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Success on the menu for Honda?

NEWS STORY
18/09/2017

There is a certain amount of irony in the fact that on the weekend they split with their respective partners, both McLaren and Toro Rosso enjoyed, arguably, their best races of the season.

Though Fernando Alonso was eliminated following the Ferrari fracas, teammate Stoffel Vandoorne went on to score a convincing seventh, while Renault-bound Carlos Sainz achieved his best ever finish, powering home to fourth.

Looking at the two teams, Honda boss Masashi Yamamoto uses a food analogy to compare the two teams.

"If we compare both teams with different cuisines, let's say McLaren is a very sophisticated French cuisine, that's the way it is. Then Toro Rosso is more like a countryside, homemade delicious stew where you can add new ingredients. We're excited to do that," he said.

"Working with McLaren, I've realised that they are a very big company which is very systematic," he explained. "It's obviously very strong because of that but at the same time they can find it hard to adapt to change.

"Compare that to Toro Rosso, it is a company that is growing. It is very important for us to work in partnership together, heading towards the same goal. So for us we are very much looking forward to being able to work closer.

"Motorsport is everything for Honda, it's part of our DNA," insisted Yamamoto, who is General Manager of Honda's motorsport division. "When we started in 1948, Honda's dream was to race. That ultimately led us to Formula 1 in 1964. It's the challenge of performance and technology that drives us. So giving up halfway makes no sense, it's not our mentality. We're here to progress and grow. It's very important for us.

"Our motto as McLaren-Honda is 'One Team' - working together to get performance. However, we didn't perform as well as we hoped in the pre-season tests, so from the beginning of the season onwards we were unable to deliver as much power as we wanted, and McLaren expected.

"Obviously Honda would have preferred to stay in partnership with McLaren," he said, "but we were not able to reach the performance and reliability targets set by the team. This created tension between us and unfortunately separation was the result. In the world of Formula 1 it's important to get the results, it's part of the deal."

Looking ahead, rather than back, he continued: "The regulations go on until 2020 so we still have three years and we want to show our improvements in the technology. We want to show Honda's potential. That is very important for us, to let the world see how we will progress and how we can make it a success.

"Mr. Tost knows a lot about Japan," he said of the Toro Rosso team principal. "He understands the culture and it's a good communication that we have.

"We have seen that they also have a young factory and are growing, which for Honda is very important because we can work with the same mentality and have the same approach. It is a new start with a team with a similar mindset to move forwards together."

"Toro Rosso and Honda will start working together immediately and for the coming years. However, before that we have the rest of the 2017 season to complete with McLaren, so a good communication between us is still very important, as well as a good performance in the remaining races."

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1. Posted by Malbec, 19/09/2017 15:41

"Everyone should remember Honda's past successes with both Williams and McLaren as well as with Team Lotus also just look at Moto GP.

Having worked with both the UK and Japanese side of Honda in their golden years I know that they will soon become a formidable power, one just has to remember that their culture is such that it will take time, hopefully next year we will begin to see the true Honda results with Toto Roso."

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