MAY 14, 2015
Toro Rosso plays down Renault team takeover
Toro Rosso chief Franz Tost has played down the chances of a team takeover by Renault.
Earlier this year, at the height of Red Bull's public spat with the French carmaker, it seemed inevitable that Renault was going to either buy and rebrand the junior outfit Toro Rosso, or quit formula one altogether.
But this week, Renault's F1 chief Cyril Abiteboul played down that likelihood.
"We are living through a tough moment," said Abiteboul. But "this marriage has all the reason in the world to last.
"So we have to do a better job on-track, but we also have to a better job off-track," he told F1's official website.
At the same time, Red Bull officials have openly declared that, despite their struggles with Renault's power unit in 2015, they have a contract through 2016.
Now, Toro Rosso chief Tost is playing down not only a Renault team takeover, but even a yellow re-branding of the Faenza based team's car.
"A yellow-white car with big Renault letters! No problem -- they can do this with Toro Rosso," the Austrian said on Thursday.
"But at the moment Cyril said that their main problem is currently to sort out their reliability problems and not painting a car. And before that is sorted out they will not think in the direction of either taking over a team or branding a team.
"That can change in the next couple of weeks and months," Tost added.
However, he continues to believe that the next step forward for Toro Rosso would have to be in the form of an alliance with a manufacturer.
"There is no timeline on that," said Tost. "When (it happens), Red Bull and Renault decide."