Honda happy with calm after McLaren storm

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A bit of serenity has set in at Honda following a trouble-free period of pre-season testing with new partner Toro Rosso.

The calm follows a difficult and troubled 2017 season which saw Honda dismissed by McLaren after a dismal three years of growing pains and under-performance for both partners.

As Honda regains its composure on the back of a flawless two weeks of testing, its troops are undoubtedly a happier group, and one which likely takes comfort from the fact that so far, Toro Rosso's STR13 has proven to be a faster that McLaren's Renault-powered MCL33.

"It's not about seeing McLaren with problems but because they are going faster with a very similar engine," Japanese journalist Kaz Kawai told Marca.

"So the power unit is good and its reliable, which is why they're happy.

"Honda did not like breaking with McLaren, who have continued to criticise them, but it is how it is. Now they are more calm and satisfied that their engine is good and it will improve more."

Toro Rosso has spared no effort to establish a good line of communication with its engine partner, even initiating the Faenza squad's personnel to Japanese culture to help the team better understand Honda's work mentality.

Team boss Franz Tost has played a key role in boosting the partners' relationship, drawing on his experience of the Japanese acquired back in the 1990s, when he worked with Ralf Schumacher during the driver's spell in Japan.

"We are very happy with Honda," Tost confirmed.

"I am sure they will offer us a very competitive package, that during the season we will advance a lot and for the final part we will have a very competitive car.

"Our goal is to be at the front of the middle zone. I don't care about McLaren, but I am sure that, in the end, we will have a more competitive package than theirs," Tost added.

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