Toro Rosso have taken the covers off their 2009 challenger, the STR4, in Barcelona today. The Italian team, which scored its maiden F1 victory at Monza last year, becomes the final team to reveal its new car, to be raced by Sebastien Bourdais and Sebastien Buemi.
Team principal Franz Tost was at the launch and was cautiously optimistic about the team’s prospects for the upcoming season, given sister team Red Bull’s pace in testing.
“Right from Red Bull Racing s first test in Jerez it appeared that the car was competitive straight away and that Adrian Newey and his team had come up with a very promising package,â€ said Tost. “The car looks good and shows very promising performance.â€
Tost’s comments display the level of cooperation between the Red Bull squads. The STR4 bears a strong resemblance to its sister car, the Red Bull RB5. But the STR4 is powered by a Ferrari engine as opposed to the RB5’s Renault powerplant, and technical director Giorgio Ascanelli was at pains to point out the practical differences resulting from different engine technologies.
“[Shared] Red Bull Technology does extremely significant work in defining the essential characteristics of the new car: its length, wheelbase, weight distribution, its basic metric characteristics,â€ Ascanelli is quoted as saying by the official F1 website.
“However, with any F1 car, the packaging revolves around an engine and peculiarities from the drivers and, as we run a different engine to our sister team, it involves a different fuel system and fuel tank. Therefore, ours is completely different to the Red Bull Racing car and is designed here by us.â€
Testing in Barcelona begins today.