The Red Bull Racing Faenza-based sister team is claiming it is behind schedule with some of its usual pre-season preparations due to a late switch from Renault to Ferrari power for 2016. Team principal Franz Tost has revealed this means the car will feature a simple and plain livery at the Barcelona test next week.
“It will be a blue car,” Tost tells Motorsport.com. “We will [present the car officially] on the 29th [of February] because we are so late with everything”.
Tost seeks to allay concerns of Toro Rosso fans adding, “The car is nearly ready. I think we will have the fire-up [on Monday] and we absolutely on schedule. Therefore I am not worried for the first test in Barcelona.”
Today, TJ13 spoke today to an individual actively involved in another F1 team’s livery design and asked their opinion on Franz Tost’s comments. The source said, “unless the livery design and paint guys have been on an extended winter skiing holiday, there should be no delay despite the issues raised by Franz.”
When asked why a team may run a simple ‘testing only’ livery, our source replied: “Usually because there is some doubt as to who the final sponsors will be and their exact financial contributions affects the positioning and size of their company logo’s”.
Franz Tost insists, “We want to make a proper paint job as well, so we will present the car only then in Barcelona.”
Rumours emerged in Spain during January that major sponsor CEPSA – the Spanish energy giant – was set to ditch their partnership with Toro Rosso and focus on their relationship with Real Madrid instead. CEPSA had posted an article on their website entitled, ‘Objetivo Cumplido’ (Mission Accomplished) which declared: “At Cepsa we are very proud to have helped Carlos reach his goal of Formula 1”. At this time there was also talk that Toro Rosso may possibly be re-branded as/or receive sponsorship from Alfa Romeo.
Cepsa have been a major sponsor of Toro Rosso since 2011 and Carlos Sainz throughout his formative campaigns in British and European F3 and Formula Renault 3.5.
It may then be that Toro Rosso are still negotiating with CEPSA to remain a partner of the team in some reduced capacity, and at this time cannot decide on the size and positioning of their logo – or if it is to be displayed at all.