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Toto Q&A Exclusive: "We Trust in the Process"

Three races into the 2023 Formula One season and suddenly, three weekends without any on-track action.

This pause in the season has been far from a break in Brackley and Brixworth, as we look to make the most of the time before the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Whilst we're not where we want to be right now, we've been making progress every time we've headed out on track; that's an encouraging sign heading into the rest of the year.

Mid-way through this gap in the calendar, we sat down with Toto, CEO and Team Principal, to reflect on the journey so far in 2023 and look ahead to the story still to come.

Three races in, we've now had some time to reflect over this gap between races, how do you assess the season so far?

Toto: "It's been difficult so far. With the way we developed the car, we were hopeful of sorting out our issues from last year. And we realised we weren't coming out of the blocks where we expected to be. Having said that, we don't feel any sense of entitlement. This is the toughest competition in the world, and it wouldn't be such a fantastic challenge, if it was easy. Three races into the season, I think we saw that one team is setting the benchmark now. In Australia though, we saw glimpses of performance in our car that encourages us for the next part of the season."

You mention the encouraging signs we saw in Australia, what are some of those positives that you have taken from the start to the season so far? And what difference have they made heading into this gap in the calendar?

Toto: "In terms of car development, it is encouraging to see that within three races, we understand the car much better, we have defined a clear direction where we need to go and I believe we are on the right trajectory. We need to consolidate our understanding and hopefully over the next few races we can make another step.

"It's also important to keep on track and not oscillate too much between exuberance and depression; to stay rational and believe in our trajectory, believe in the capability of the team. There will be setbacks but there will also be upgrades and plenty of work that will help us get closer to the front."

We haven't been racing for a few weeks, but it's still been a busy time for everyone. What's been happening in the factories in Brackley and Brixworth? What have been the priorities for us?

Toto: "The machine is continuing to run in Brixworth and Brackley at a fast pace. What you see on track is only the tip of the iceberg, but the performance of the car and Power Unit is made in these two factories. The mindset is great, the spirit is there and I see a lot of buzz. I believe 100 percent in our organisation, because our perspective is not always on a single race weekend, not even a single season. It's on trying to build our capability so we are successful over multiple years, while recognising the fact you are never going to win every single season, because no sports team has ever done it."

We're all racers. We love being out on track. How do you feel ahead of Baku and a busy few weeks on the road again?

Toto: "I enjoy being on the road. It's part of our job. But of course, it feels good to have a couple of weeks at home, going to the office, being with family. And doing some sports, which is difficult to do when you are on the road. We've been skiing over Easter which was great fun. In Austria, you need to ski. It's impossible not to ski!"

Looking ahead to the rest of the season, what are the shorter-term objectives for the team and then what are the longer-term aims?

Toto: "We understand the knowledge that we need to recover. We need to have a steeper development curve than Red Bull and fundamentally, we want to compete for race wins. They are setting the benchmark now. We trust in the process and in the people, and there will be setbacks. But if the trajectory is up, that's where we want to be heading."

Are there any races you're looking forward to, both from your own perspective and the team?

Toto: "Baku is a very different track. It's high speed on the straights and it's always an entertaining race. Miami's track layout is also a unique challenge. Going back there is fantastic with lots of marketing and partnership activities. And then obviously Imola, where we will start the first triple-header of the season. We will consistently be bringing upgrades to the car over the next few races, which is something to look forward to. But there is no such thing as a magic bullet that transforms the car, and it's about being realistic with your expectations. Hopefully we will see a steady improvement."