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Toro Rosso begin new era with Renault as they launch their 2014 car
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Posted By: Editor   |  27 Jan 2014   |  6:42 pm GMT  |  132 comments

Toro Rosso have launched their first car to be powered by a Renault engine with a reveal of the STR9 in the Jerez pit lane.

The new car will be driven by Jean-Eric Vergne and rookie Daniil Kvyat, who replaced Daniel Ricciardo after the Australian moved to Red Bull.

The STR9 features a nose similar to that on the McLaren and Sauber and retains its traditional colours and livery.

Toro Rosso’s chief designer Luca Furbatto said: “Pretty much all the systems on the car are brand-new and that’s certainly a concern from a reliability point of view as the season progresses, because we won’t have known reference points from the past few years.”

Technical director James Key added the team’s biggest priority was the aerodynamics, with working starting on the car back in the summer of 2012. The first wind tunnel test took place before Christmas that year.

Key said: “The aero side was by far our biggest priority, as we wanted to put that department into a much more current and competitive shape. Over the past 12 months, we’ve been working on increasing the size of the aerodynamics department. It’s grown significantly, and we now have many new people with very relevant F1 experience.”

The move to Renault engines, ending a seven-year association with Ferrari, brings them in-line with sister team Red Bull who also use the French power units. The deal was announced at the Monaco Grand Prix last May, with the two companies starting work together immediately.

Key added: “Changing your engine partner is always a bit of a step into the unknown for both parties, until that working relationship is established and everyone understands how best to operate together.

“To switch from a process where you’ve got a well-established and understood way of working with the previous engine supplier to a situation where you have not only a new engine supplier but also a totally different type of power unit that we’re not familiar with at all, is quite a big leap.

“Renault has been excellent at recognising that and helping us out a great deal. We have already built up a good working relationship with them.”

The team have already given the car its first shakedown with Vergne and Kvyat getting behind the wheel at a filming day at Misano, Italy last week.

The team finished eighth in the constructors’ championship last year as they did not always transform the pace of the car into points.

Key added: “We were quicker than the points scored suggested in 2013, if you could look behind the numbers, but we didn’t make the most of our opportunities. Therefore, we’re putting all our efforts into ensuring we have a better situation for this year.”

Kvyat, who will make his F1 race debut this year, said: “I am very excited that I am about to start my first season in Formula 1. It will be a year of discovering many new things, which I expect will be very interesting. I can’t wait to actually start the driving part, the best part of my job.

“Six days of winter testing is not a lot and I will have to see how quickly I get used to the new car, which wasn’t a big issue when I drove the 2013 car. Anyway, I have always liked a big challenge. The team hasn’t set me any specific targets, so its just a case of getting on top of my game as quickly as possible.”

Vergne added: “From a driver’s point of view, we will have a lot of new elements to understand and changes that will require us to adapt as quickly as possible.

“We will have to adopt a different style of driving, especially in the races, with this new power unit combined with the need to manage fuel, while the changes to the rule regarding levels of downforce will make the cars feel different, offering less grip, which will also take some getting used to. It’s going to be a fascinating start to the year.”

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1

If Vergne get’s done by Kvyat this season his F1 career will be cactus.

2

Vergne’s F1 career is already cactus – he just doesn’t know it yet.

3

The Merc and the RB have just broken cover. The Merc and the Ferrari look somewhat similar. RB has gone for the ugly nose like most others. My ! this is interesting.

On balance, the Ferrari and the Mercedes are the best lookers I guess. As regards the performance, we will see.

4

I guess Ferrari is the car that looks least innovative and most conventional, in the nose section. It seems Ferrari thought it sufficient to just flatten their existing nose into submission. No appendages for them. I have not yet seen the RB and Merc though yet.

5

Farewell Formula 1; hello Formula Schlong.

6

The nose look very similar to Daniel Ricciardo’s nose.

7

Hi James, any chance of a small image gallery for articles like these in future? Would save us the hassle of having to visit another site just to get a few more angles and enlarged photo’s.

The Torro Rosso looks fairly nice from that angle but from overhead or front on, it’s very much a case of last years front end with a pointy bit tacked on, a lot like the Williams. Which reinforces how poorly this regulation was worded.

8

One thing I would love to hear from the commentators: “With just 2 thousandths of a second separating them, Ferrari takes first from Red Bull by a nose”!

9

I have a feeling that Martin and Crofty will already be on it 🙂

10

Dang that gold nose! Might have looked half way decent without it.

11

Men tremble in fear, women sigh in anticipation.

12

Goferet collects more stats.

13

Did they model the nose to resemble Daniel Ricciardo? They must be missing him. 🙂

14
Robert in San Diego

Well I think you are all crazy. The raised noses of the last several years made the cars look disjointed from realty to me. I think all these new cars look much more grounded and business like.

I am not a great fan of the proboscis look and I find the Ferrari and McLaren the best looking of the bunch. Overall, though, I approve of the way this year’s cars are turning out.

Bring on the racing!

15

“I am not a great fan of the proboscis look and I find the Ferrari and McLaren the best looking of the bunch.”

…and then you go and pick the worst two of the bunch, well done on the eyes…

16
Robert in San Diego

Reality.

