The 2014 Formula 1 season is almost upon us. This we know by the recent car launches, but also because the 2014 Toro Rosso F1 car, the STR9, was unveiled to the media at the Jerez circuit ahead of tonight’s first official test session.
And we’re sorry to report it’s another long and droopy anteater nose for F1. At least the STR9’s dark blue paint scheme tends to mask that fact to some degree.
As well as the major aero changes forced upon teams in 2014, Toro Rosso is switching from Ferrari power to Renault. Technical Director James Key says this adds to the challenge: “Changing your engine partner is always a bit of a step into the unknown for both parties, until that working relationship is established and everyone understands how best to operate together.”
The Toro Rosso press release points out that the team is independent to Red Bull Racing, although the switch to Renault power means there will be greater opportunity to share knowledge.
“Immediately, there’s a synergy there because we are using the same power unit,” added Key. “We’ve been able to join with Red Bull Technology in using their gearbox internals. They have a well-engineered solution to 2014 regulations for these components, so again, it makes sense for us to join with them in using those common internals while running the same power train.
“Otherwise, obviously, the rest of the car is entirely an STR design.”
You can read and see more after the break, including access to the team’s full 2014 press kit.
Toro Rosso launches 2014 car in Jerez
Two years in the making, the STR9 was revealed today at the Jerez de la Frontera circuit in southern Spain. The drivers Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniil Kvyat whipped the sheets off Scuderia Toro Rosso’s challenger for the 2014 Formula 1 World Championship in the Jerez pit lane, at an event organised by long time sponsor CEPSA. Under the technical directorship of James Key, Chief Designer Luca Furbatto and his team in Faenza, along with the Wind Tunnel team in Bicester have come up with their interpretation of the radical technical regulation changes introduced for this year. The STR 9 is the first Scuderia Toro Rosso car to be powered by Renault. The car will make its official track debut tomorrow, with France’s Jean-Eric Vergne at the wheel. Daniil Kvyat will take over driving duties on Wednesday.
Alfonso Escámez (CEPSA Senior Vice-President Communication & Institutional Relations): “As CEPSA embarks on its third full year as sponsors of Scuderia Toro Rosso, the team will be facing a number of challenges as a result of all the changes underway, but we firmly believe that we have what it takes to achieve all of our aspirations. CEPSA and STR adhere to the same principles and values: team spirit, cooperation, motivation, enthusiasm and the drive and determination to excel, which are the cornerstones of everything we do and make it possible for us to successfully meet all our goals.
Franz Tost: “In 2012, we began a concept study for STR9, the earliest we have ever started a new car project, As time went by, more and more of our staff were involved in the project, as we invested a lot of effort and resources, both technical and financial into the design of the new car.
In 2014 the key parameters for success will be finding the best balance between deploying the power of the engine and managing the 100kg fuel limit per race, the use of the two energy recovery systems and, just as in the past, the tyres. Apart from the new rules, at Toro Rosso we have also had to adapt to a new engine partner and we are looking forward to working with Renault. One final new element for us is on the driver side, as Daniil Kvyat joins us to race alongside Jean-Eric Vergne. Both are very talented and we expect good things from them.
With all these changes, some that affect everyone, others that are specific to Toro Rosso, it is really difficult to set targets or make predictions. However, it is clear we have to improve our performance and make a step forward.”
Daniil Kvyat: “I am very excited that I am about to start my first season in Formula 1. It will be a year of discovering many new things, which I expect will be very interesting. I can’t wait to actually start the driving part, the best part of my job. Six days of winter testing is not a lot and I will have to see how quickly I get used to the new car, which wasn’t a big issue when I drove the 2013 car. Being a rookie means there’s a steep learning curve, but the bright side of this year’s regulation change is that all the drivers will be getting used to a new way of driving, starting from zero. Anyway, I have always liked a big challenge. Physically, I feel ready after a good winter training programme, concentrating a bit on my neck muscles. The team hasn’t set me any specific targets, so its just a case of getting on top of my game as quickly as possible.”
Jean-Eric Vergne: “This will be my third season in Formula 1 and I definitely feel better prepared than ever before. From what I have seen in the factory, the same applies to the team. Now we must make the most of winter testing and work hard to ensure that all our efforts pay off. I am confident we have what we need to do well. From a driver’s point of view, we will have a lot of new elements to understand and changes that will require us to adapt as quickly as possible. That will be one of the tasks for winter tests, so that we can make the most of the package available right from the first race. We will have to adopt a different style of driving, especially in the races, with this new power unit combined with the need to manage fuel, while the changes to the rule regarding levels of downforce will make the cars feel different, offering less grip, which will also take some getting used to. It’s going to be a fascinating start to the year.”
- Toro Rosso STR9 press kit (310kb PDF)