull. The Milton Keynes-based outfit can end its own fractious relationship with Renault and move to a Honda engine supply in 2019.
Takahiro Hachigo, President Honda Motors commented on this new deal: “Toro Rosso is an experienced team with a youthful energy and history of nurturing the stars of the future,” he said.
“Everyone at Honda is looking forward to working with Toro Rosso, and we are excited to start this new chapter in our Formula 1 journey with them.
“I would like to express our appreciation to Liberty Media and the FIA for their cooperation toward the realization of this partnership. Honda and Toro Rosso will work as one team to strive for progress and a successful future together. We appreciate the support of our fans as we begin this challenge.”
“Everyone in our team is very much looking forward to working with Honda,” added Franz Tost, Toro Rosso’s team principal.
“Ever since its founder Soichiro Honda entered his motorcycles in events, racing has always been a central part of the company’s ethos. It’s a very exciting challenge and I hope that both parties will gain a great deal from it as we develop together.
“Honda has a long history in Formula 1, dating back to 1964 when it first entered the sport with its own team and, as an engine supplier it has taken five Drivers’ World Championship titles and six Constructors. This heritage, together with the full confidence that we have in Honda’s capabilities to succeed, make me strongly believe that we will achieve a fruitful future together.”
James Key, Technical Director of Toro Rosso spoke about the technical challenges of designing the 2018 car for the new Honda engines: “We are very pleased with our new partnership with Honda and the opportunities this presents, and we start to work immediately.
“It will be a question of adaption of our plans rather than a wholesale change and we are in the process of re-planning our design and production activities in conjunction
with Honda to ensure that we both hit all our important deadlines.
“There are some challenges to face given the time of year but Toro Rosso has faced many difficult tasks with timing in the past and has the flexibility to deal with it. We will be working hard not to only re-design the PU installation but also ensure that this has minimal or no effect on the ongoing development work for 2018–that is our current target.
“The architecture of the car will change in line with the PU requirements and our chassis and gearbox designs are currently under review to be adapted accordingly, similarly we will be working closely with Honda on the performance aspects of the PU installation that the chassis will influence to ensure we maximise the potential of the package as a whole from the outset.
“We look forward to a strong, stable and proactive partnership with our colleagues at Honda,” he concluded.
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