The Toro Rosso STR5 was released today in Valencia.
For me, this was the best moment of the day, because this year’s car was built by Toro Rosso on their own, and not with assistance from Red Bull, as has been the case in the last few years. Giorgio Ascanelli explains this:
“At the end of March 2009 we got the green light as to what actually constituted being an F1 Constructor; that was the starting point for building up our operation in such a way that we could actually design a car which was achievable in engineering terms, working in a different way to the methods we had adopted in the past.”
“Being recognised as a Constructor involves owning the intellectual property rights to what are defined as the listed parts: 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.”
The livery has also been done over, albeit not too much. The back and middle are pretty much the same, but the nose has been done over, and is now flaunting much more red than blue and gold. It looks much better, even if it was a subtle change.
The car itself has a few modifications. Toro Rosso have fully intergrated the Red Bull style nose, and front wing additions. The wing mirror/turning vane has been heightened, so it now nearly reaches the floor of the car. The bargeboards have also been lowered.
However, it wasn’t all good news. First of all Sebastien Buemi said that htere was a noticable lack of grip compared to last year’s car. At first most people put this down to the narrower front tyres, but then Toro Rosso admitted that they have difficulties with a lack of downforce. I know it’s only the first day of testing, but things could be much better than they are.
Pictures from the launch: