Read Franz Tost's full, wide-ranging interview with Crash.net HERE

Scuderia Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost says he still firmly believes a collaboration with a manufacturer remains the best way forward for his outfit to become a regular front runner, once again identifying Renault as a potential partner.

With Red Bull and Renault's relationship fraying on the back of a public feud over the latter's failure to deliver a reliable and competitive engine, the French firm has already suggested it is considering its future options, which could include withdrawing altogether or purchasing an existing team.

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With the latter in mind, Tost has thrown Toro Rosso into the ring as a potential candidate, albeit primarily on the back of a desire to see the Italian based team progress beyond its current mid-field status, identifying it as the only way it can establish itself as a more competitive outfit.

"Toro Rosso has had two periods," he told Crash.net in an exclusive, wide-ranging interview. "The first period was from 2006 to 2009 when we got drawings and parts from Red Bull Technologies and it changed the regulation. The second period started when we had to build up our infrastructure, which meant we had to build up our aero, tech and design department, purchasing department, production and so on. And this process will finish at the end of this year.

"The new building is ready and then we have quite good computer infrastructure from the side, but as well from the people, which meant as I said before, James Key has built a strong technical team around him and this will help us to come up with a competitive cars in the future.

"The next step for Toro Rosso is to work very close together with a manufacturer, because we have our unit formula and this means that if you're not directing work in the development acting more with the manufacturer, then it's difficult to come up with the performance you need to become a frontrunner.

"This should be the plan of Toro Rosso. This is the reason I said if I know who has the team, the shares of the team, for the team itself it can only be positive."

Regarding Renault specifically, though Tost says his words could concern any manufacturer, Renault is more of a likely candidate.

"Renault came into the picture because they said maybe wanted to be more involved in F1. They want to see a white and yellow car for their identification, for their brand, therefore there was a discussion to buy shares in Toro Rosso.

"I saw no problem, it's only positive. It's an ongoing discussion. I think at the moment Renault will work very hard on the power unit side. Then they will take into consideration the next step and then we will see."

However, Tost says he hasn't approached Red Bull about the prospect of selling the team to its primary engine partner, a potential stumbling block for the team.

"It's never been discussed," he added. "Its never been taken into consideration. We don't know yet."

Read Franz Tost's full, wide-ranging interview with Crash.net HERE