James Key: "Toro Rosso took pressure off Honda"

Published on 20 Mar 2018 10:16

Toro Rosso has confirmed rumours Honda made a big step forward over the winter after the Japanese engine manufacturer got more 'freedom'. One analysis of the big improvement made by Honda since the McLaren split is that it now has more room to breathe at its new partner, Toro Rosso.

Technical boss James Key confirms: "We told them 'Do whatever you need to do with your engine'. Don't worry about the chassis. If it means a little more weight or size, we'll find a way.' We just didn't want to put pressure on them," he told Auto Motor und Sport.

Key said the outcome of that was good reliability and driveability in the winter tests. He added: "I don't know how much better Renault has got, but we are not far from what we were used to in 2017. I think the differences that were talked about last year were a little over the top." (GMM)

Replies (7)
SE calle.itw 20 Mar 2018 10:540
Posts: 5891
Dont get me wrong, I like the two of you getting along, but more walking and less talking if you please.
Posts: 625
Haha yes, you’d think they’d learn that from the McLaren fiasco. Key’s assertion that he told Honda “do what ever you need to” is disingenuous to say the least. No-one ever says stuff like that to an engineer because you will get something unusable and you are at risk of ending up with something that doesn’t fit, doesn’t supply sufficient power and definitely is too heavy. Engineers hate “light”.
SE calle.itw 20 Mar 2018 13:480
Posts: 5891
I think he might've, but remember: even if its STR, they are still Red Bull. Even nice things will have an "if you dont do well, we'll dump you" undertone.
US ajpennypacker 20 Mar 2018 16:090
Posts: 1508
@called I'd be so happy if Red Bull liberated Toro Rosso. They are admittedly Red Bull's junior team. Whatever works well at TR will be taken away. If Honda works well you'll see Red Bull become the 'works' team and TR a customer. Vettel, Ricciardo, Kvyat, Verstappen, and probably Sainz soon, all gone through TR and taken away. They're a great jr team to have. But they will never accomplish anything beyond 5th or 6th in the championship.
SE calle.itw 20 Mar 2018 18:260
Posts: 5891
Yeah, I expect there to be woes, but remember one thing: STR IS RB. There is no real rivalry between the two. STR is RB's training ground, their test mule. Anything good on STR will be carried over to RB, and in return, some good things will move to STR. There are bound to be sad faces if RB takes over the works status, but that was bound to happen. It is the way its "supposed to be". Such is the fate of a true B-team. That isnt necessarily a problem, mind. Remember: since STR is RB, they have a good look into how RB design their chassis, meaning they still have a degree of control and advantages compares to other more typical customers.
US ajpennypacker 20 Mar 2018 18:34+1
Posts: 1508
@calle I think RB was good for TR for a few year, because it really brought them out of the back of the grid. As you mentioned, they were exposed to great engineering. I haven't forgotten that Toro Rosso is the old Minardi team, perpetually in last place. However, I think TR has some great scrappy engineers that similar to Force India (but to a lesser extent) manage to create great cars with a very small budget. I'd just love to see them on their own. I find B teams to be depressing. The mule car is not suppose to win the race. Furthermore, it's especially upsetting when you see one team issuing team orders for another team, and we've seen that with RB and TR.
SE calle.itw 20 Mar 2018 18:420
Posts: 5891
Yeah, Im not fond of it either. I suppose we wont ever really see F1 without it, but I'd honestly prefer it. Having two Red Bull teams seems a bit meh.

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