Toro Rosso present the STR7 in Jerez pit lane 06 Feb 2012
Toro Rosso followed in the footsteps of Sauber and unveiled the car with which they will contest the 2012 FIA Formula One World Championship at Jerez on Monday afternoon. The Ferrari-engined STR7 will make its on-track debut on Tuesday morning, when this weeks opening pre-season test gets underway at the Spanish track.
The Italian teams 2012-spec line-up, Australian Daniel Ricciardo and Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne, were in attendance at the pit-lane launch. Toro Rosso hope the new car - and new signings - will help them establish a firmer foothold in the midfield, after they finished eighth in the 2011 standings.
The STR7 is the third car designed, produced and assembled entirely by Toro Rosso, explained team principal Franz Tost. Over those three years, we have increased our workforce from 160 to 300 and Toro Rosso is now in the most stable and strongest position since it was founded. Everything is therefore in place for us to move forward and reap the benefits of this stability on the track.
Last year, we finished eighth in the constructors championship and clearly we want to do better than that this time. It is far too early to make predictions, but looking at the work we have done over the winter, we must set ourselves the target of finishing sixth or at least seventh by the time we pack up in Brazil in November."
The new Toro Rosso boasts several distinctive features which the paddock look set to become accustomed to in 2012 thanks to rule changes, including the stepped nose, relocated exhaust exits and undercut sidepods. For technical director Giorgio Ascanelli its meant a jam-packed winter as he adjusted the cars design to the new regulations.
2011s STR6 was a good concept, but it did not lend itself well to running a low exhaust and was better with a high one, explained Ascanelli. Therefore it was logical that as the rules have changed in this direction, we should stick with a similar concept for 2012, expanding on the idea and its characteristics.
Cooling as always, plays a major part in the design of the car and we have done something which should allow even more of an undercut on the sidepods, aimed at getting a better streamlining of the rear car. In simple terms, we have made a shorter chassis, with a larger distance between the engine and the gearbox, so that the car can be thinner and more streamlined.
Ascanelli and his team have also dedicated time to improving the cars drag reduction system (DRS) rear wing and its brakes.
We have tried to improve the behaviour of our DRS and we have a new generation of wings aimed at this, hopefully in time for the debut of the car, he concluded. We have also worked on the braking system, because we wanted to improve its efficiency, both front and rear. On paper it seems to be very strong and we will see what our new drivers will have to say about it.
The STR7 will make its way on to the track for the first time on Tuesday morning with Ricciardo behind the wheel.
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