Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost has expressed his surprise at Sauber's decision to run a year-old Ferrari engine in the 2017 Formula 1 World Championship season.
In a surprise move, the privateer Swiss team will continue to use the same engine it is running this season next year rather than mirror fellow Ferrari customer team Haas in receiving the latest specification power unit.
Though understood to be partially motivated by Sauber's desire to alleviate costs ahead of a tipped change of supplier from 2018 onwards, the team itself says a familiar engine will allow it to maximise development of its 2017 chassis.
Even so, the move has baffled Tost after his Toro Rosso team was forced into using a year-old Ferrari power unit, the result of uncertainty with erstwhile supplier Renault over its 2016 deal. With this in mind, Tost says he cannot recommend such a move to Sauber even if he supports the option being available to those that need it.
“I don't know all the reasons and background stories why Sauber decided to go with this year's engine. I wouldn't like to be in this situation because it's a big disadvantage on the performance side to run with last year's engine.
“From the regulation side, I think it should be kept open because a one year old engine is most-often cheaper than the newest specification. Therefore the regulation should allow it. From the performance side the team anyway is disadvantaged.”
Though Toro Rosso began the year well with regular points' finishes, it has slipped behind in the development race and is now destined to finish below targets in seventh overall.
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