Year-old Ferrari engines for Toro Rosso in 2016

2016 F1 season

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Toro Rosso has confirmed it will use 2015-specification Ferrari engines next year and retain its current driver line-up.

“Scuderia Ferrari and Scuderia Toro Rosso have reached an agreement that will see the Faenza-based squad use the current Ferrari Power Unit in the 2016 Formula One season,” said Maurizio Arrivabene in a statement.

“On-track testing will begin in February, 2016 at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain.”

Toro Rosso chief Franz Tost said “We had a fruitful relationship in the past and I’m sure it won’t take long for us all to be working together very well again.”

“It’s true that time will be very tight for us to be ready for the first test, but we have the right team of people for this and I’m confident that together we will achieve a competitive package for next year.”

Toro Rosso said they expect “an improvement in our performance next year” and said its driver Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jnr “will be able to translate all this year’s learnings and experience into additional valuable feedback throughout the season”.

Toro Rosso previously used Ferrari engines between 2007 and 2013, during which time they scored their only F1 win to date at Monza in 2008.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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38 comments on “Year-old Ferrari engines for Toro Rosso in 2016”

  1. wasn’t there a new rule that prevented engine manufacturers from selling year-old engines? or am i mistaken?

    1. @Rigi You’re right but it was changed two days ago.

      1. Damm it. I had fell in love with this rule-didn’t liked the possibility to use old engines. At all.

        A pity it’s removed.

        1. I agree, though without it perhaps we’d have no Toro Rosso, so maybe it’s the lesser of two evils.

          1. We’d have possibly lost Manor too this year if they hadn’t been granted an exception.

    2. The FIA also opened the door for teams to continue using year-old power units, as Manor did this year. “Power units homologated in previous seasons may now be re-homologated,” noted the FIA in a statement. “Previously no manufacturer could supply more than one specification of PU.”

      “The World Motor Sport Council was also advised that the FIA had agreed for Ferrari to supply a fourth customer team with a 2015-specification power unit in 2016,” it added. The fourth team is expected to be Toro Rosso, in addition to Sauber, Haas and Ferrari.

    3. Dreaded rule. In a way it’s good riddance for RB and STR. STR wanted to get their hands on Renault PU as their main team. RB put all their eggs in one basket, they tied their hands effectively giving them 1/3 chances of getting the stronger PU for 2014. Instead of getting a stronger bond between team and manufacturer, RB and Renault collapsed, especially in 2015, no progression at all.

  2. Does anyone know if Toro Rosso could get a 2016 engine at some point next season? I remember seeing something about that but can’t recall for sure.

    1. I can imagine Ferrari running out of parts at some pont and then switching to something newer?

      Or the lead over STR will be big enough to allow them to use a 2016 engine sometime during the season

  3. What about Sauber and HAAS? are they getting 2016 PUs?

    1. Can’t see why they wouldn’t get 2016 PUs. This announcement is keeping in line with Ferrari’s argument that an engine deal this close to next season would require the customer to use year-old engines, simply because they can’t develop and produce quickly enough to supply 2016 PUs to a 4th team.

      1. Red Bull probably wouldn’t allow Toro Rosso to have 2016 engines, wouldn’t look good being whooped by the junior team, still be comical though if Toro Rosso beat RBR with a 2015 Ferrari PU.

    2. I think Haas is getting the 2015 unit. Heard a quote from him during the Austin GP. Don’t know about Sauber. Wonder if they have the money to buy the units even if they are offered by Ferrari.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        4th December 2015, 16:58

        @evered7 Actually Sauber contracted both the 2015 and the 2016 PU!

        And early rumours has it that the losing PU will drag Monisha to court in Melbourne!

        1. This never gets old :)

        2. LOL! Hopefully it won’t be nasty this time around in Melbourne. Arrivabene has already probably made an offer that Sauber can’t refuse.

        3. Haha. And let us not forget this deal with Honda. And of course Tag Heuer is also from Switzerland, so we all know it is a done deal, right?

  4. Toro Rosso are going to (year-old) Ferrari engines in a James Key-designed chassis? Surely that means Max the Bandit is going to bag a few podiums next year. Maybe even a win!

  5. Another Vettel in the making? Ferrari engined STR taking a win in Monza in wet conditions and hopefully the winner moves to Ferrari and wins successive titles :)

    Surely this means STR are going to beat RBR next season?

    1. Depends how good or how bad the 2016 Renault PU will be.

      1. TAG PU, please. Unless it is, indeed, bad.

        1. Considering how many times the Renault PU failed this season, I can see them playing TAG with engines next season.

          TAG, you’re it.

  6. I presume that the 2015 engines are at long last homologated? Since they were allowed to spend their 2015 tokens pre-homologation, but presumably can’t spend any of their new allowance for over the winter until they have homologated the last one… Homologation IIRC means that they would finally deliver a master copy of the homologated engine to the FIA against which it would then compare any modifications too (I assume that until now they’ve been comparing spent tokens against the 2014 homologated engine)

  7. I’m really not a fan of allowing old spec engines. This is bad news for Max and Carlos, this almost guarantees the Toro Rossos will be behind the 16′ Merc PU runners, (Williams, Force India and possibly the Manor’s), and Sauber and possibly Honda/Mclaren depending on where they end up.

