CAR TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION
Official car name: STR8
Engine: Ferrari V8 Type 056
Chassis material: Composite monocoque structure
Bodywork material: Carbon fibre composite
Front suspension: Upper and lower carbon wishbones, torsion bar springs and anti roll bars, Multimatic dampers
Rear suspension: Upper and lower carbon wishbones, torsion bar springs and anti roll bars, Multimatic dampers
Steering: Scuderia Toro Rosso
Gearbox: Seven-speed hydraulic
Clutch: Sachs Triple-plate pull-type
Pads and discs: Brembo
Cooling system (radiators, heat exchangers): Scuderia Toro Rosso
Cockpit instrumentation: Scuderia Toro Rosso
Seat belts: OMP / Sabelt
Steering wheel: Scuderia Toro Rosso
Driver's seat: Carbon fibre construction, moulded to driver’s shape
Extinguisher system: Scuderia Toro Rosso/FEV
Fuel cell: ATL
Overall weight: 642 kg (including driver and camera)
Jean-Eric Vergne, Driver Car 18
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 learn to work with the team. This year, I will still be learning – you never stop learning – but the basics are there and I will be able to focus on more important aspects of the job.
There are many changes within the team, and for me personally, I will be working with a new race engineer. I expect it will take some time to learn to work together, but I regard this as a positive step for me. My new engineer comes from a world championship winning team and he will bring a different approach and overall I think it should be a good thing. 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 and everyone has been working hard since the end of last season, to achieve our goals.
My priorities for the coming year? The first one is of course to score as many points as possible. After that, like any driver, I want to beat my team-mate. I learned a lot from him last year and I feel I am ready to do better and move forward.
Daniel Ricciardo – Driver Car 19
The 2013 version of me is a more confident person and driver, with more self-belief than last year. 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. I spent most of the winter Down Under and when I came back into the factory in Faenza, I could feel a very positive atmosphere with everyone excited about the new car. The target for us this year is very simple: to improve on last year. We want to make a big step forward and we have to get back among the teams we should be fighting with.
I have a new race engineer for this year, but it’s not a step into the unknown as he used to be my data engineer and he ran me in Austin and Sao Paolo last year so it’s not like we haven’t worked together yet. The six days I will spend in the cockpit for pre-season testing should be enough time to get a good relationship going and I’m looking forward to it as an exciting new challenge. As to who my main rivals will be, you have to treat all the other drivers as competitors and I can’t single out anyone in particular. My main rival is probably myself because at times, a driver can be his own worst enemy! Testing’s fine, but I’m really looking forward to Melbourne: starting the season at your home race means more pressure, but having more fans is a positive pressure and a good thing.
Luca Furbatto – Chief Designer
Luca takes us through the concept between this year’s car the STR8
I joined Toro Rosso on 1st December 2011 and my first task was to learn as much as possible about the team and to familiarise myself with the STR7 which was designed by my predecessor.
In pre-season testing last year, we were able to get a first look at the strengths and limitations of the STR7. It was clear from the start that we had some issues with the weight distribution of the car and we were not able to effectively cover the entire weight distribution range, as controlled by the FIA regulations. This therefore became a point we wanted to rectify with STR8. Another fact to emerge from
initial testing, was that the car appeared to be more compliant in terms of laptime sensitive compliances, when compared to other cars I have worked on and that was another point we wanted to rectify with this year’s car. A further key point was that I wanted to create a platform for aerodynamic development of the car. The rear end of the STR7 was effectively derived from the previous model, the STR6 and I felt the rear could be made much slimmer and more compact and that was another area we focussed on in
designing STR8. We sought to give a mechanical infrastructure to the aerodynamic department which would be a good platform for their development work.
The project began in March 2012 and we started with the rear end of the car- gearbox, hydraulics and rear suspension – because the production time and the testing required for these components is very extensive. We were able to issue the drawings for the gearbox parts in July and, as we prepare for our first track test, our dyno testing suggests we have a strong and reliable gearbox. The second phase was to integrate within the gearbox design a revised rear suspension, with the emphasis on making it more aerodynamic, in order to generate more downforce. When designing the chassis, again, providing a platform for aerodynamic development was an important consideration. In terms of suspension layout, kinematics and internals those are again brand new. The STR7 was very
limited in terms of set-up possibilities and with STR8 we opened up this aspect substantially, adding devices and features not present on previous STR cars. This should allow race engineers and drivers to perfect the handling and ride behaviour of the new car.
As for the aerodynamic concept of the car, this too has changed fundamentally from the previous year. Development was rather limited in 2012 and this was because the STR7’s distinctive sidepod design, although initially looking quite good, later proved difficult to develop, so that we reached a plateau during the season. We therefore decided in early August to go down another route and at the same time took the opportunity to change the cooling layout of the car and so, on STR8 the radiators are much lower. This also allows us to drop the deck of the sidepods more aggressively. These changes mean the car actually looks quite conventional, while still retaining some of the features of STR7, because even if it is a new concept, it is an evolution based on the current regulations. We are also planning an aggressive development programme for the first part of the season, based around a very narrow rear end and low
From a weight distribution point of view, we believe that thanks to the architectural shape of STR8, we should be able to explore all the opportunities within the weight distribution range allowed in the rules. Initial indications on suspension compliance are encouraging and in terms of aero development, we are in better shape than at the end of last season and another positive step is that the rate of development is increasing, indicating there is further potential to move forward in terms of downforce.
