Berger praises former engineer and new Honda tech boss Tanabe

Gerhard Berger believes Honda is in good hands with new F1 technical boss Toyoharu Tanabe, a man the Austrian knows well from his McLaren days.

After a massively disappointing three-year period of underperformance, Honda parted ways with McLaren to commit to a new partnership with Toro Rosso.

The pair’s association enjoyed a perfect start with the Faenza-based squad’s new STR13 running almost flawlessly for two weeks in pre-season testing in Barcelona, even achieving more mileage than McLaren with its own new engine supplier, Renault.

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Late last year, Honda undertook a management restructuring of its F1 department, with former project leader Yusuke Hasegawa moving on to another function while Tanabe was named F1 technical director responsible for all racing and testing operations.

Berger believes the move will benefit the Japanese manufacturer as well as Toro Rosso.

“I had to smile when I saw my old engineer, who worked on my car for three years, as the new Honda technical director,” Berger told Servus TV.

“He is really good, so I can imagine that with Toro Rosso, Franz Tost and the power of Red Bull behind them, they will do well.”

The Austrian, who conquered ten F1 wins during his career as a driver, was once a part-owner of Scuderia Toro Rosso along with Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz.

“It’s a good sign that Honda has been doing well in reliability,” Berger added.

“It’s a company with a great sporting culture.”

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