This year, Scuderia Toro Rosso is dropping its Renault power for Honda. Honda, of course, spent three seasons working with McLaren to rekindle the success they had together in the 80s and 90s, when the two were an unstoppable force in F1.
It didn't work out that way. McLaren and Honda had an awful time with more engine failures than we care to count and it ended in a messy divorce. McLaren got Toro Rosso's supply of Renault engines, Toro Rosso got the Honda power unit.
What many had assumed would be bad news for Toro Rosso hasn't quite panned out that way, though. Toro Rosso's first day of running in Barcelona was a success, with 93 laps run, the most of anybody and the most Honda has run on an opening test day since its return to the sport.
Brendon Hartley, Toro Rosso's newest driver, on McLaren dropping the Japanese engine supplier. He believes McLaren "made a mistake" and that the engine is "very drivable" with "more power than last year."
That has to sting McLaren, especially the idea that the latest iteration of the Honda has more power than the Renault unit Hartley used last year. Then again, it is natural that Hartley would build up Honda and put down Renault: he has a Honda engine now, and Renault left them.
The Honda , with Hartley's teammate Pierre Gasly setting the sixth fastest time in today's testing before it was interrupted by snow. McLaren was third quick with Stoffel Vandoorne at the wheel, but that time was set on the new 'hypersoft' tires, while Gasly was just a second behind with the 'soft' tire, a compound two degrees harder than the hypersoft.
It'll be interesting to see just how quick both teams are when we reach the Australian Grand Prix in just a few weeks.