Scuderia Toro Rosso Team Principal Franz Tost says the team took far more risks on the aero front than they would have done ordinarily in 2016, due to their block on engine development.
A dispute between parent company Red Bull Racing and Renault, who supplied both teams with engines in 2015, left Toro Rosso in a difficult position and unable to cement a deal until the final moments of the year, at which point they opted to take one year old Scuderia Ferrari engines.
The season started off quite well for the Faenza based squad, but by the second half of the year, the performance deficit to their rivals was clear.
To counter the fact that they were unable to develop their engine at any point during the season, whilst their rivals continued on with new evolutions, the team went all out on the aero front with a new package for the German Grand Prix.
Try as they might however, it proved too difficult to keep up the progress in the end, as Tost explained to Autosport.com recently.
“We risked a lot. We had to risk a lot and we came up with a completely new aero package.
“We had already a very good car on the aerodynamic side. With a new aero package, we got more downforce and the car was better, but of course, if you have more downforce sometimes there is a little more drag.
“The others made some progress with the power unit and everything together meant that we simply didn’t have any more of a chance to be permanently close to them.
“We couldn’t catch up any more, it was too much.
“There was no way to develop the chassis to a level that we successfully could compete against the other teams where the power unit as well was developed.”
Surprisingly perhaps, Tost does not put the drop off in performance solely down to the Ferrari engine.
“It had nothing to do directly with Ferrari’s power unit as it didn’t drop off.
“It was always the question mark from me because you must see that the output from the power unit was always the same, all over the season.
“Ferrari did a fantastic job, it was always the same.”
Now back with Renault power, and their most up-to-date model this time around, Toro Rosso are confident of enjoying a much stronger campaign in 2017.