Just hours before today’s Monaco Grand Prix, Toro Rosso has become the first of the Grand Prix teams to confirm it will use different engines for the 2014 season, the first under the sport’s new turbo regulations.
The Faenza team has confirmed it will use Renault powerplants, gearboxes and recovery systems for the 2014 season, matching the same engine deal of its senior sister team, Red Bull Racing.
The announcement was made today in the Red Bull Energy Station in Monaco’s harbour, with Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost doing the honours with Renault CEO and Chairman Carlos Ghosn. Tost’s opposite number, Christian Horner, was also on hand to represent Red Bull Racing, which has been powered by the French company’s engines since 2007.
“We are very pleased to have reached an agreement to use Renault power units from the 2014 season onwards, when the new regulations will present interesting challenges,” Tost beamed.
“It is particularly important that we have managed to finalise our plans early, so that we can be as well prepared as possible for next year. While looking forward to working with Renault, I would also like to thank Ferrari, our engine supplier since 2007. They have provided us with an extremely effective and reliable engine and an excellent service.
“History shows us how successful Renault has been in Formula 1, with over 150 Grands Prix wins, not to mention taking the last three titles with Infiniti Red Bull Racing. I believe Renault will come up with a very powerful and efficient package to suit the new regulations and we want to be part of this.
In addition, the use of the Renault engine will allow us to enjoy synergies with Red Bull Technology, as we will run their gearbox from 2014 onwards and that will help us reduce costs as we will have no need to develop our own.
“Our engineers have already had meetings with Renault, sharing information about working practices and now that the agreement has been signed, we will continue these meetings to deal with the very complicated technologies involved in next year’s power package.”
The switch now means that a Ferrari engine contract potentially becomes available, with rumours suggesting that the Marussia team – currently powered by Cosworth – is set to pick up the deal.
Meanwhile, Renault’s list of customers is believed to remain at the same number ofr next year, despite the signing of Toro Rosso. Williams is believed to have signed a three-year deal to use Mercedes’ engines from next year, and it is understood that the Grove team will formally announce the tie-up next week.