There is something to be said about the new look for Toro Rosso in 2017, with many referring to it as the best looking car on the grid thanks to its snazzy new colourscheme.
One could say that Toro Rosso really punched above their weight in 2016. Starting the season with the impressive duo of Carlos Sainz Jr and Max Verstappen, it wasn’t long before the Dutch driver was swapped out with Daniil Kvyat at the main Red Bull team, where he struggled for much of the middle part of the season.
Having found his confidence, the pairing return for 2017 and the prospects are much better than last year. Following the spat with Renault in 2015, Toro Rosso lost the current spec Renault engine last season, a last minute switch to the 2015 and year old Ferrari engine.
While that was fine in the early part of the season, helped by a good chassis, the second half of the year they struggled. To compensate for the lack of power from the engine, they were forced to run with less downforce, which then compromised them during the race.
2017 sees the return of the current spec Renault engine, the very same as their sister Red Bull team, which should see them spring a few surprises just as the package is reliable. The car looks impressive, with more than a few similarities to the championship winning Mercedes at the front of the field, it is impressive what a team in the midfield can produce.
With a temperamental ERS system from Renault, which failed in both their shakedown session in Faenza and in Barcelona, reliability could be the word of their season, even if they are fast at times.
Carlos Sainz Jr has made a name for himself, but with a lack of promotion possibility sees himself stay at Toro Rosso for a third season. With the team having the reputation of a high turnover of drivers, he has stayed the course. Rumours have suggested he could be in line for the Ferrari seat when Kimi Raikkonen leaves, and Red Bull wouldn’t too unhappy with that, unless of course Daniel Ricciardo is nabbed instead.
Daniil Kvyat had a difficult 2016. He lost form early in the season despite taking a controversial podium in China, and then struggled for much of the season after being demoted to Toro Rosso. That form though returned at the end of the year, and was a match for Sainz, which ultimately saw him return for another year with the team ahead of GP2 Champion Pierre Gasly.