Tost: Tight for Toro Rosso to be ready for first 2016 test

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Scuderia Toro Rosso chief Franz Tost has admitted that the team faces a race against time to be ready for the first Formula 1 pre-season test in 2016.

Toro Rosso and parent team Red Bull both faced uncertainty for 2016 due to issues with existing engine partner Renault over the quality of its power unit.

Red Bull ultimately opted to remain with Renault power units for 2016, albeit rebadged as TAG Heuer, but Toro Rosso will switch to a 2015-spec Ferrari model.

The deal was formally announced on Friday, allowing the team to confirm its place on the grid in 2016 and the retention of drivers Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jr.

However, team principal Tost admitted that the late signing of the deal with Ferrari has placed great pressure on all at Faenza to get the STR11 car ready for the first test in Barcelona on February 22.

“It’s great to be working with Ferrari again,” Tost said. “We had a fruitful relationship in the past and I’m sure it won’t take long for us all to be working together very well again.

“It’s true that time will be very tight for us to be ready for the first test, but we have the right team of people for this and I’m confident that together we will achieve a competitive package for next year – bring on 2016!”

Red Bull was also offered the 2015-spec Ferrari power unit, but rejected the deal after also seeing talks with Mercedes and Honda break down.