Honda reveal biggest difference between McLaren and Red Bull
Honda boss Masashi Yamamoto has pinpointed the communication between his team and Toro Rosso as the key improvement from their previous relationship with McLaren. Honda will supply Red Bull next year after an impressive campaign with the frontrunners' sister team in 2018.
Little was expected from a union between Honda and Toro Rosso after McLaren-Honda finished ninth in the 2017 championship.
Toro Rosso also finished ninth in 2018, but with a far more competitive season behind them – highlighted by Pierre Gasly's fourth-place finish in Bahrain and further impressive points hauls in Monaco and Hungary.
Those results were enough to convince Dr Helmut Marko and Christian Horner to ditch Renault for the Japanese marque for next year, with Gasly also stepping up to replace the Renault-bound Daniel Ricciardo.
With Red Bull giving positive predictions for 2019 in partnership with Honda, Yamamoto is confident that they can continue on the upward trajectory.
"The biggest change to Toro Rosso [compared with McLaren] is we had much better communication with the team compared to the past," Yamamoto told Motorsport.com.
"As a result of that we had better connection between the chassis and power unit on the technical side.
"In terms of the engine itself we were able to see the improvement of reliability and performance. We had Spec 2 and Spec 3 and improved the performance gradually. It was a good preparation for next year.
"We had some troubles at the beginning of the year, reliability issues, and some delay on development but in the end both reliability and performance improved."
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.