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Toro Rosso launches 2016 Formula 1 livery and "expects STR11 to be on the podium"

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Toro Rosso launches 2016 Formula 1 livery and "expects STR11 to be on the podium"
Mar 1, 2016, 12:48 PM

Toro Rosso has revealed the livery it will run during 2016 Formula 1 season and team boss Franz Tost says the squad is aiming for the podium this y...

Toro Rosso has revealed the livery it will run during 2016 Formula 1 season and team boss Franz Tost says the squad is aiming for the podium this year.

The Italian team brought its 2016 machine, which is known as the STR11, to the first pre-season test last week but used a plain blue livery because it did not have enough time to apply the paintwork due to the last-minute assembly of the car.

The late nature of Toro Rosso’s deal to use 2015-specification Ferrari engines for this year meant the team was hard pressed to get the STR11 ready for the start of testing.

Max Verstappen

But in total, the team managed 447 laps during the first test, which was second only to Mercedes, although neither Carlos Sainz or Max Verstappen set a time among the ten overall fastest laps.

The new colour scheme, which is very similar to the team’s traditional livery, features more Red Bull branding than it has done in recent seasons.

Tost believes that Toro Rosso can finally reach the podium again this season, eight years after Sebastian Vettel’s famous victory in the 2008 Italian Grand Prix, as he reckons the STR11 is an improvement on its predecessor, which Verstappen drove to two fourth places in 2015.

XPB.cc Franz Tost

He said: "I expect we can achieve a podium this year after getting so close to it last year in Budapest and Austin, where Max finished fourth. I hope the new car works well and is reliable and the team and drivers do a good job.

“Therefore a podium position should be possible. The target for us this year is to finish fifth in the constructors’ championship."

"Overall, I expect a successful season because we are much better prepared in many different ways than the years before.

"I'm convinced the new car, which has quite a successful predecessor, will be another big step forward. I'm really optimistic about the season ahead."

Carlos Sainz Max Verstappen James Key

Toro Rosso’s technical director, James Key, described the immense challenge and compromises the team was forced to make to fit the Ferrari engine into its design for 2016, as the team used Renault power last year.

He said: "We have been through an incredibly busy three months, our directions for the STR11 were well established in August last year but when the engine change decision was made we had to put a large part of the project effectively on hold.

“This did not stop us developing, but did increasingly constrain the flexibility we had to design-in what was at that stage an unknown power unit.

“When the agreement was finally given the go ahead in late October last year and we were able to discuss details with our partners at Ferrari it was clear that the task ahead was significant, we made life more difficult for ourselves too by specifically setting out a plan to fit the new power unit into the existing packaging space [and] we had to minimise any installation performance deficit on the rest of the car as best we could."

Toro Rosso

Although it was a race against time to accommodate the Ferrari power unit ahead of testing, Key reckons the engine’s proven reliability and performance will help Toro Rosso catch the other midfield outfits this year.

He said: “The 2015 Ferrari power unit is already well-established and a really good step forward from their 2014 power unit. It should be a good performance step for us and brings us closer to most other teams compared to last year.

“We look forward to good reliability too given that it has run an entire season already."

Toro Rosso

As testing resumed at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya this morning, the STR11 featured a number of new aerodynamic developments as the team began work on improving the performance of the new car.

Key explained that Toro Rosso would be concentrating on developing its chassis to its maximum potential throughout 2016, as it will not receive any power unit upgrades this year.

He said: "Clearly, it will be very important to work on chassis development in the strongest way possible."

"We will be the only team with a year-old spec power unit and it will not be further developed from what we have now.

"All other teams will have power unit development so we will need to compensate as best as possible with chassis development."

Max Verstappen

What do you expect from the STR11? Will it allow Toro Rosso to challenge for the podium places or will its 2015 engine hold the team back? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below or head over to the JAonF1 Facebook page for more discussion.
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