STR – Driver and Legal troubles?

Toro RossoGerhard Berger, co-owner of Scuderia Toro Rosso, says his team are in no hurry to confirm 2007’s drivers. STR is the only team who has yet to confirm who will be racing for the team in 2007, prompting rumours that they are waiting to see which drivers would bring in the most amount of sponsorship money for them. Berger himself has denied that the team is merely looking for a driver who can pull in the cash, stating that the delay in formally announcing the line-up is due to contractual reasons.

The strongest contenders for the race seats are Narain Karthikeyan, Tiago Monteiro and, Vinantonio Liuzzi and Scott Speed, with Speed and Liuzzi favourite to remain their places within the team. Three-time Champ Car champion Sebastien Bourdais impressed Berger when testing with STR during December, however is not in the running for a 2007 seat due to his existing commitments to his current race team, Newman/Haas racing, however according to Berger, Bourdais is “definitely in the frame for 2008.”

Meanwhile, Berger has said he is confident that the new car will be given the green light by the FIA, despite some controversy. STR are planning to run a development version of the Red Bull’s RB3 chassis, designed by Adrian Newey, that Red Bull racing will also run in 2007. This has upset some of the other Formula 1 teams who are threatening to start legal action against STR if the plans go ahead as each team is meant to design and build their own cars.

However Berger has said that as the car is being built by Red Bull Technologies, an independent company, rather than Red Bull Racing themselves, there should be no problems as they are not breaking any rules. In fact, it is Red Bull Technologies that employs Adrian Newey, rather than Red Bull Racing. As Red Bull Technologies are not a signatory of the Concorde Agreement, they are free to supply more than one team with any of their parts or designs.