This afternoon, the Scuderia Toro Rosso F1 Team launched their 2015 car; the STR10 at Jerez at 5pm CET (4pm UK time).
The Renault-powered machine will be driven by all-rookie line-up Carlos Sainz Jr and Max Verstappen, following Daniil Kvyat’s promotion to Red Bull and Toro Rosso’s decision not to retain Jean-Eric Vergne.
The Renault-powered machine will be driven by all-rookie line-up Carlos Sainz Jr and Max Verstappen, following Daniil Kvyat’s promotion to Red Bull and Toro Rosso’s decision not to retain Jean-Eric Vergne. Toro Rosso’s rookie drivers Verstappen and Sainz Jr. were on hand to unveil the new car, which features a revised nose design from 2014.
At the launch of the STR10 this afternoon, Toro Rosso Team Principal Franz Tost stated the following about the STR10 as follows:-
‘The launch of the new STR10 car today here in Jerez de la Frontera marks the start of a new and hopefully thrilling F1 season. The 2015 season is a new challenge for all of us. We’ve put a lot of work into the STR10 and we are convinced that we will have a successful year. Our objective is to finish fifth in the constructors championship and we are ready to do our best to achieve it.
‘Our engine partner Renault has also worked very hard to come up with new modifications and I’m sure that our joint effort will give us a package which will certainly be very competitive. All in all, we have a much stronger team as well as a very competitive STR10 and fast drivers; it’s a great combination.’
My first thoughts of the STR10 (see picture above) is that it looks a very packaged car that they have clearly worked hard on throughout the winter to evolve it and the nose is significantly better than last year’s “penis” noses. However, I do not like the yellow on the nose itself and I am wondering why that it has been painted like that, but at the end of the day it is just part of the livery.
From what Tost has stated in his interview today, it is clear that he appears confident that the STR10 will be successful this season with their aim of finishing fifth in the Constructors Championship. However, I feel that might be out of reach for the Toro Rosso team unless they have created a really competitive car that can beat their rivals such as McLaren and Force India.
Tost is also confident that engine supplier Renault will be able to be more competitive this season after learning valuable lessons from last season. As we have seen over the winter, Renault Sport during their interviews with the media believe that they have learnt from last season and feel that the changes they have made will benefit their customers and their performance on the track which is the most important thing at the end of the day.
In regards to their driver line up, Verstappen’s rise to F1 has been a controversial one. He has beaten the current record for being the sport’s youngest ever driver in Australia, making his debut at the age of 17. However, Red Bull clearly believes that the son of ex-F1 driver Jos Verstappen has what it takes to race with the very best.
With Sainz Jnr, he has been close to F1 many times in the past, but only secured a seat with Toro Rosso following Sebastian Vettel’s decision to leave Red Bull and this therefore prompted Daniil Kvyat’s promotion to Red Bull Racing. The Formula Renault 3.5 champion also has a famous racing father, with Carlos Sainz being a legend of the rally world.
As the Red Bull junior team enters its tenth season of racing in 2015 after having evolved from Minardi for the 2006 season, It has produced three full-time Red Bull drivers in that time, with four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel being the most notable graduate. Vettel also claimed the team’s only race win at the 2008 Italian Grand Prix.
But overall with an all-rookie line-up for this season, Toro Rosso’s hopes of breaking into the top five in 2015 may seem ambitious, but both Verstappen and Sainz have proven themselves in junior formulae, hence why they are racing for the team this season.
However, if Renault has fixed the problems that blighted its engines in 2014, the team could yet put itself in the fight with the likes of McLaren and Force India this year; provided that the STR10 is as competitive as Tost believes that it is and gives the two drivers the opportunity to perform on the track.
But only time will tell if Tost is proven correct or not when the STR10 goes into the first race of the season in Australia in March.