Toro Rosso has confirmed it has reached an agreement with Ferrari for it to supply this year's engines for the 2016 F1 World Championship, ending its partnership with Renault.
In a brief statement, Toro Rosso says it will begin work over the winter of integrating the 2015 Ferrari power units to its 2016 car with its first public outing schedule at the pre-season testing in February at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain.
“Scuderia Toro Rosso and Scuderia Ferrari have reached an agreement that will see our team use the current Ferrari Power Unit in the 2016 Formula One season,” the statement read. On-track testing will begin in February, 2016 at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain.”
After months of discussion and speculation, Toro Rosso reunites with Ferrari to bring an end to its fractious relationship with Renault after losing faith in its power unit.
Drivers Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz were frequently victims to engine reliability issues during 2015 and despite improvements towards the end of the year plans were already being formulated with Ferrari.
As a result, Toro Rosso ends its two-year partnership with Renault and returns to Ferrari having worked with the Italian manufacturer between 2007 and 2013. Toro Rosso will receive Ferrari's 2015 059/4 power units, used by the manufacturer's squad as well as Sauber.
Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost is expecting 'an easy working relationship' based on the previous commitments with Ferrari as is already targeting an improvement on the team's performances and results in 2015. Toro Rosso ended the year seventh in the F1 Constructors' championship, with Verstappen and Sainz finishing 12th and 15th in the drivers' standings respectively.
"It's great to be working with Ferrari again. We had a fruitful relationship in the past and I'm sure it won't take long for us all to be working together very well again," Tost said, while also thanking Renault for its time together. "It's true that time will be very tight for us to be ready for the first test, but we have the right team of people for this and I'm confident that together we will achieve a competitive package for next year."
The announcement comes after Renault formally confirmed it will upgrade its involvement from engine manufacturer to full constructor with the takeover of the Lotus team, saying the value of being a supplying partner with Red Bull didn't justify the cost of development.
Red Bull will continue to receive Renault power units but will taking development in-house and badge them as TAG-Heuer.