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Toro Rosso in talks to switch to Renault power

ESPN Staff
February 5, 2013 « Caterham cannot be satisfied with 10th - Abiteboul | Vergne not concerned about Toro Rosso future »
Toro Rosso currently has an engine deal with Ferrari © Sutton Images
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Toro Rosso is courting a Renault engine supply deal for 2014 in the hope it can benefit from Red Bull's works deal with the French engine supplier.

Renault currently supplies four teams on the grid, including Red Bull, but Toro Rosso has had Ferrari power since 2007. Nothing has been finalised yet but team principal Franz Tost confirmed his outfit is talking to Renault ahead of the change to V6 turbos next year.

"This has not been decided yet," he said in Jerez. "We are in a conversation with Renault and then we will see. But no contract has been signed so far."

Toro Rosso is owned by Red Bull, whose senior F1 team has agreed a works partnership with Renault going forward, and Tost is hopeful that running both Red Bull teams with the same engines would benefit his outfit.

"This for sure will be an advantage because if we are racing with the Renault engine we will have the same gearbox as Red Bull - this is possible within the regulations. And for sure we will use the synergies within what the regulations will allow us to do."

Tost stressed that it is important a deal is done soon to allow the team to start meaningful work on the packaging of the 2014 car.

"As soon as possible because the earlier we have our partners the easier it is to go into detail and sort out all the open questions. Next year's drivetrain package is very complicated. Not so much from the engine side but from the turbo because of the heat, from the air system and from the gearbox. You need to know as early as possible who are the partners."

Technical director James Key said the team was currently having to use a degree of guess work while mapping out the 2014 car, which will be significantly different due to the new engine regulations.

"We're not entirely flying blind, but there is a certain amount of guesswork there," Key said. "Even at this stage I don't think anybody is 100% clear about how their energy storage is going to look and what's becoming clear for us in 2014 is that everything is interlinked in a much bigger way than now.

"The shape and size of certain parts of the car are affecting other parts of the car and today they don't have that kind of a relationship. There's a lot in the way its packaged and that's where that data comes in to play, but I'm not sure anybody has a final solution yet."