Toro Rosso Thinking of Tactical Engine Penalties

F1 Manufacturers
Franz Tost

Despite their impressive run in pre-season testing, Toro Rosso are not getting ahead of themselves. Team principal Franz Tost believes in the inevitability of Honda discussing tactical engine penalties during the 2018 Formula 1 season. Things will be even tougher in terms of engine life management. The new rules limit them to just three power units, two MGU-Ks, energy stores and control electronics for the 21-grand-prix season.

Tost is of the opinion that the power drop-off could benefit teams. Especially when taking a fresh unit and incurring a penalty. He expects Honda and Toro Rosso to discuss the risk of incurring a grid penalty for the sake of more horsepower.

Tactical Engine Penalties
Toro Rosso Honda

Tost said, “There will come the period where we have to find out if is it better to start with a new power unit from the back instead of using an engine that will have 3000-4000 kilometres on it, and you start losing power after one or two hundred kilometres. So we will see. But I can tell you now that we will have this discussion. I don’t know when, but we will have it.”

Tost criticised the ‘crazy’ three-engine limit and Red Bull even attempted to get the rule changed, but met resistance. He said, “Last year manufacturers tried with four engines and less races, and this year we have more races and less engines. I must only say they are totally crazy with this regulation. But Ferrari was against it [changing the rules], because others wanted to go with four. They [Ferrari] think they have an advantage with three. And it is within the regulations so we have to live with it. We have to accept it and how many power units at the end we will need I don’t know.”

Honda are not the only engine supplier considering this tactic, Renault too have admitted that they are considering the possibility of tactical engine penalties as well. Renault F1 managing director Cyril Abiteboul said: “We want to establish the baseline, we want to know a bit more about ourselves, the performance of the engine as it is right now. If it’s better for everyone to use four power units or four V6s, rather than three, we may take that decision. But it’s really too early to talk about that.”


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