Toro Rosso F1 team in talks to rebrand Renault engine for 2017

Toro Rosso is holding talks with a sponsor with regards rebranding its Renault Formula 1 engine for 2017

Toro Rosso F1 team in talks to rebrand Renault engine for 2017

The Italian team ran year-old Ferrari power units during the 2016 F1 campaign but agreed in May to revert to Renault power from next season.

As part of the Renault deal, Toro Rosso receives the latest specification engine as well as having the opportunity to badge the unit as it wishes.

Its sister team Red Bull runs Renault power, but rebrands them under the TAG Heuer banner.

Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost says his outfit is looking to follow suit.

"We have the chance of finding a title sponsor, like Red Bull has done with TAG Heuer," Tost told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"We are negotiating."

Toro Rosso finished seventh in the standings in 2016, seven points adrift of McLaren, 75 behind Williams and 110 off the pace of Force India.

Next term, the team is aiming to get ahead of Mercedes-powered rivals Williams and Force India and make an improvement of two places to fifth place.

Tost says the team is on schedule to have its car ready for pre-season testing, which starts at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya circuit on February 27.

"We are on schedule with the car," said Tost.

"We have passed the crash test and we will do a filming day before testing starts."

With sweeping changes to the technical regulations, Tost admitted the pecking order would not become clear until after the first couple of races but was hopeful Toro Rosso can make progress.

"It's hard to say something now because the rulebook is completely different and we must wait for the first two races in order to have a clear situation," he said.

"Nevertheless, Toro Rosso has all the ingredients to have a good season.

"We have two strong drivers and I also expect efficient aerodynamics because [technical director] James Key and his crew have done a great job in the past, and the team overall is making progress.

"And the Renault is more competitive than the engines we have had over the past years."

Translation by Michele Lostia

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