    1. Even if they stick the PU into this year’s car, they will be comfortable next season.

      I don’t think anyone is going to find massive amounts of power anymore (Honda/Renault excluded), so while it will not be a match it won’t be a mismatch like this season as well.

    2. The only team that is in danger of finishing behind Manor, even if Manor have run a 2014 car and a 2014 Ferrari-engine this year and will be running a 2016 car and a 2016 Merc engine next year, is McLaren.

      But it sure will be fun to see what will become of the 2016 Renault / 2015 Ferrari – comparison within the Red Bull-family.

  8. Odds are that running the 2015 Ferrari engine in 2016 will see Torro Rosso have the same power deficit over the Mercedes and 2016 Ferrari powered teams as they have already had during 2015 with the Renault power unit that seemed to fail to find any more power than they had in 2014. But crucially they won’t have the reliability problems.

    Without all the power unit related points losses this year they would easily have had 6th in the constructors, and without sitting down and doing the maths of how many points they lost that Force India inherited I couldn’t say for sure if 5th would have been on the cards or not. They’ve been on a trend of improving chassis each year though, with the reliability sorted, their two drivers no longer rookies I’m pretty confident of them taking 5th in the constructors championship next year.

  9. Black 'n' Blue15
    4th December 2015, 20:36

    It’s like getting your kid for Christmas a pair of shorts a size too small.

    1. But these do not rip.

      1. Black 'n' Blue15
        4th December 2015, 21:06

        Toro Rosso are probably being ripped off though…

  10. I don’t see why this has suddenly become an issue as teams have been running year or more old engines since the start of F1.

    Sauber were running year old Ferrari engines for years & Minardi had year old Ferrari engines in the early 1990’s. Tyrrell used year old Honda’s for a few years & Minardi tended to run year old Ford’s for most of the late 1990’s & 2-3 years in the early 2000’s. Heck even STR ran year old Cosworth engines in there 1st season in F1 10 years ago next year.

    Manor did it this year & I don’t recall any complaints, Maybe the complaints around STR having to do it is because they have a popular driver in the team? If it was Sauber, Haas or Manor I doubt anyone would be giving it a 2nd thought because it would just be seen as part of F1.

    1. These hybrids are the first time it was forbidden to use old engines; Manor got special dispensation. Of course, the rules have now changed (again), making that point rather moot.

    2. I don’t see why this has suddenly become an issue as teams have been running year or more old engines since the start of F1.

      F1 had a lot more open rules back in the day. The rule that manufacturers only can homogenate one engine was introduced to try and keep things manageable but also to bring the field closer together. Even in the V8 era there weren’t many teams running year old engines, but older spec or partially updated engines will always happen. With the current engine formula, having a year old engine can make an enormous difference in speed and reliability. My guess it that the FIA and backmarkers don’t want that. Tyrrell, Minardi and Sauber chose those older engines in a much cheaper and open engine formula, so you can’t really compare it.

      Manor did it this year & I don’t recall any complaints

      Maybe because they were brought back from bankruptcy? They had debts to Ferrari, they were lucky that Ferrari even offered them to use their 2014 PU and have the FIA allow it.

      Maybe the complaints around STR having to do it is because they have a popular driver in the team?

      I think it’s more a sense of disappointment than complaints. Red Bull managed to make a mess of their relationship with Renault, they get new Renault engines rebranded, Toro Rosso get a year old engines. In the meantime, Manor will get new Mercedes power units. It’s a bit warped, but I don’t see anyone calling for heads at Ferrari or the FIA.

  11. People can say they are not fans of giving teams old spec engines as much as they want, when I was a boy Cosworth turned up with EC engines and DFR engines and DFR engines and all sorts of other specs for the minnows and we didn’t care then. Why should we care now if it keeps teams on the grid?

  12. So.. 2017 Ferrari driver line up

    Sebastian Vettel
    Max Verstappen

  13. I think Sainz is more of a second driver type personality than Verstappen, as are Grosjean, Hulkenberg, Bottas and Perez.

    I could be wrong but Ferrari wants to build around Vettel and to do that you don’t need a Verstappen or Ricciardo type alpha overtaking Seb and screaming “NO!!” over the team radio. Besides, history shows it is not very Ferrari-like to run two #1’s nor drivers under 25

    1. Or a Kyvatt or Vergne who have both beaten Ricciardo over a season.

  14. It’s still going to be tough to beat the Mercedes PU. They were already race testing for next year with their 4th PU this year.

    By the way, did Rosberg use his 3rd PU after the Monza practice incident, or did Mercedes get him through all but two laps of this season’s races with only 3 engines? (If so that puts the Abu Dhabi radio messages about strat modes in a new light. Were Mercedes restricting Hamilton because they had to restrict Rosberg owing to his engine life?)

    However you look at it Mercedes seems to be holding all the aces in next year’s engine competition.

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