F1 Winter Break
Toro Rosso begin new era with Renault as they launch their 2014 car
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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good grief another potentially lovely car ruined by the front nose. It's made to look even worse with the different nose colours that RBR and STR have (the yellow and gold) as the front bump is navy. Looks awful


no car will have a nice nose


But an all-yellow/gold front nose would be even worse.


Why do people use the term "Front Nose"? Do you know of a "Rear Nose" on the car?


There is the driver's nose. This became a concern in early 1980's because of Alain Prost.


Yes: Maldonado's.


Will this team eventually change its name? I assume they're called Toro Rosso because of the Ferrari engine. Now that the deal has ended, it won't make much sense. CEPSA Red Bull maybe?


See Timmay's comment lol


just one more comment on this one 🙂

toro rosso is one of the last teams (besides ferrari) which is still situated in the country the colours they run - faenza, italy!

not like all the others, running french, austrian, german, indian ... colours, but all are situated in Britian (enstone, milton keys, Brackley, silverstone .. you know what i mean)



Thank you all for taking the time to clear out my silly assumption. 🙂


No problem.

Just for laughs I checked out your original theory. According to Google translator French for Red Bull is...Red Bull 🙁


...that dodgy Google Translator!

Wait until I see him next...


French for Red Bull is....

wouldn't it be Rouge Taureau? 🙂


For the life of me I will never understand how Red Bull is not able to use this team to take points off competition more effectively in the Drive for Five.

Perhaps now that they are using same power, we'll see more Newey developments work their way here effectively and quickly and take points off the other three top teams in what is going to be an uncertain season.


RBR dont need anyone to help them. It would just create more xxxx to throw at them anyway 😉


Because when it gets that close they may just take points off the kead team ! The fact that they are even there is doing that anyway.


I doubt it. Red Bull don't want another two drivers fighting up the front with Vettel. 😉


Maybe it will like in 2008 when RBR used this team to take points off RBR 😉


Nah Peter, that was 2007. 2008 proved to be a more effective strategy 😉


Correct was all Vettel when he drove into the back of Mark Webber and took them both out.


A man can hope...


That was all Vettel, and you know it.


To sum up:

Minardi = Italian = Toro Rosso = Red Bull.

Easy 🙂


Yep. Googled about the team's origins. Makes sense now.


Yes, stupid me. I thought they translated Red Bull to italian because of the Ferrari engine. I googled myself wrong. Sorry chaps.


When I got into F1 Minardi was already gone. Never crossed my mind Italy had another team apart from Ferarri.

-The more you know.


Okay, now I feel old. Stoddie selling up to the Austrians seems like just yesterday. Forza Minardi!

Somebody's going to ask who the mighty Arrows were someday, and then I'll be really cross.


(On-topic: I don't think the STR looks too bad in dark blue with the gold bit distracting the eye, and I suspect the Williams won't either, once it's in full livery.)


Torro rosso came from keeping some Italian heritage from the old Minardi team which they took over


I did a little research to find they were Minardi. It makes sense now.


"I assume they’re called Toro Rosso because of the Ferrari engine."


Aren't they called Toro Rosso because they're an Italian team and the Italian for Red Bull is...


Lol wut? Toro = Bull, Rosso = Red. Nothing to do with Ferrari. You gonna get this comment 25 times.


I thought it was because they're an Italian team.


Is that nose battery or mains powered?


ERS powered, obviously.

By gosh, I've got it. ERoS nose!


That sounds like a 70's aftershave.


What do you get a man who has everything?


You really nailed it this time LOL

I wonder what the FIA rule makers were thinking when they came up with this one


even worse, they were warned about the likely consequence of the new regulations in plenty of time. James Allison highlighted this at a meeting of technical directors last year and his concerns were dismissed. Go figure, as our American cousins might say.


It runs on AA Batteries.


Duracell no doubt, for the extra staying power, or Ever Ready if you're in a hurry.

It will be interesting to see if any team that's got the design wrong, lives with it if they are reliable. Cooling and reliability could be key in the first half of the season.


The Lotus would have to be Energizers then 😉


I always assumed it's because they're an Italian team so Toro Rosso is just Red Bull in Italian. Has nothing to do with Ferrari


@ Nr. 2 - It's called Toro Rosso because the team is based in Italy and Toro Rosso means Red Bull in Italian.


I think it looks rather nice - first one to do so.


Seriously, how could it look worse. My last hopes rely on red bull or Mercedes to create a good looking car... :/


I shouldn't hold your breath!


Seriously - beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. I don't mind the look of these new cars as it is a manifestation of some creative minds. Much better than the previous stepped noses. And much more business-like than the current crop of indy cars. Now the SOUND of these new cars I have an issue with!


Does it say we are going to see the same nose on RB10 tomorrow?...at least sister teams with the same power-train.


Notice it doesn't say "Toro Rosso" on it?

When will they drop the convenient fiction that this is anything other than the Red Bull Team part 2?