17

I think the STR09 is a nice looking car. Unlike the Mclaren the uprights from the front wing look thinner and wider apart allowing better airflow in around the nose. We will all take a while to adjust to the thinner tips, but thats no different to adj to the stepped front ends these last few years. Also I like the idea that TR retained the tapered front end and just blended the nose tip into it. The rest of the car looks well balanced. Its also interesting that there seems to be 2 schools of thought around the rear wing-one with vertical strakes around the exhaust and the second like the toro rosso with none. Have to wait & see more rear shots to say which looks better. Could be a real threat in the hands of a gun rookie in Kyviat !

18

That Toro Rosso should be crowned The Addlington…

19

Most ridiculous nose yet.

Still, it’s apposite that an Italian team should take inspiration from the Commedia dell’arte for its nose design.

20

What does Torro Rosso mean again? Isn’t it Italian for Ferrari or something?

21

a rough translation is: F1 Badger is on a wind up 😉

22

I am and I’m sorry! Couldn’t help myself!! Even Badgers know Feerari is Italian for Ferrari, although I am in clear on the Italian for Torro Rosso?!

23

Hahaha

24

It is “Red bull” in translation. No kidding

25

That would of course be “Red Bull” in Italian…

26

I believe Italian for Ferrari is, ummm… Ferrari.

27

*slaps forehead*

28

…also slaps your forehead…

29

Careful – next thing you know we’ll be starting a band.

30

Means Red Bull I believe

31

Does not STR09 mean scuderia torro rosso, scuderia after ferrari however they are now renault???? Ehh

32

Scuderia means stable – as in place where horses are kept as opposed to something firmly fixed and not likely to turn over 😉

33

there are a few pics on formula1.com that are quite unflattering… perhaps even deflating… male supplement anyone?

34

Not great in looks. I would say the worst looking one of em all. The contrast in color with the nose is wrong!!

But ofcourse it sounds badass!! If you guy’s haven’t seen the official sound clip yet, please do 🙂 The Renault Energy Power Unit sounds awesome in this car!! Without doubt much better than the Mercedes!! 🙂

Lets hope, they get along with Renault really well. Looks like we are gonna have different sounds for engines in 2014. Can’t wait to hear the Ferrari!!

I saw a video of a La Ferrari with a camouflage livery driving around Fiorano with a distinct F1 v6 Engine noise. The video claims it’s the new Ferrari hybrid F1 engine bolted on the La Ferrari chassis. Any truth in that? Do you have any info on it James?

Whatever it was, it sounded badass too!! I would imagine the engine would sound dramatically different when bolted to the F14-tT chassis.

35

Yes it was generally perceived that the la ferrari was carrying the v6 turbo and the team didn’t deny it either, having heard the Merc and Renaults sound clip the ferrari does sound the best of the 3

36

Looks well thought out. Very curious about the intake area though, with the radiator right below the air intake.

37

The lifted noses of the modern era have always looked awfull. Now that we have them back nearer to the ground, they come up with these monstrositys! You can only but laugh.

38

Blame the rule makers.

39

I think it should be called Sarah Jessica Parker with that nose on it!!!! Looks hideous!!

40

These noses are looking embarrassing. Surely the rules need to changed to make them more astheticly apealing and less of a joke.

41

…the Toro Rosso makes the McLaren MP4-29 look like it needs circumcision LOL!

On a more serious note: in previous seasons one could see front wing bits flying in the air.

In 2014.. will we see noses breaking off and flying in the air? How safe is that? Can they hit a driver badly on the helmet?

Have crash tests been designed to test how the noses disintegrate safely?

I am seriously concerned about the safety aspects.

42

I wouldn’t worry. In 2013 I was expecting pieces of the laminate vanity panels to fall/break off but that never really happened and besides, they’re all part of the crash structure and they’ve all passed the safety tests.

Should be fine.

43

If Torro Rosso was RB team2, did RB team1 have direct knowledge of Ferrari engine all these years? If so, was there any advantage that they could gain from it?

44

Engine development has been frozen for the last (8?) years, so I don’t think there’s anything useful they could have passed on.

45

Probably not in strictly technical terms as they couldn’t really use that knowledge because of the freeze. But they probably knew the operational details such as fuel consumption, cooling requirements and so on.

46

What gives James? Posting too fast? 2 posts over 3 hours is too fast? I feel discriminated against when I see others, on this thread posting several times within an hour 😉

Any way unlike goferet who describes the frontal protrudence as a tongue, I’ll stay away from the biological similarities and go to the engineering term and simply say it looks like a bolt, like in nuts and bolts albeit without any threading..

47

and simply say it looks like a bolt, like in nuts and bolts albeit without any threading…

So, nothing like a bolt at all really 🙂

48

@ luqa

Lol… Tongue seems about right.

49

It’s not James’ fault.

Sometimes the site just randomly decides that you are posting too fast, and it really doesn’t matter whether you’ve just finished posting a hundred comments in a row or if you haven’t been near a computer since last Thursday.

It’s kind of like winning a lottery, only not 🙂

50

It’s this new smart artificial intelligence coupled with intervention of the security services. It now scans your eye movement and reads your brain wave patterns so that if you are thinking quickly and look like you might post several responses in quick succession it clamps down on you and prevents you before you get the chance. Of course, it’s not perfect yet. Something to do with algorithms and drag coefficient but if you get a new nose (one of those long droopy ones with an elongated tip) you should be good to go.

51

Yes but I already have one of those long droopy noses with the elongated tips and I never look like I’m thinking quickly and yet it still pings me from time to time 🙁

In your opinion do you think wearing ugg boots might help?

52

It’s a WordPress thing.

53

No idea. Sorry

54

its last years Red Bull with a new nose

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