Jan.27 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Toro Rosso took on an 100 additional staff to cope with the challenge of preparing for the 2016 season.
The Faenza based team’s schedule was thrown into chaos late last year amid the dispute between parent company Red Bull and Renault.
In the end, Red Bull stayed with Renault power for 2015, but the smaller Toro Rosso outfit was left at the eleventh hour with the task of adapting its 2016 car to a Ferrari engine.
“We have 480 people working at Toro Rosso now,” boss Franz Tost told the Italian magazine Autosprint.
“This is because we have three working shifts to build the car, on which work started late,” he explained. “By March we will reduce the number to 380, including those who work in the UK in the wind tunnel.”
When asked if Toro Rosso will be ready for the 2016 season, Tost answered: “Yes, I would like more time, but our technical department has many experienced staff who optimise the time that we have.
“Also, the tests begin later this year than they did in 2015. So I am optimistic.”
Carlos Sainz has been assigned the duty of debuting the STR11 at Barcelona on February 22, the opening day of official winter action.
But a further complication for Toro Rosso is that, in no longer having the same engine supplier, there is now less cooperation that Faenza can do with Red Bull.
“Unfortunately yes,” said Tost. “For example, before we worked together on the hydraulics and now we have to do everything ourselves. Our cooperation will be less intense.”
Toro Rosso is also responsible for its own gearbox.
“We can go to the Ferrari ‘box only in 2017,” said Tost. “When we were looking for a new supplier of engines, the work on the gearbox was already under way.
“Let’s see how the situation develops. If the Ferrari gearbox will be more reliable, practical and cheap, we will use it,” he added.
He would prefer, however, that Toro Rosso and Red Bull can once again move more closely together in the future.
“Perhaps we will go back to using the same engines,” said Tost, “including for reasons of economy.
“Generally, the economic structure of the teams in F1 does not correspond with current (global) trends. Many major automakers are working together, and yet in formula one we spend money in parallel: each team does his own details, has its own wind tunnel.
“We spend huge amounts of money that could be saved through greater cooperation. Not only that, the cars would be closer together and the races more interesting.
“This is the vision of Dietrich Mateschitz, and thankfully he has proved he is able to look long-term. But there are teams with a technical advantage that are opposed to any form of cooperation.
“As for us, the technical collaboration with Red Bull is crucial for the future,” he added.
What Tost is not worried about, he insists, is that Toro Rosso is having to use the so-called ‘old’ Ferrari engine this year.
“I do not think this engine is so old,” said the Austrian, “as in the last race of last season, it was almost equal to the best.”