- Toro Rosso
Easy to get it wrong in 2014 - Vergne
Jean-Eric Vergne thinks it will be easy for teams to make big mistakes with the designs of their cars this year but has warned against making any judgements until racing starts in March.
Toro Rosso launched its new STR9 on the eve of the first day of testing in Jerez, pulling the wraps off the new car in the pit lane. But with new V6 turbo engines, changes to the aerodynamic regulations and a change in tyre compounds and construction, Vergne says there is no way of knowing if it will be successful.
"Nobody has any idea if they have gone in the right direction or not," Vergne said. "It's so easy to get it wrong this year and not even after the first test in Jerez will anyone have an idea. You can run so many different engine maps that maybe you can get two seconds worth just by turning the engine with more power or whatever. We will have a clearer picture in Melbourne but we definitely have to wait until after the Jerez test to determine a ranking."
Vergne said understanding the engine and making it reliable ahead of the first race of the season would be crucial.
"One week I have worked with the Renault people and I have to say it has been really good and I've learned a lot, but it's so difficult with this new engine because the more you learn the less you know," he said. "There are a lot of things to know and the biggest difference will be at the beginning of the season when not everyone will understand it fully and therefore there is a lot of work to do for then."
The Toro Rosso is the latest 2014 F1 car to emerge with a low and narrow nose to meet new safety regulations regarding the height of the front of the car. Vergne admitted it was not pretty but thinks fans will get used to it.
"Everybody is a little bit surprised with it. But every time a new rule has come in in Formula One everybody gets used to it after six months. If this can improve the safety then nobody will be pissed off with that and it is a good thing for Formula One. A good looking car is a winning car, so let's hope it's a beauty."