Toro Rosso driver Max Verstappen says the team’s underpowered engine was the reason he was forced into becoming one of Formula One’s overtaking specialists this season.
Verstappen, who was just 17 when the 2015 F1 season began, took out the FIA Rookie of the Year Award for his impressive performances.
The Dutchman made several outstanding overtaking manoeuvres in 2015, and was even awarded the FIA Action of the Year for his move on Sauber’s Felipe Nasr through the Blanchimont corner at the Belgian Grand Prix.
And Verstappen has put his great passing down to the lack of speed from Toro Rosso’s Renault engine down the straights.
“Definitely it made my overtakes more interesting,” Verstappen told Motorsport.com. “If we had a very good engine, then we would have just got past on the straight.
“We would have had similar results [in the end], but it doesn’t make it that interesting.
“So on the one hand it meant I had to pull off such good moves, because I didn’t have the engine to pass the guys on the straights like the other guys.
“But on the other hand, you want a good engine to operate a bit higher up, that is for sure.”
Toro Rosso will be powered by Ferrari engines in 2016, and Verstappen has welcomed the extra power it promises to bring.
“I think if we have an engine next year with a bit more horsepower we can make a jump forwards for sure,” he said.
“Also in terms of the car it looks very promising – although you don’t know what the other teams come up with. But definitely if we have more power it will be better for us.”