Motor Sport News - - F1 Preview: Themes -

One of the most in­trigu­ing sub­plots of this year will come from the Red Bull-backed squads.

So long the feeder squad to its big­ger sis­ter, Toro Rosso could be set to make a break­through this year, and could po­ten­tially leapfrog Red Bull Rac­ing.

The ad­di­tion of year-old Fer­rari power units for may have sounded like a naff deal at first – it is the only team on the grid run­ning 2015-spec en­gines – but when com­pared to the Re­nault unit Red Bull is re­ly­ing on, it’s a big boost.

The Fer­rari pow­er­plant fared con­sid­er­ably bet­ter than Re­nault’s last term, and Red Bull chiefs ex­pect the switch to be worth 0.8s per lap for Toro Rosso. The Faenza team has kept things sim­ple too, us­ing a car­ry­over chas­sis mod­i­fied to carry the Fer­rari unit. Toro Rosso was se­cond only to Mercedes in the test­ing mileage.

In con­trast, Red Bull is ham­strung with a TAG Heuer-badged Re­nault unit, hav­ing failed to se­cure an al­ter­na­tive en­gine sup­ply, de­spite its best ef­forts late last year. The

Car: F1 W07 Hy­brid En­gine: Mercedes-benz PU106C Hy­brid First GP: France 1954 Races: 127 Wins: 45 Poles: 53 Fastest laps: 38 Points: 2285 Driv­ers’ ti­tles: 4 Con­struc­tors’ ti­tles: 2


De­but: Bahrain 2006 Races: 185 Wins: 14 Poles: Fastest laps: Points: Driv­ers’ ti­tles: 0

22 14 1209.5

re­lated di­rectly to ini­tia­tives that would be us­able for the 2016 ver­sion and that the track miles they have al­ready had will put them on the front foot.

From the test­ing times it seems the team has man­aged to hold sta­tion in the slip­stream of the top teams.

How­ever, those lim­ited fi­nances might mean progress much fur­ther is hard.

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