'We believe in Honda', insists Marko

Honda logo against setting sun
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Red Bull motorsports consultant Dr Helmut Marko says he is confident that Toro Rosso's new partnership with Honda will pay off.

The team agreed to switch from Renault power units to Honda for 2018 as part of a complex multi-party deal. Toro Rosso's relations with the French manufacturer had grown increasingly strained in 2017 because of early problems with power, performance and reliability.

However, Honda's final year supplying engines to McLaren has been even more nightmarish. Fans are now wondering whether Toro Rosso isn't jumping from the frying pan into the fire with its new arrangement.

But Marko is certain that they've made the right choice.

"We are very happy with the Toro Rosso and Honda cooperation," Marko told the official Formula1.com website this week.

"We do believe in Honda," he insisted. "Otherwise we wouldn’t have made that deal.

"I am very impressed with the facilities that they have, and their determination to win. It is just a matter of bringing everything together.

"We believe that this moment will arrive sooner than everybody is expecting," he added. "They are focused on next year and their cooperation with Honda. Since the announcement, all their efforts have been going into that."

Red Bull itself is sticking with Renault next season, but needs a new engine provider for the year after. Asked if Red Bull might follow its sister team to Honda, Marko said it was a question of waiting and seeing.

"We will observe very closely; beyond 2018 everything is open!"

Right now, the priority at Milton Keynes is to get the RB14 into as good a state as possible for the new season.

"We have learned our lesson from this year," Marko said. "We will not show up at the Barcelona tests with a non-competitive chassis - we have changed our schedule and how we approach the winter preparations.

"It should be better if we have a reliable power unit," he added when asked what his expectations were for 2018.

"If we have more horsepower then we should come nearer to Mercedes. It really could be the scenario that Wolff saw in his crystal ball. It will be an exciting season, that is for sure."

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