Thursday 18 January at 06:35 :
Jan.18 (GMM) Toro Rosso is looking to avoid some of the pitfalls of the ill-fated McLaren-Honda partnership.
With McLaren dumping its works backing after three woeful years, Honda power is now moving to the Red Bull junior team.
And boss Franz Tost said Toro Rosso is determined that the very different Japanese culture is understood by the staff at the team's Italian HQ.
"For a better understanding of Japanese culture, seminars and workshops are being taken up with great interest by our employees," he told Speed Week.
"We all know that Japan has its own culture and it's one of the really exciting challenges actually to synchronise that with our own culture," Austrian Tost added.
"If we were not convinced that it can be achieved, we would never have gone ahead with this project."
Although the decision to switch to Honda was taken late, Tost insists Toro Rosso has enough time to integrate the very different engine for 2018.
"Actually an early decision like this is rare," he insisted.
"Let me remind you that the change to Ferrari two years ago was decided in December, but we managed to do it in a timely manner. The use of our own transmission simplifies the process," Tost said.
Otherwise, Tost said being the works Honda team "will help" in finding sponsors, but that the existing basic team structure will remain unchanged.
"The number of employees is a healthy basis for a successful future," he said.
As for 2018, he said: "The realistic goal for us is a place in the midfield.
"Generally, I do not expect big changes. I'm still expecting Mercedes but of course I'm hoping that Red Bull and Ferrari fight for the championship. And if I'm honest, I hope more for Red Bull than for Ferrari."