Sainz believes top five for Toro Rosso possible in 2017

Carlos Sainz Jr believes P5 is possible for STR in 2017 - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Carlos Sainz Jr believes the Scuderia Toro Rosso team should be able to challenge for a top five position in the Constructors’ Championship in 2017, particularly now the team will have the use of the Renault power unit.

The Faenza-based squad struggled with an undeveloped 2015 Ferrari power unit in 2016 and finished seventh in the final standings, but Sainz hopes another strong chassis, coupled with a strong Renault power unit can help both himself and team-mate Daniil Kvyat to get stronger results next season.

Sainz also believes they should be in the fight on track with Williams Martini Racing and the Sahara Force India F1 Team in 2017, the teams that duelled over fourth place in 2016, although how they perform will depend on the strength of the car going into pre-season testing.

“It will depend on how right we get it in pre-season and the philosophy of the car we are targeting to have,” said Sainz to Autosport. “The team has been developing the car since 2015 so I’m confident they’re doing a good job enough.

“But when there’s a new regulation, sometimes you depend a bit on luck to know if the philosophy of the team has got it right. If we have a strong chassis as we had the last two years, then with the power unit of Renault we should be looking to be in the place Force India and Williams have been this year.

“I really target to be in the top five or six in the constructors’ championship, knowing McLaren will be stronger and there will be five manufacturer teams. It will mean beating established manufacturer teams so it will not be easy, but I trust in our team because they’ve produced a chassis lately that is in the top five.”