- Toro Rosso
Toro Rosso launches new STR9
Toro Rosso has become the latest team to officially launch their 2014 car after taking the covers off the STR9 at the Jerez circuit.
The STR9 is the first Toro Rosso car to have a Renault engine, as the team ends a seven-year affiliation with Ferrari. There is also a change to driver personnel this year, as Daniil Kvyat replaces the outgoing Daniel Ricciardo.
Jean-Eric Vergne has been retained for a third season, and will effectively assume the mantle of team leader following Ricciardo's promotion to Red Bull. The Frenchman will also be the first to get behind the wheel of the STR9 as the team takes to the track for the first time on Tuesday.
The STR9 keeps the traditional Toro Rosso livery and and features a prominent nose which is expected to be a common feature up and down the grid in 2014. After three online launches the STR9 is the first to be unveiled in front of the media, with the team doing so in the Jerez pitlane ahead of the first day of testing.
Technical director James Key said the car had been designed for reliability testing of the new engine and is a long way from the finished article.
"This is a platform to run the power unit at the moment," he said. "There is a lot of stuff to come and there are a lot of ideas which are emerging. We'll see them when the season begins. This isn't a performance week, it's a reliability week. We've got this opportunity now to learn the measure of the power unit and how well we are managing it with the chassis and the drivers will get a feel for how the car is behaving. We then have a gap until the Bahrain test when we can address a lot of that stuff with Renault as is required."
By using Renault engines, Toro Rosso now shares the same powerunits as the senior Red Bull team as well as its gearbox. Key said that has allowed the two to work together on some aspects, but not the chassis itself.
"We're using the gearbox internals with Red Bull and it's allowed us to discuss the same conditions that you get from the power unit. That's worked very well and the relationship with Red Bull is working very well for us. There's not that much you can do beyond that little bit of stuff that is related to the engine, and beyond that you very quickly get to the chassis side."