Toro Rosso has fired up Honda's engine for the first time ahead of the 2018 campaign.
Toro Rosso has replaced McLaren as Honda's only engine partner. On Wednesday it released a short video showing the first start-up, as well as race drivers Brendon Hartley and Pierre Gasly having their seat fittings.
What a fantastic Valentine's Day, the STR13 and the Honda RA618H finally meet ❤️ pic.twitter.com/vEY14v28Aw— Toro Rosso (@ToroRosso) February 14, 2018
Honda hopes its new project will mend its F1 reputation after three disastrous years with McLaren. That partnership was supposed to last at least 10 years, but was cut short last year after McLaren finally lost patience with the constant issues and missed upgrade deadlines.
This month, Amazon released the documentary 'Grand Prix Driver' following the early months of McLaren-Honda's 2017 campaign, which reveals McLaren's first engine fire-up 12 months ago had to be done manually after a raft of technical issues. It also shows how McLaren bosses feared the third successive failure to produce a competitive or reliable engine would prompt Fernando Alonso to walk away from the sport.
Toro Rosso followed up the video with a light-hearted response to the well-known struggles Honda encountered with its last project.
There is plenty of interest around our fire-up, this FAQ might help a bit 😉 pic.twitter.com/tPTKcMc0zY— Toro Rosso (@ToroRosso) February 14, 2018
Toro Rosso is hoping to avoid similar setbacks and has targeted an issue-free pre-season. Last year it went through a public spat with former supplier Renault after its own problematic campaign.
The team is currently set to be the last team to unveil its 2018 car, which it plans to do in the pit-lane on the morning of the opening test in Barcelona on February 26.