Toro Rosso is the latest Formula 1 racing team to unveil its new car for 2014. According to a team press release posted to Twitter on Monday, January 27, drivers Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniil Kvat "whipped the sheets off" Scuderia Toro Rosso's STR9 at pit lane in Jerez, Spain on Monday. Pre-season testing begins there on Tuesday.
Team Principal, Franz Tost commented, "In 2012, we began a concept study for STR9, the earliest we have ever started a new car project. As time went by, more and more of our staff were involved in the project, as we invested a lot of effort and resources, both technical and financial into the design of the new car. In 2014 the key parameters for success will be finding the best balance between deploying the power of the engine and managing the 100kg fuel limit per race, the use of the two energy recovery systems and, just as in the past, the tyres."
Vergne will test drive the car in Jerez on Tuesday, with rookie Kvat taking the wheel on Wednesday.
About the upcoming season and the new machine, Vergne said, "This will be my third season in Formula 1 and I definitely feel better prepared than ever before. From what I have seen in the factory, the same applies to the team. Now we must make the most of winter testing and work hard to ensure that all our efforts pay off. I am confident we have what we need to do well. 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. That will be one of the tasks for winter tests, so that we can make the most of the package available right from the first race."
He continued, "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."
Daniil Kvyat looks forward to his first season in the series: "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. Being a rookie means there’s a steep learning curve, but the bright side of this year’s regulation change is that all the drivers will be getting used to a new way of driving, starting from zero."
He went on to say, "Anyway, I have always liked a big challenge. Physically, I feel ready after a good winter training program, concentrating a bit on my neck muscles. The team hasn’t set me any specific targets, so it's just a case of getting on top of my game as quickly as possible."
Toro Rosso and most of the other Formula 1 teams (Lotus will not be there) begin pre-season testing in Jerez on Tuesday, January 28. It is then that teams, press, and fans will get the first sense of how the teams have managed to engineer and design their cars according to many changes required for the new Formula 1 season. Though very early, first tests will also provide a first look at how the teams compare to one another in their adaptations to the new rules.
The first race of the season will be in Melbourne, Australia on March 16.
Connie Ann Kirk, Ph.D. has been credentialed by the FIA to write about Formula 1. She is working on a book about racers and racing with a historic racer from upstate New York. See her blog at Motor Sport Muse.