When Scuderia Toro Rosso announced it would be using a 2015 spec Ferrari engine for its 2016 Formula 1 campaign, the first thoughts were a bit sour but after reflection and reading much wiser F1 pundit comments, the prospects actually could be better than initially thought.
As pundits unpacked the thought of a reliable and quick Ferrari lump providing shove in the back of a 2016 STR chassis in the hands o Plucky Teen Max Verstappen, they realized that this team could easily punch above its weight given the design genius of James Key.
When asked about the progress of the chassis, however, Key wasn’t as positive as one might hope:
“Yes and no, because when you’ve got a tricky engine situation it’s always a compromise.
“There is a compromise because you’ve really got to be optimising your car around what is an incredibly complicated installation of these power units. Back in March is when you’re really getting to grips with what you’re trying to do.
“So it does compromise from a technical viewpoint. In terms of what the team is doing, I don’t think it makes the slightest bit of difference. You simply shuffle plans around accordingly.”
For James, it’s a case of overcoming adversity and get the best people you have focused on the job at hand. Namely a late start with a new engine supply:
“We’ve got various stages of planning, there are some really good guys to work on all this stuff, so we’ve got a lot of very competent production guys and designers who are working hard to make sure that we’re in the best shape possible.
“You’d never want it because it is a massive distraction and it does compromise your car, but it’s surprising what you can do when you’re faced with uncertainty.”
So how, realistically, well do we expect them to do? Top 10 finishes no doubt but where? Are top five finishes in the making? Will it be a case of strong in the beginning of the season and trailing off toward mid-season?
Hat Tip: Sky Sports F1