Scuderia Toro Rosso has unveiled its STR14, kicking off a week of new car launches and livery reveals ahead of the start of Formula 1 testing.
The second Toro Rosso car to be designed around the Honda power unit, the STR14 was launched online via a video on Monday. Following on from the Haas release last week, the new car showcases the 2019 regulation changes that include a simplified front wing and larger rear wing, as well as tweaks to the brake ducts.
“In regards to our performance, as is always the case before the start of a season, it’s too early to say and we don’t want to set a specific target — at least not now,” team principal Franz Tost said. “All things considered, the quality of the synergies with Red Bull Technology, the belief in our very high level of in-house technical knowledge, the impressive development trajectory Honda has shown so far, and the couple of strong young drivers we have available make me feel confident we will put ourselves in a strong midfield position in the championship.”
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With technical director James Key on “gardening leave” ahead of a move to McLaren, deputy technical director Jody Egginton says the STR14 was developed under a new approach.
“A number of changes have been put in place regarding how we develop the 2019 car, including the approach to how we develop the car aerodynamically,” Egginton said. “This was a topic which had been under review for a while and while there is never an ideal time for such a change, based on what we had learned in 2018 it was decided that now was the time to introduce these changes.
“Although the timescale for some of these changes was tight, and in the short term these changes have generated some extra work, the development rate of the 2019 car is now strong and responding well to the aero developments being evaluated in CFD and the wind tunnel.
“Regarding development targets, we have developed a number of metrics which allow specific areas of the car’s aerodynamic performance to be tracked and evaluated. This will allow our aero updates to be better targeted against specific identified needs. Ultimately, it’s the rate at which we’re developing and how quickly we can get these updates onto the car which remains the primary focus.
“In addition, of equal importance is arriving with updates which bring load to the right areas of the map and which correlate well. In some respects, this is different to the approach of focusing on aero packages, however by adopting a ‘rolling’ development — especially following a regulation change — there is potential for faster reaction and a more straightforward approach to correlation.”
This season will see one returning driver and one rookie making up a different driver line-up compared to 2018, with Daniil Kvyat back at Toro Rosso after a year out. The Russian will be partnered by Thai driver Alexander Albon, who steps up after finishing third in last year’s Formula 2 championship behind George Russell and Lando Norris.