Scuderia Toro Rosso have launched their 2009 challenger the STR4 at Jerez, Spain.
The new car is very similar to the Red Bull Racing RB5, but Giorgio Ascanelli has denied that it is a simple rebadging process for the machine.
It will be powered by Ferrari engines.
The drivers for this season are Sebastien Buemi and Sebastien Bourdais. Confidence is high for the team, which was once Minardi, because of their amazing race victory at Monza last season.
“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,” team boss Franz Tost said
“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.”
Ascanelli claims that the car is indeed different to the RB5;
“Red Bull Technology does extremely significant work in defining the essential characteristics of the new car: its length, wheelbase, weight distribution, its basic metric characteristics,” said Ascanelli.
“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.”
Sebastien Buemi has been confirmed as one of Scuderia Toro Rosso’s race drivers for the 2009 season, Franz Tost has announced.
The Faenza based team has been holding off on its driver announcements while it evaluated all of the possible drivers, but it would seem that Red Bull back Buemi has done enough to convince the bosses for a seat.
Buemi is just 20 but has shined in multiple race series’ around the world in his short career.
“We are delighted to welcome Sebastien, who was already part of the Red Bull family, to our team,” said team boss Franz Tost.
“Our engineers have been impressed with his speed in the car and his ability to learn and progress during the testing he has carried out for us last year.
“That, along with some impressive performances in GP2 was enough to convince us to give him the drive. His appointment also fulfils the aims of the Red Bull Junior Driver programme and meets Dietrich Mateschitz’s intention to use Scuderia Toro Rosso as a showcase for young drivers the company has supported in the lower formulae.”
Scuderia Toro Rosso boss Franz Tost has told a popular German magazine that he asked Juan Pablo Montoya if he wished to return to F1 with his Scuderia Toro Rosso team.
The Coloumbian declined the offer.
Montoya, 33, formerly raced with Williams BMW and McLaren F1 Teams, notching up 7 victories, and mounting a title challenge in 2003. His form slid into 2006, and half way through the season he gave up and left F1, leaving Pedro de La Rosa to race for McLaren. Montoya ended up in NASCAR.
Often contraversial, Montoya is a character you love or hate.
“Unfortunately he no longer wants to be in Formula One,” Tost is quoted as saying by Auto Motor und Sport.
So it looks like it is a straight fight between, Sebastien Bourdais, Sebastien Buemi, Rubens Barrichello, Bruno Senna and Lucas di Grassi for the 2 seats.
Sebastien Buemi has admitted he is realistic about his chances of securing a drive at the Scuderia Toro Rosso team for 2009.
The driver, who is part of the Red Bull young driver programme and been a tester in F1 for a few years, admitted that he isn’t convinced he will be the driver despite a good test day with the team at Jerez.
The Swiss man is coming up against tough competition for the drive from Takuma Sato and Bruno Senna.
“I am a bit excited, but I try to stay calm,” Buemi said about the talk regarding his future. “I did my best, but maybe I will test again before they take a decision. So I have to wait and see.”
He added: “My objective is for sure to be in F1 next season. I was feeling a bit of pressure about that, which was normal, but now it is over. I did my job.”
When asked if he felt he had done a good job, Buemi said: “I think maybe with the new tyres it could have been a bit better, because I could not manage the last bit of the tyres.
“I think maybe the final tenths could have been a bit better, but my feedback and long runs with old tyres were good, I think. I don’t know when we will get a decision, but we will know for sure.”
Scuderia Toro Rosso have confirmed that Japanese driver Takuma Sato will test with their team at Jerez.
It will take place on September 18th.
The driver has been out of work since Super Aguri folded earlier this season, and has been eager to get back into F1. With Vettel leaving STR, the team are looking for a suitable replacement and Gerhard Berger has previously said he wants someone with experience.
Speaking about his test opportunity, Sato said: “I am delighted to be given this opportunity to get back behind the wheel of a Formula One car, after my season was cut short following the Spanish GP.
“It will be especially interesting working with a team that has made so much progress over the course of the year.”
Franz Tost declared: “Sato has proved worthy of a place in Formula One and would be a good fit with the Red Bull spirit, while his recent F1 experience would be undoubtedly valuable to our team.”
David Coulthard has publically slammed the behaviour Scuderia Toro Rosso boss Franz Tost in relation to rumours he started regarding Fernando Alonso.
Tost kept the ball-rolling that Aonso was on his way to Red Bull Racing, telling the presses that they were in negotiations, when Tost isnt even the boss.
Coulthard found this unacceptable, and in his column for ITVF1 he said;
“One thing that has surprised me from a Red Bull point of view since all the speculation began is that Scuderia Toro Rosso’s team principal Franz Tost told the press that there were talks going on between Red Bull and Alonso,”
“I cannot understand why he would feel it’s appropriate to make a comment about another team, owned by the same parent company, without any authority to do so and no understanding of the contractual situation,” he went on.
“STR had the same car as us this year but nowhere near the same performance so shouldn’t he be concentrating on his own business rather than ours?”
Oh the “Silly-Season” goes on, and its name becomes ever more apt.
Scuderia Toro Rosso are considering starting the 2008 FIA Formula One Season with their 2007 based car.
The Italian based team, a subsidary of Red Bull Racing, have admitted that they have signed their car off late, because they wanted maximum development time.
Franz Tost sees no issues in waiting until the European rounds of the championship before entering their new car, the rule changes are not hugely aerodynamically different.
“At the moment it looks easier to start next year with this year’s model,” he told autosport.com. “We are reviewing the situation for next year right now, but we are not yet 100 percent certain what we will do.”
Tost added that he was happy with Toro Rosso’s progress,
“The people at Toro Rosso are pushing very hard and I must say that we are making steps forward,” he said.
“We are becoming better but at the end we have to prove it with results.
“It will be very hard work during the winter time and we will see where we end up next season.”