While at the Circuit de Catalunya yesterday the Faenza-based Scuderia Toro Rosso team unveiled the fourth car to be built by the team. The STR4 was shown the press ahead of it’s public debut with Sebastien Bourdais. The car had taken part in a private shakedown at the Adria circuit last week, and after 96 laps on Monday, Bourdais finished in a respectable sixth. The car continues the Red Bull livery and will be driven by Sebastiens Bourdais and Buemi.
Similar to the Red Bull RB5, the STR4 was produced by Red Bull Technologies and built at the team’s Faenza base in Italy. There is a running joke in Formula One that both Red Bulls and Toro Rossos are essentially the same, but Giorgio Ascanelli was insistent at the launch to point out that the two cars are in fact quite different.
Being powered by the Italian Ferrari engine, the car has to be different from the Renault-powered RB5, and the difference in power plant has knock-on effects throughout the car. However, visually they are similar with the livery only marking the two out after a casual glance.
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.
Ascanelli continued to point out all the differences between the two cars, which can be read in more detail on the team’s official website.
Scuderia Toro Rosso enjoyed a rather successful 2008 campaign, winning the Italian Grand Prix after taking pole position. Aside from this, the team also scored at many other races and finished the year ahead of their parent team. However, repeating this success in 2009 will be difficult.
The 2008 season was good in terms of our on-track performance, which, it’s fair to say, exceeded our expectations, with our biggest ever haul of points, a pole position and a win. It’s going to be tough to live up to that this year.
Therefore our target has to be to leave every race track on a Sunday night, knowing we have done the best job we could. The results will then depend on how everyone else has done. Franz Tost.
Images © Scuderia Toro Rosso.