Toro Rosso’s preparations for the 2016 season have been compromised because of the delayed decision to switch from Renault to Ferrari power, following a falling out between the French manufacturer and sister team Red Bull.
Technical director James Key admitted the late switch has caused his team problems from a technical point of view, as the process of developing a new car begins many months in advance, with the majority of the car designed around the power unit.
“When you’ve got a tricky engine situation it’s always a compromise,” he told Sky Sports. “There is a compromise because you’ve really got to be optimising your car around what is an incredibly complicated installation of these power units.
“So it does compromise from a technical viewpoint. In terms of what the team is doing, I don’t think it makes the slightest bit of difference. You simply shuffle plans around accordingly.”
Key recently revealed that the team had to increase the length of the chassis to fit the longer Ferrari power unit, but he remains confident his team can turn things around in a short space of time, despite admitting the situation to be a “massive distraction”.
“We’ve got various stages of planning, there are some really good guys to work on all this stuff, so we’ve got a lot of very competent production guys and designers who are working hard to make sure that we’re in the best shape possible,” he added.
“You’d never want it because it is a massive distraction and it does compromise your car, but it’s surprising what you can do when you’re faced with uncertainty.”