Toro Rosso head into the 2017 season with optimism as they make the switch from a 2015-spec Ferrari-powered to a 2017-spec Renault-powered challenger.
Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat managed to secure 7th in the Constructors, a position that the team has now secured three times in-a-row. The team has a lot of scope and has enjoyed relative success since misaligning itself with it’s big brother Red Bull Racing a few season’s ago.
Now, the team are looking to reestablish a connection with Red Bull as the 2017 regulations spark up an element of unknowing. Toro Rosso’s highly rated technical director James Key said,
“There are several areas nowadays where it’s acceptable to run the same part or for one team to design a bit and allow the other team to use it and so on, predominantly on power unit-related topics, but it also stretches to gearbox and suspension as well.
That’s all good. It means we can pool our resources a bit more and have better synergies in those areas and certainly, both teams are looking to see what opportunities there are.
The problem with new regulations of course is you’ve got nothing to discuss because you’ve got to go through the whole design process. In 2017 therefore, there will not be that many opportunities for synergies.
In the second year of these regs, once you’ve got bits that work within that set of regulations, then it opens up many more, so 2018 will be a better opportunity. Having said that, having the same engine helps. It draws together a huge amount of commonality in certain areas on the power train side.”
– James Key
Red Bull are expected to hit the ground running in 2017 and the prospect of synergising with Toro Rosso the following season only adds weight to Toro Rosso’s place on the fringes of the points.
The Faenza-based squad will surely benefit from running the same power-unit as Red Bull. It even makes you wonder what the team could have achieved in 2016 if it had stayed with Renault. The French engine supplier still had a deficit to Mercedes but has clearly evolved from the woeful position it found itself in at the dawn of the hybrid era.