Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz to continue for Toro Rosso in 2016
Red Bull junior team confirm deal for end-of-2015 Ferrari engine for next season; Verstappen & Sainz stay in tandem for second year
By James Galloway and Mike Wise
Last Updated: 04/12/15 4:48pm
Toro Rosso have confirmed that Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz will race for them again next season, as the team secured a 2015 Ferrari engine supply.
The news was a formality given that team boss Franz Tost had already gone on the record to give his seal of approval. However, uncertainty about owner Red Bull's future in F1 had prevented the Faenza team from making an announcement about either their drivers or Ferrari engine supply - a deal for which had been in place for several weeks - until now.
'Because of the last minute nature of the decision relating to our power unit supply for next year, the team will use the very last specification used in the 2015 season,' said Toro Rosso in a statement as they return to Ferrari power following two seasons with Renault.
Although expected, the FIA only formally agreed for manufacturers to be able to supply a year-old specification of their power unit at Wednesday's World Motor Sport Council meeting.
"It's great to be working with Ferrari again. We had a fruitful relationship in the past and I'm sure it won't take long for us all to be working together very well again, Tost said.
"It's true that time will be very tight for us to be ready for the first test, but we have the right team of people for this and I'm confident that together we will achieve a competitive package for next year - bring on 2016!"
Both Verstappen and Sainz have enjoyed strong debut seasons - with the young Dutchman in particular starring during 2015.
F1's youngest ever driver aged just 17 and contesting only his second season in cars, Verstappen finished 12th in the Drivers' Championship with 49 points, including two fourth-place finishes.
His aggressive overtaking manoeuvres have become a trademark, with the teenager already being talked of as a future world champion.
Even so, Verstappen overstepped the mark more than once and also ended the season with more penalty points than any other driver.
Sainz has inevitably been cast in his team-mate's shadow and finished 15th in the drivers' standings.
However, the 21-year-old Spaniard did outqualify Verstappen over the course of the season and arguably endured more than his fair share of poor reliability.
Even though the future of both Red Bull-backed teams had been subject to intense and prolonged speculation in 2015, Red Bull Racing announced at Interlagos that they had submitted an entry for next season.
After a period of uncertainty about their engine supply, the former world champions have now concluded a deal to continue running Renault power units, albeit rebadged TAG Heuer.
Toro Rosso, meanwhile, will switch from Renault back to Ferrari power in 2016, when they will the specification used by the Scuderia in the final race of the year in Abu Dhabi.