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No frustration for Toro Rosso over Renault F1 engine deficit

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Toro Rosso Formula 1 chief Franz Tost says there is no frustration over the power deficit of the Renault engine used by the team, citing confidence in the French manufacturer to make gains in the coming races.

Toro Rosso’s weakest area through 2016 was power after it opted to use Ferrari’s 2015-spec engines, meaning development was frozen for the entire year.

With relations between parent team Red Bull and Renault once again cordial, Toro Rosso moved back to a current-year supply for 2017, only to for there to be a power deficit compared to the Ferrari and Mercedes power units.

Toro Rosso currently sits fifth in the F1 constructors’ championship, with Carlos Sainz Jr. scoring its best result of the season so far last time out in Monaco, finishing sixth.

Renault has promised engine updates will arrive in the next few races, and Tost is pleased with the progress that is being made, even if it is gradual.

“Renault is making some small steps,” Tost said. “First of all, they have to get everything under control from the reliability side. We must not forget that Renault came up with a completely new design of an engine and this takes time.

“We all know that the power unit now is very very complicated and I’m convinced that within the second half of the season they will provide us with a very good, powerful engine. I must say that so far we are quite happy with the performance with Renault.”

While Red Bull remains frustrated by the performance of its power unit as it looks to gain ground on rivals Ferrari and Mercedes, Tost said Toro Rosso remains relaxed, particularly in light of its struggles in 2016.

“There’s no frustration. It always depends where you are coming from,” Tost said.

“Last year we had a one year-old engine and now we are even happy to have this year’s engine and as I just mentioned before, I’m convinced that Renault will do the steps forward which they promised.”

Tost happy with challenge posed by 2017 Pirelli F1 tires

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Toro Rosso Formula 1 chief Franz Tost sees no issue with the tires that Pirelli has supplied to the sport for the 2017 season, believing they pose a good challenge.

Pirelli revised its tire compounds for 2017 as part of a shake-up of F1’s technical regulations, making them more durable so that drivers could push them harder.

Teams have managed the new challenge with varying levels of success. While Ferrari has been particularly prolific on the softer compounds, Mercedes has struggled, with its failure to finish on the podium in Monaco being attributed to its ultra-soft tire woes.

Speaking over the Monaco weekend, Tost said that while Pirelli’s tires were proving a challenge for the drivers and engineers to understand, this was no bad thing.

“The tires are a challenge, to understand them, how they work,” Tost said.

“But it’s good for the engineers as well as for the drivers to find out in which window they can get their earliest peak and they can get the most out of it.

“In motorsports, they have to understand the tire because it’s a performance differentiator and therefore I can only say positive [things] about Pirelli.

“In my opinion they do a good job and today I saw the same for all the teams and we have to find the best possible solution and get the most out of it.

“And there are always complaints; either they are too soft or they are too hard or this or that. Forget it, they should sit in the car and should push. That’s it.”

Sainz keen to emulate father by entering major rally one day

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Toro Rosso Formula 1 driver Carlos Sainz Jr. has revealed he would like to enter a major rally event one, following in the footsteps of his double world champion father.

Carlos Sainz Sr. raced in the FIA World Rally Championship between 1987 and 2005, winning the drivers’ title in 1990 and 1992 and finishing as runner-up on four occasions.

Sainz Jr. followed his father into motorsport, opting to focus on circuit racing. The Spaniard worked his way up the single-seater ladder, winning the Formula Renault 3.5 title in 2014 before stepping up to F1.

Sainz continues to be spoken about as one of F1’s brightest young talents, yet beyond life on the grid, he has revealed his ambition to enter a major rally event someday.

When asked about his favorite buzz in the official F1 website’s ‘The Secret Life Of…” feature, Sainz said: “Driving a rally car. One day I want to race in one of the big rallies.” He went on to add that doing a rally was on his bucket list, along with fighting for an F1 world title.

Responding to a question about the last time he was really angry, Sainz said it came over the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend in April – but not in the race when he crashed out after tangling with Lance Stroll.

“Sure everybody thinks it was the Bahrain race – wrong! It was the Saturday in Bahrain when I went out in Q1,” Sainz said.

“Sunday, it was in the heat of the race, and there **** can happen.”

Sainz hails ‘perfect weekend’ after finishing sixth in Monaco

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Carlos Sainz Jr. paid tribute to his Toro Rosso Formula 1 team after enjoying a “perfect weekend” in Monaco that ended with a sixth-place finish on Sunday.

Toro Rosso displayed good pace throughout practice in Monaco, with Sainz continuing this form into qualifying as he qualified P6.

The Spaniard held position through the early part of the race, keeping the chasing pack back before coming under pressure from Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton late in the race.

Sainz defended well to fend Hamilton off and take sixth at the line, matching his best finish in F1.

“What a result, what a perfect weekend! We need to enjoy this moment, because it’s not usual to achieve a faultless grand prix on the streets of Monaco, and this time we did,” Sainz said.

“We put in good laps in practice, in yesterday’s qualifying session and, in today’s race, we were able to keep a world champion in a faster car behind and finish P6. It definitely feels so good!

“We’ve also been quicker than the rest of the midfield throughout the whole weekend and I’d like to thank the whole team for this, they gave me a very good car to drive.

“I really enjoyed today’s race. Now it’s time to celebrate this well-deserved result with the team before starting to think about the Canadian GP, which is up next!”

Sainz refusing to get carried away with Toro Rosso’s Monaco pace

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Carlos Sainz Jr. is refusing to get carried away despite making a strong start to the Formula 1 weekend in Monaco as Toro Rosso got both of its cars inside the top five in second practice.

Toro Rosso currently sits fifth in the F1 constructors’ championship amid a close midfield battle, but appeared to pull clear of rivals Williams and Force India in Monaco on Thursday.

Sainz and teammate Daniil Kvyat both reached the top 10 in FP1 before sharing the lead for much of the early part of FP2 before the likes of Ferrari and Red Bull went quicker.

Kvyat ultimately finished the session fourth-fastest, 0.6 seconds off pace-setter Sebastian Vettel’s time, while Sainz followed in P5, but the Spaniard urged caution in the Toro Rosso ranks after the session.

“I think that we did what we needed to do on a Thursday in Monaco, building the speed up little by little and trying different configurations to give myself confidence with the car,” Sainz said.

“After today’s two practice sessions, it’s safe to say that we’re quite happy with everything. Obviously, from Thursday to Saturday a lot of things could change so we can’t let ourselves get carried away with today’s result.

“But it’s definitely a good starting point! I’m looking forward to the rest of the weekend.”

“Since our problems in Barcelona, where we had a number of updates, we’ve learned a little more on how to get a better balance with the car,” Toro Rosso technical chief James Key added.

“Both drivers seemed to be reasonably happy in FP1, so it was a case of fine-tuning the car a little bit for FP2. We ran a slightly different tire program to other teams, concentrating on our own work, car setup and understanding.

“During the afternoon session we made reasonable progress and, even if there are still some issues to resolve, the session went well.

“We will now be working hard overnight and tomorrow to look at the data and optimize the car as best we can.”