Honda targets top three with STR in 2018
15 September 2017 – Honda says that quitting Formula 1 was never an option and has set an ambitious target of challenging for the top three positions with Toro Rosso in 2018.
Several engine-related announcements were finally made on Friday, confirming that McLaren will drop Honda for Renault power, with Toro Rosso taking on the Japanese manufacturer's unit.
Katsuhide Moriyama, Honda's Chief Officer for Brand and Communication Operations, admitted that the latest spell with McLaren was "a very tough situation", but is hopeful for the future.
"For Honda, Formula 1 has started with the dream of our founder, Mr Soichiro Honda, and we already have a history of more than 50 years with Formula 1," he commented.
"For our company, Formula 1 is a very important culture as well as the DNA of our company.
"It's true that we've gone through a very tough situation and nobody was satisfied with the current results, especially the board.
"We have gone through many discussions due to the dissatisfaction of the present and discussed this project with the company to improve the situation.
"[But] quitting F1 was never an option for us."
On next season, he said: "It is our goal to overcome this tough challenge and get back to fighting the frontrunners of the sport – Honda's spirit is going to come back.
"For next year, our goal is to fight for the top three at the top of the grid."
Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost also expressed confidence that Honda will be able to make "dramatic" improvements over coming seasons.
"They have a fantastic infrastructure, and I think they have also learnt a lot about the new power unit," he said.
"I'm convinced that in the next three years, also within the short term, Honda will improve the performance dramatically.
"They have already come up with really good updates during this season, unfortunately, because McLaren is very close to us [in the standings].
"I am 100 per cent convinced that Honda will make big steps forward in the near future and within the next three years.
"I think that Honda and Toro Rosso will have a successful season [in 2018]."