RACE DEBRIEF

    Toro Rosso present the Honda-powered STR13

    Having given fans a sneak peak of the STR13 last Wednesday, Toro Rosso unveiled their new car for real on Monday morning - just minutes before the start of pre-season testing in Barcelona.

    The new car, the team’s first to be powered by Honda, following the Japanese power unit supplier’s switch from McLaren over the winter, will run in a near identical livery to last year.

    “I am really looking forward to begin this new season and enter a new era for our team, working together with Honda,” said team principal Franz Tost. “It’s an exciting time for Toro Rosso because we have not had our own engine supplier before, so to partner with a manufacturer, with the history Honda has, will be great."

    The STR13 will be campaigned this season by two drivers who made their F1 debuts with the team in 2017 – Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley. The latter gave the Italian built machine its track debut during a very wet filming day in Misano last week, where it ran without issue, and after an unreliable start to testing last year, Toro Rosso will be hoping for a similarly problem-free programme over the next four days in Spain.

    “We have two accomplished rookies for the 2018 season," continued Tost. "They are not completely new because both Pierre and Brendon drove a handful of races for us last year, but this will be their first full season in Formula 1. Both drivers come to us as champions, as Pierre won the 2016 GP2 (now F2) Championship, while Brendon is a double World Endurance Champion and 24 Hour of Le Mans winner.

    “I’m convinced that if we provide them with a competitive car, they will be able to perform at very high levels. We have been working very hard on the STR13, and I’m happy we do not have to wait too long to see it running. The season has begun… Ganbarimasu!”

    Katsuhide Moriyama, Chief Officer for Brand and Communication Operations at Honda added: “I am delighted that our new car is here and ready for the start of winter testing, having been designed and built to a very tight schedule.

    “That is a tribute to the dedication of the Honda and Scuderia Toro Rosso personnel who have already learned to work very well together, developing the STR13 chassis and RA618H power unit package over the short winter months.

    “Now we have just eight days to evaluate our work on the track, in order to be ready for the coming season. We appreciate the warm support from the fans and hope they enjoy watching us compete in this year’s championship.”

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