Renault’s turbocharged V6 Formula 1 power unit has consistently been down on power compared to the Mercedes-Benz and Ferrari engines. Scuderia Toro Rosso signed up to use Renault power in 2014 and 2015, however following the unit’s somewhat underwhelming results, they’ve switched to a Ferrari engine for 2016.
STR driver Max Verstappen thinks his new Ferrari engine could be worth ‘a second’ a lap over his old Renault unit. This is despite the fact that the team won’t be using the upgraded 2016-spec Ferrari engine this year, but rather the less powerful 2015-spec engine.
“Things are looking good,” the 18-year old Dutchman was quoted in saying on his official website. “Of course you always aim to improve the car but the first signs do look promising. The STR10 was already very good in fast corners, so I’m looking forward what this year’s car brings.”
“The Ferrari engine is probably the biggest step,” he added. “I’m expecting a lot from it. A big gain on the engine front makes everything a lot easier. I expect to gain about a second a lap because of engine performance alone, which is a lot. So I think we can make bigger steps then our close rivals.”
The performance gain should make things interesting in 2016. Verstappen and teammate Carlos Sainz have already proved themselves to the F1 world in 2015 with fourth and fifth place finishes, and with a quicker car this year, a podium could be within reach.