Brendon Hartley, Toro Rosso, Hungaroring, 2018

Toro Rosso “definitely need some upgrades”, say drivers

2018 F1 season

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The Toro Rosso drivers say more upgrades are needed for their car in order for them to remain competitive in the championship.

The team has only scored two points since the summer break and is trying to defend its eighth place in the constructors’ championship from Sauber.

Brendon Hartley admitted the team hadn’t as competitive as they expected to be at Singapore, where both drivers finished outside the top 10.

“I don’t think this race was positive from a speed point of view,” he said. “I think we’ve been more competitive in some of the previous races. I’m not sure [why] at the moment but obviously it wasn’t a good weekend for both cars.”

“We definitely need some upgrades,” he added, “There’s been times when we can fight a bit closer to the top 10 but today wasn’t one of them.”

Hartley’s team mate Pierre Gasly said the last significant upgrade to the car came at the Austrian Grand Prix – and that hadn’t worked as planned. “We are not using it any more so it’s been a couple of races since we had an upgrade,” he said.

Gasly said the team is expecting to receive an engine upgrade from Honda in time for the Japanese Grand Prix.

“To perform there for sure will be great,” he said. “But I think really we can’t have a sort of expectations because since the beginning of the year when we think about [where] we’re going to be competitive we’re not always and then sometimes we think we are not going to be competitive and we are more than we thought.

“Hopefully the upgrades come in the engine and the car altogether will put us a bit higher in the rank because for sure we didn’t have any upgrades since a long time.”

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2018 F1 season

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 11 comments on “Toro Rosso “definitely need some upgrades”, say drivers”

    1. Is this engine only upgrade talk or also or even mainly car upgrade (aero, suspension, etc) talk?

      1. I think he means car aerodynamics, they have always been specific about car and engine related interviews.

    2. And Maclaren want James Key why?

    3. Maybe Marko put Key on NonActive.

    4. Yes, what’s up with TR? Has the money from RB/Mateschitz dried up?
      How does that rhyme with stories that RB want to turn TR into a proper “Haas” team?
      Questions, questions…

      1. @ricod
        I’m wondering come the budget cap (and @dieterrencken or @keithcollantine can tell me if I’ve got this wrong) but could RB and TR do it in reverse?

        Toro Rosso spend their money doing the basic design which RB can buy and then spend the majority of their money allocation on aero?

        Of course, it’s never that simple but food for thought.

    5. I would think that Toro Rosso are putting all their energy into the new regs next year car rather than waste resource with this one.

      Also with the impending loss of Key they will likely be pulling his knowledge more proactively whilst they still can.

      1. Pulling Key’s key knowledge of pulling weeds…isn’t he on ‘garden leave’ already?

    6. My guess is the focus is on the 2019 car with only PU development being done.

      No news about James Key suggests he’s still hard at work fulfilling his contractual obligations at TR. (maybe Zak should check these things before making announcements)

      No point spending money on development for this year if there’s not going to be any change to their WCC positions.

    7. I think this is a good time for Honda to be developing the engine. While another new engine would incur penalties, no one is worried about this, so why not go for broke and do as many upgrades as you can? I think the important points are whether the upgrade arrives in time for the Japanese GP or not, and whether or not the new engine is more powerful than the current, not whether the aerodynamics are better or not. I doubt there will be another upgrade after the one that is now pending, but if Honda do manage to build another upgrade before Brazil then they should try that too.
      Toro Rosso’s role now is research and development for next year. Getting more points is a bonus.

    8. I guess that Honda is still trying to get reliability right before major power upgrades. This spec 2 started with some hick ups in the first 2 races, but since then it has been a somewhat reliable engine and in power terms comparable to Renault. They probably tuned it down after those first 2 races to sort out reliability, and then started running it at its full potential (monza and Spa) and it hold pretty well. They most likely want to see if this spec can hold the 8 races that it needs to achieve so that next year they can try and not get so many penalties.

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