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Toro Rosso's Franz Tost: 'Likes to play guinea pigs'

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Toro Rosso team manager Franz Tost
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T oro Rosso has at the end of the Red Bull and Honda have to play guinea pigs this season. Are you still satisfied with how it went?

Tost: We had a season of highs and lows. We had a couple of very good races, like Bahrain, where we finished fourth, or Monaco with seventh and Budapest with sixth. Unfortunately, there were also a few races where we didn't make it into the points and where we were not satisfied with the performance of the car.

Why was it that the results were so mixed ?

Tost: We knew beforehand that the season would not be easy. It was clear that it was a development season for us and Honda. We had two inexperienced drivers as far as Formula 1 is concerned. And we didn't develop the car as much as I expected. Unfortunately, there were also deficits. That's why we couldn't keep up with our direct opponents in the end.

How satisfied are you with the performance of the two drivers?

Tost : Pierre (Gasly) did a very good job. He has constantly evolved. He could have finished in the points again at the end in Abu Dhabi if he hadn't had a technical problem.

Is he now fully trained and ready for promotion to Red Bull?

Tost: The future will tell. He's got a really good base. He knows what it's about. He definitely deserves the place. And I am convinced that he will do a good job at Red Bull as well.

Brendon Hartley was not quite as happy. How much of it was bad luck and how much inability?

Tost: There isn't really much to say about that. Don't forget that it comes from LMP1. It's just a completely different category. Modern Formula 1 is a huge challenge, especially in combination with tire management. Brendon improved throughout the season. It would have been nice if he had made it into the points again in the end.

How did the cooperation with Honda go over the entire season?

Tost: That was all very good. We've made great strides over the year in terms of both performance and durabilityconcerns. Now there are once again very labor-intensive winter months. They have to see to it that the engines get even better for next year. But I'm pretty confident about that.

Are you afraid that Toro Rosso will have to play engine guinea pigs for Honda again in 2019 when new expansion stages are pending?

Tost: That wouldn't be a problem at all, because it would also enable us to improve our own performance. And if it is necessary and Red Bull helps at the same time, then we are happy to play this role.

The technical cooperation with Red Bull will be intensified in 2019. Does Toro Rosso have a duty to improve performance?

Pierre Gasly had to retire in qualifying as well as in the race due to drive problems.

Tost: At least that's to be expected. As for the drive, we get the entire rear end from Red Bull Technology. We will make full use of the synergies within the framework of the regulations. The cooperation is already going according to plan. I expect a decent improvement in performance.

Will your engineers in Faenza have a quiet job in the future when the parts come from Milton Keynes?

Tost: We do get some things from Red Bull, such as the gearbox, but we can then concentrate more intensively on other areas.


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