AlphaTauri Formula 1 boss Franz Tost is sure his team can get through the entire 2020 season without facing engine penalties as a result of improvements made by Honda. 

An aggressive approach to development from the Japanese manufacturer in 2019 resulted in a number of engine-related grid drops for the four Honda-powered cars across the year, but Tost believes such a repeat will not occur this season. 

Asked if getting throughout the year without incurring engine penalties is a realistic target, Tost replied: “Yes. I think so. 

“We have still the same engine in the car and if we finish everything without a failure then one of the first big steps we made already. 

“In the past we always changed the power unit during the test, and up to now this hasn’t been the case.” 

Tost is confident Honda’s latest power unit is a “big step up” compared to its predecessor but stressed it will take a few races to fully understand any potential performance gains. 

“This was a big step up, we are working together the third year with them,” he explained. 

“If you look how the power unit is fitted into the monocoque and if you compared to the first year there is a big, big difference.

“Everything Is optimised, from the electric boxes, to the water pumps, all this stuff, to get a better centre of gravity, weight distribution, and this of course helps, it’s a performance differentiator. 

“And they made big steps forwards also from the reliability side and from the performance side. 

“How much? This we will see after 2-3 races as we don’t know how much the other teams made. We need the comparison and for this you need 2-3 races.”