Toro Rosso's new STR2 made a low key arrival on February 13th at the Circuit de Catalunya, where all the teams are currently testing. While the Faenza squad joked about 'going green' by having only one car and one driver at present, the media were...
Toro Rosso's new STR2 made a low key arrival on February 13th at the Circuit de Catalunya, where all the teams are currently testing. While the Faenza squad joked about 'going green' by having only one car and one driver at present, the media were more interested in why Scott Speed had not been confirmed alongside Tonio Liuzzi and if the 2007 challenger is actually legal.
Leaving those tricky questions aside for a moment, the STR2 chassis 01 features the familiar dark blue livery with the charging red bull on the sides. Toro Rosso is Ferrari-powered this year but aside from the endless 'customer car' arguments, there's not a lot to be said as it's not been on the track yet. Liuzzi was due to put in installation laps today but was thwarted by a late afternoon red flag.
Team co-owner Gerhard Berger is not predicting a huge leap forward in performance but hopes to give rivals a bit of a wake up call. "We won't be getting any pole positions or race wins this year but we have progressed as a team and we have to move forward to fighting some of the bigger teams on a regular basis," he commented.
Spyker and Williams have made it quite clear that they believe the STR2 is a customer car -- one that has been produced by another team rather than designed and built in-house, which is the FIA's requirement. Allegedly the new Toro Rosso is a development of this year's Red Bull RB3 but Berger was insistent that it's not chassis sharing.
"Our car is not a customer car," he stated. "A customer car is when you go to another team, give them money and they give you a car. This is not the case with us and before we went down the route of working with Red Bull Technology we took our own legal advice and checked with the FIA. I am completely satisfied that our car is in compliance with the rules."
So what are the differences between the STR2 and the parent team's car? "Apart from the obvious one that the chassis is different to accommodate a different engine," said Toro Rosso technical director Alex Hitzinger, "nearly all the major elements are different too, including bodywork, wings, management systems and so on."
As for the question of Speed -- as in Scott, not as in rapidity -- the stock answer to that was 'contractual issues' that are 'confidential'. The American is said to still be in pole position for the race seat but a conclusion to the situation may not be reached until just prior to Melbourne, although equally it could come within the next few days.