STR5 marks start of constructor era for Toro Rosso 01 Feb 2010
Toro Rossos new STR5, launched in Valencia on Monday, marks the first car built 100 percent in-house by the Italian team following four years of collaboration with Red Bull Technology. Founded in 2006 after Red Bulls purchase of Minardi, Toro Rossos cars have until now been based on those of Red Bull Racing. However, regulation changes demand they go it alone from 2010 in terms of design and construction.
Creating the necessary infrastructure to tackle this task has been our biggest challenge, possibly more difficult than actually producing the car itself, team principal Franz Tost told Toro Rossos official website. We have taken on an additional 80 staff and expanded our facility to accommodate them, including a machine shop to increase our production capacity.
In addition, we have commissioned a wind tunnel in Bicester, England, which we bought from Red Bull. It will take time for the highly skilled team we have assembled to learn to work together as efficiently as possible.
In recent years, Toro Rosso have undertaken an ever-increasing level of production at their Faenza factory, but in March of 2009 they were given the go-ahead to actually become Formula One constructors. Since then they have been building up their resources in preparation for 2010.
Being recognised as a constructor involves owning the intellectual property rights to what are defined as the listed parts, explained technical chief Giorgio Ascanelli. These are effectively the monocoque, the safety structures that are subject to homologation and crash testing, which means the rear and front structures, primary and secondary roll-over structures and the complete aerodynamic package, the suspension, fuel and cooling systems.
Compared to its predecessor, the STR5s design has been optimised to make the most of a double diffuser at the rear. The car is also longer due to its larger fuel tank, a consequence of the ban on refuelling for 2010. The additional weight of the fuel means suspension and braking have also undergone a major reappraisal.
By Toro Rossos own admission, the STR5s design is deliberately quite conservative, as the team adapt to their recent rapid expansion and learn to trust the data from their new wind tunnel. Nevertheless, Tost is confident the Ferrari-powered machine should help them improve on their tenth place in the 2009 standings.
Making predictions for the coming season is a dangerous trap, but if pushed, I would say we must aim to finish in the top eight in the constructors championship, while giving our young drivers everything they need to improve, as well as optimising our infrastructure in order to be as competitive as possible in 2010 and beyond, he said.
Toro Rosso will be testing the STR5 in Spain until Wednesday.