For Toro Rosso and Honda, if the shoe fits, wear it

Bayden Westerweller Roar Guru

By , Bayden Westerweller is a Roar Guru

Tagged:
 , , , ,

2 Have your say

    Red Bull would be wise to link Toro Rosso with Honda. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool)

    In considering its own future, Red Bull would be wise to link Toro Rosso with Honda, with a view to providing the latter outfit with the purpose that it has lacked in recent years.

    With McLaren and the Japanese marque rapidly drifting towards a premature divorce following just three seasons, the perfect opportunity will arise for the beleaguered manufacturer to restore its reputation away from the spotlight with the Faenza outfit.

    Ignoring the necessity for Toro Rosso to inherit the poisoned chalice in order for McLaren to land its desired supply of Renault power – with the French manufacturer unequipped for a fourth customer – there are viable positives if they adopt an open mindset.

    On account of Red Bull’s unwillingness to release its incumbents from their respective contracts across its Formula One portfolio, Toro Rosso been a story of rapidly diminishing returns in recent seasons, meaning it has little to lose in contemplating a switch to Honda.

    The inevitable conclusion – that the Milton Keynes squad will assume Honda supply if and when they finally improve – is sufficient to draw cynicism. However it is a perfectly logical solution that would also tool its junior squad with a modicum of relevance, at least in the short-term.

    Honda will be wary following its chastening experience since returning to the sport in 2015. However, coupled with Red Bull’s endless bleating about its current supplier, ‘TAG Heuer’ – or even Renault, which despite their achievements across the first part of the decade complains whenever an issue arises, Honda should view the unforeseen shift as a low risk means of saving face.

    Despite his considerable frustration, McLaren racing director Eric Boullier was correct in remarking that “it is complicated because you want to do the best for F1 as well.” Although his altruistic sentiment may cloak his desperation to move on from Honda, there is merit in his reflection that the process “is a good collaborative work with all parties in the paddock”, and that “we all try to make the best of the situation.”

    Nobody enjoys the sight of an esteemed operation languishing, and more pertinently, without a purpose. That could be applied to McLaren’s present situation, yet is more explicit in regards to Toro Rosso and Honda.

    There would be no burden of expectation should the pair enter a collaboration, and if inroads are made, that’s a bonus and an instant improvement on where both parties presently lie – at least certainly for the latter. Toro Rosso may accumulate regular points, but even so there is something hollow and unsubstantial about this when it has little effect on its future.

    What’s more, if the financial input offered by Honda to McLaren is redeployed to Toro Rosso, for however long this lasts pending competiveness, they would be equipped to produce a legitimately compelling package. While it’s a huge ‘if’, they would require only corresponding power from Honda and front midfield contention. Even greater could therefore be on the cards.

    For all of the missteps and stubbornness elicited by Honda, departing the sport on a whimper as it did on the previous occasion would be a shame. In an era that is giving rise to the manufacturers once more, this would represent a missed opportunity.

    It could be viewed as a marriage of convenience, yet retooling Toro Rosso could also serve to reinvigorate them. At worst they wouldn’t stand accused of conservatism, rather than merely existing as an expensive insurance policy. For Honda, it has the potential to amount to the step they should have considered in the first instance, biding its time until they are ready to shine on motorsport’s grandest stage.