Toro Rosso’s technical chief James Key says the relationship between the Faenza-based squad and Honda continues to develop nicely.

Key says the first installment of the partnership has lived its course and now led to a close working relationship which he believes will yield the very best results in the longer term.

“The honeymoon is long over,” he told Speed Week. “The relationship has already become much deeper. The cooperation is exemplary.”

“It’s a challenge that we gladly accepted,” he said, commenting on Toro Rosso’s status as a works team.

“We have never had the opportunity to work so closely with an engine manufacturer. We have more responsibility as a factory racing team.

“It’s a completely different situation to being purely a customer. Life at the track is easier as I find that Honda responds to each of our wishes.”

    Honda taking cautious approach to potential Red Bull supply deal

The chances of Honda supplying Red Bull Racing next year appear to be increasing, but Key believes the junior outfit can win with the Japanese manufacturer’s power unit in the back of its cars.

The latest reports reveal that Toro Rosso’s owner Red Bull is now in talks with Honda about a supply of Japanese engines for the main F1 team.

“Where are the rules that say the other teams can’t win?” he smiled.

“I think it’s feasible that we can catch up with the best teams. And with a bit of luck, a podium finish is definitely possible.

“In the longer term, we want to get in a position to win races with Honda,” Key said.

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