When will they drop the convenient fiction that this is anything other than the Red Bull Team part 2?..

To be fair to them, I was unaware they portrayed themselves as anything else 😉


Nice car the Torro Rosso if not for that tongue sticking out from the front wing.

It's so weird but it appears the Renault run cars have these bits sticking out perhaps it's a pre-condition by the people of Renault.

Now, if Torro Rosso have switched from the Ferrari engines to the more expensive Renault powertrains >>> What does this tell the fans???

Also, isn't a good sign that Ferrari are only providing engines to one midfield team in Sauber which team has strong links to it.

Anyway, let the ball get rolling tomorrow, hopefully, it won't be a day filled with installation laps and blowouts.


That's not a "tongue",

it's Vettel's FINGER !

Perhaps that hope to get his luck and performance..




Luck, LUCK! How dare you say such a thing. Wash your mouth out with water this instant 🙂


@ Martin

Lol yeah. The infamous finger is now even appearing on cars.


I thought they were backing Bianchi at Marussia?


@ Doohan

Do you mean Ferrari backing Bianchi at Marussia.

Yes, I believe that's correct.


not bad. from what I've seen so far Ferrari may end up with the ugliest car on the grid, been a while since that happened


2012 wasn't that long ago...



Technically speaking would it really be that much of an upheaval for the teams if the FIA changed the regs by Melbourne or the start of the European season to alter these dreadful noses?

There must be some red faces at the FIA with the sport becoming the butt of many jokes!


Traditional TR livery, mean looking front end...not too shabby Toro Rosso 🙂


Yeah nice the STR09..Im still leaning toward the camel toe of the lotus though : )


Just be careful that you don't get caught.

Remember, it's the longer one that draws you in, but it's the shorter one that grabs you 🙂


If the 2 prongs were equal lengths I wouldn't mind it so much, but, as it is, I find it very odd. Mind you, no doubt some folk would consider me odd, so who am I to criticise 🙂


No thats fair enough. When I first saw them uneven I was a bit disappointed too, and their legality are likely to be questioned further by other teams. Its more the concept and how it fits in with the chasis design. That said I just saw the Merc WO5 and the RB10 and they are very smooth looking beasts--I wouldnt be surprised if we have the same order as last year.

Btw camel toes are rarely even : )


What are you saying? That the Toro Rosso is well hung? Anyone know what suspension it's using? <- that sentence needed to get through mod and avoid misunderstandings about what I mean, if you know what I mean.


I mean no disrespect but I have no idea what you mean or even if you know what you mean but all I mean is that the front of the Toro Rosso looks mean.

That should clear things up 🙂


In all seriousness I think that along with the Merc it's easily one of the nicest looking cars we've seen so far, but of course opinions will vary.


So it looks average?


Kvyat: "The team hasn’t set me any specific targets"

Maybe not explicitly, but it's clear by now that Toro Rosso's MO is perform within our time frame or you're out on your proverbial.


Yes its a bit like .. "Your a rookie just learn the weekend procedures, the tracks, give nice feedback to your engineers and improve a little each race. Oh & btw if your not regularly in the points after summer break we might need your overalls back before Christmas..no pressure" : )


Good luck Torro Rosso boys. I bet some of the lads have learned how to speak Russian!


"Snorky" excepting Ferrari " Hoovery" and the unknown Mercedes and RBR who will probably be "snorky"


I don't quite get why people find the 2014 cars ugly. I like the looks of the Ferrari a lot. It looks aggressive and fast. The McLaren looks great and the rest are hard to see in the pics but they look OK to me.

I like a low nose way better that the noses we've seen the last 20 years.


Can't wait until the racing starts and people start commentating on the wheel to wheel action instead of the noses. Yes, they're not favourable, not attractive, but neither were the step noses and we all got over that. Im enjoying seeing the different teams interpret the regs in each a different way. The crowds in Melbourne will not be subdued to a nose.


Should be Budgie Rosso with a beak like that.


its last years Red Bull with a new nose


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..


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 🙂


@ luqa

Lol... Tongue seems about right.


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 🙂


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.


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?


It's a Wordpress thing.


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?


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


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.


...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.


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.


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


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


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.


Blame the rule makers.


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


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.


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


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


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


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


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?!




It is "Red bull" in translation. No kidding


That would of course be "Red Bull" in Italian...


I believe Italian for Ferrari is, ummm... Ferrari.


*slaps forehead*


...also slaps your forehead...


Careful - next thing you know we'll be starting a band.


Means Red Bull I believe


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


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


Most ridiculous nose yet.

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


That Toro Rosso should be crowned The Addlington...


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 !

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!


"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...

Robert in San Diego



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


Men tremble in fear, women sigh in anticipation.


Goferet collects more stats.


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


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"!


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


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.


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


Farewell Formula 1; hello Formula Schlong.


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.


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.


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


Vergne's F1 career is already cactus - he just doesn't know it yet.

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