Key sure STR can adapt to Honda switch
16 September 2017 – Toro Rosso Technical Director James Key says that "some challenges" have arisen with the design of its 2018 car, due to a switch to Honda power units, but is sure any setbacks will be overcome.
Toro Rosso will take up McLaren's supply of Honda power units, after signing a multi-year deal, and become the sole team to utilise the Japanese company's products in 2018.
Key has admitted that the relatively late decision is not ideal, but that Toro Rosso will adapt is current approach, rather than trigger an overhaul.
"We are very pleased with our new partnership with Honda and the opportunities this presents, and we start to work immediately," Key explained.
"It will be a question of adaption of our plans rather than a wholesale change.
"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."
Honda's arrival will mark the fourth successive winter in which Toro Rosso has changed its power unit partner.