The Red Bull junior team ended its first year with Honda ninth in the constructors’ championship after scoring 33 points, earning a best result of fourth with Pierre Gasly.
Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost has revealed that the opposite end of its fortunes were several costly shunts, including first-lap accidents for Gasly in Spain and Brendon Hartley in Canada.
“We had highlights this season and some races which were really not good,” Tost told Motorsport.com.
“The highlights were quite clear, when Gasly finished fourth in Bahrain, which was a strong race, and he did a very good race also in Monaco [sixth], Budapest he finished sixth.
“Spa was a good race, because we didn’t expect to finish in the points there but we finished ninth, and in Mexico, where he finished 10th.
“Then we had many crashes. This year we spent €2.3 million only for crashes.
“The heavy crash between Gasly and [first-lap spinner Romain] Grosjean at Barcelona, and Gasly couldn’t do anything and the crash with Ocon [on the first lap] in France.
“Then the heavy crash with [Lance] Stroll and Hartley in Canada, then the situation at Silverstone [where Hartley had a massive FP3 crash after suspension failure].
“In Monza, Brendon got touched by Stoffel Vandoorne and by Marcus Ericsson, both of them [before the field had even reached the first corner]. Four sides were nearly gone. This was really not good.”
Marshals remove the wrecked Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso STR13 after it crashed heavily
Photo by: Andrew Hone / LAT Images
Gasly reckons Toro Rosso’s high points outweighed the negatives this year, when a failed mid-season upgrade cost the team in the midfield battle.
Honda’s progress compared to its engine rivals meant Toro Rosso remained in contention to the end of the year, though.
Gasly, who graduates to the Red Bull senior team for 2019, believes Toro Rosso needs more “consistency”.
“There was no way we could have fought with the Renault, both drivers scored many points,” said Gasly, who bested Hartley 29-4 on points.
“Force India were better, so I think we are not far from where we deserve to be. It’s so tight in that midfield that little things can really make you gain a lot.
“The mentality is good, the work is good. We should not forget that Honda had a really tough last three seasons and we scored more points than they did last year with McLaren.
“It means the performance was better. That’s what we should look at and what we should keep doing next year.”
Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso STR13
Photo by: Jerry Andre / Sutton Images