There are some packages you just know are going to be competitive. The continued line up of Carlos Sainz Jr and Max Verstappen at Toro Rosso were already whetting everyone’s appetite in 2015, and with a year-old Ferrari engine in the back, results were expected early in the season.
It didn’t transpire quite like though, and was slightly knocked off course by the promotion of Max Verstappen at the Spanish Grand Prix. Demoted from the Red Bull team, Daniel Kvyat was drafted back into the Toro Rosso team, and took a while for him to reestablish himself, knocked by his confidence.
Sainz Jr though sometimes defied what the car was capable of, getting points in races where it should have not been possible to, three sixth placed finishes for Carlos Sainz ranked him as a standout driver for the season.
After his demotion from the Red Bull team, Russia Daniil Kvyat struggled with his confidence and only notched up three points paying positions for the team (Spain, Britain and Singapore), but his confidence had grown again by the end of the season giving him another season at the team, above GP2 champion Pierre Gasly.
2017 should be another improvement for the team as they get the same Renault power as the full Red Bull team. Given that many believe that Toro Rosso had one of the best chassis on the grid in 2016, they would be a good bet in the early part of the season, before the larger teams are able to outdevelop them by the end of the year.
McLaren were still able to beat them though, with Toro Rosso in seventh place in the Constructors Championship, thirteen points behind the Honda powered team which had bounced back slightly from a disappointing first season with the Japanese manufacturer.
A new addition to the team included former Manor boss John Booth as Director of Racing below Team Principal Frank Tost. Following the takeover of Manor by Stephen Fitzpatrick last season, the former Manor brigade moved one, Booth staying in Formula One, while Graeme Lowdon heading to WEC.