Changes to the technical and design team under the Scuderia Toro Rosso banner showcased their first car today. Luca Furbatto and James Key were on hand with drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne for the unveiling of the STR8.
The unveiling of the new car for the Scuderia Toro Rosso team did not go as smoothly as they planned with the live stream from Spain bouncing. Still the important aspect is their sponsor CEPSA was pleased with the unwrapping of the new car at the Circuit Jerez de la Frontera.
The car is vibrant red with of course the typical shade of the Red Bull energy drink. Like all Formula One teams, they had to stick to suspension changes, while everyone waits for the new 2014 cars and engines. From the look of the conventional exhaust to the 'vanity panel' covering the 'step nose' to the suspension, there really was not a notable significant change.
Based in Spain, the team and CEPSA were excited to present the SRT8 in their homeland. CEPSA Chief Operating Officer, Pedro Miro said, “Last year at Jerez was the first time we were involved in a car presentation. Maybe for Franz (Tost) and the team it was just another presentation like many others, but for us it represented our first full season in F1.”
Franz Tost, team principal, commented on the new key members of the team and the two returning drivers. “We believe the changes made will also help in the short term for this coming season and, combined with the fact that Daniel and Jean-Eric are more experienced, now that they have a season with us under their belts, we start winter testing in a mood of justified optimism.”
Ricciardo will continue his quest for his first podium finish in the premier single-seater series. Entering his second year with the sister team to Red Bull’s championship team, he hopes to add more points to the two he has. The Aussie ended his homeland grand prix with a cheering crowd as he overtook his own teammate for ninth last year. He also finished every race but one in 2012.
“The 2013 version of me is a more confident person and driver, with more self-belief than last year,” he said. “I’ve always had the desire and determination to succeed and now I’m ready to reinforce that and let everyone see what I’m all about. The target for us this year is very simple: to improve on last year.”
Frenchman Vergne also returns to the team for his second season. He also garnered points – at the Malaysian Grand Prix with a stunning 8th place finish in a rain race. Both drivers showed their talent but it was not smooth sailing all season.
“Going into this season is a completely different experience to this time last year, when I had to deal with a lot of unknowns. I had to learn the majority of tracks, understand so many details about Formula 1 and adapt to working with the team,” said Vergne.
Vergne added, “This year, I will still be learning – you never stop in Formula 1 – but the basics are there and I will be able to focus on more important aspects of the job. In general, I sense a new philosophy within Toro Rosso: I wouldn’t say people are working harder, but maybe they are going in a better direction.”