Toro Rosso’s latest contender, the STR4, has been unveiled to the press at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya this morning. The Ferrari-powered car was revealed by Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais and F1 newcomer Sebastien Buemi.
Having finished sixth in the 2008 standings after taking a pole and win with Vettel at Monza, the team is looking to improve further up the grid this year. Team manager Gianfranco Fantuzzi stressed the effort that has gone into their latest model: “For the first time ever, we have made the actual chassis in-house, whereas last year it was produced by Carbotec in Austria. This has been a big challenge for us and the chassis took up 100 percent of our energy up to the start of the season. We also had to take on more staff with good qualifications in the fields of laminating and trimming. Infact, before tackling the STR4, we actually made a 2008 STR3 chassis to see how it would work out and that proved to be a very valuable experience.”
|Giorgio Ascanelli, Technical Director|
Technical Director Giorgio Ascanelli stresses that the STR4 is a solely Italian-built product: “Red Bull technology does extremely significant work in defining the essential characteristics of the new car: its length, wheelbase, weight distribution and its basic metric characteristics. However, as we run a different engine to our sister team, it involves a different fuel system and fuel tank. Therefore, our car is completely different that of Red Bull Racing and is designed here by us.” The Italian has confidence in the ex-Minardi squad from Faenza: “It’s going to be an interesting season. I think it’s good that the guys here get the chance to control their own destiny in a way, but at the moment we only have about a dozen people on the design side so we’re a decade out in terms of manpower!”