In terms of manpower, the design team has grown a little bit. Everyone remained motivated, even when things did not go so well in 2012: everybody has worked extremely hard to deliver a brand new car on time and I like to tell them that the only carry-over part from STR7 is in fact the steering wheel! For a team that is maybe half the size of a top team, that and the fact we are on-time with the project, is a tremendous achievement.
Operationally, we continue to work with a wind tunnel and part of our aerodynamic staff based in Bicester in the UK. Over the past 12 months there has been a big improvement in communication between the various departments and we have invested in new technologies on this front, so even though we are operating on different sites, effectively it is as though we are working next door to one
another. This step up in communication means the new car is better integrated than in the past. I can sum it up by saying that, twelve months ago, when work came through from Bicester, engineers in Faenza felt on the receiving end of something that was designed elsewhere, now it really feels like a codesign from different departments within the same team, which is encouraging for the future, both short and long term.
Laurent Mekies – Head of Vehicle Performance
Laurent looks at the effect of this year’s changes to the regulations
Firstly, there is a change to the usage of DRS. Last year, you could use it whenever and also wherever you wanted during free practice and qualifying. In the race, there was usually only one DRS zone and you could only use the facility if you were within one second of the car ahead of you. We ran like this for the past two years but the problems we saw was that drivers and teams as usual were pushing this to the limit: there was a strong incentive to switch on the DRS as soon as you came out of a corner, especially in qualifying and in some cases, actually going through the corner with the DRS on. Because it is a very on-off phenomenon with a high amplitude – we are not talking about just a few points of downforce and in fact it’s a massive step – the mental commitment you need to tell yourself to go
through a corner with the DRS on was becoming a bit of a dangerous game. This situation was happening more and more in very high speed corners, as downforce levels of the car meant it was eventually possible to go through very high speed corners without the wing operating at its maximum. This year, we will have dedicated DRS zones that will apply throughout the weekend and the rules regarding when it can be used during the race will remain the same. However, at most circuits, there will now be two DRS zones, two straights where it can be used, as was the case at a handful of tracks in the past two years. This will have an impact on the engineering and on the racing itself: there is small impact on the optimum aero level you will want to run at the track and also a small effect on the gearing you will want to run. In general, it could also affect the balance of power between the teams, because those teams that had the most effective DRS will lose a bit of their qualifying advantage. It will have a small impact on racing with the use of two DRS zones, even if the FIA has proved very adept at modifying these zones during the weekend, if it becomes clear that overtaking is going to be too easy or too hard.
Another change for this year is on the tyre front, as we go into our third year with Pirelli. The tyre company has announced some significant steps in terms of the tyres, which effectively means different constructions and compounds. We tried the new construction in Brazil last November, while the compounds will be new. I think everyone has enjoyed the aggressive approach Pirelli has adopted with
higher degradation from various compounds that allowed for more strategies to come into play. As a mid-field team, we definitely hope this aggression continues, thus leaving room for interesting strategies and room to take risks. This means you can derive a significant benefit from having a good understanding of the tyres, a task which will be one of the main items of pre-season testing. The working
range of the tyres has also been changed for this year, providing another challenge for all the teams.
As for ourselves, Toro Rosso is still in a growing phase and we have increased the number of staff on the engineering side, although not at the race track, where the numbers are subject to FIA limitations. Every year, we continue to work on improving our pit stop times. We made a significant step forward from 2011 to 2012 and we are aiming to make another one this year. You always think you have reached the limit, but actually you never do. This improvement will, we hope, come mainly on the technical side in terms of the equipment we use during the stops, but in addition, we are always pushing the pit stop crew to improve their own performance.
We expected 2012 to be tough with a 20 race calendar and certainly it was: we learned many valuable logistical and operational lessons from that, which we will apply to this year. This does involve a small amount of rotation in terms of personnel so that not everyone will do all the races, but the changes are small and as a rough estimate, we can say that 80% of the team does 100% of the races. In addition, whether we stick with the 19 races or it goes back to 20, the actual layout of the calendar is slightly easier in that we have one less test session – there is no Mugello this year – and moving the Young Driver Test to a different slot means there is no longer a five week run of events as there was in 2012.
One factor which hangs over the whole year for all teams and everyone in F1 is the compromise required in being competitive in 2013 while preparing for the following year when the sport faces the biggest technical shake-up it has experienced in recent years. It will be an exciting year for us because, yes it’s true we are billed as the “young driver” team as part of the Red Bull family of drivers, but our current line-up has now completed one full season with us, which showed signs of promise, so there is a real sense of excitement within the team to see how much they have progressed and how much we have moved forward and I expect driver growth since last year to be one of the positive factors for Scuderia Toro Rosso in 2013. With these two guys on board, there is a fantastic atmosphere in the team and a real sense of excitement and desire to get racing again.
James Key – Technical Director
After just under six months with Scuderia Toro Rosso, James looks at the technical challenges facing the team in the short and long-term and explains his role at the factory and the race track
I joined the team in September 2012 and coming to a new team, one never really knows what to expect until you start interacting with the people directly. What I found exceeded my expectations: it is not really clear from the outside how the size of the team has grown significantly over the past years and the level of facilities has increased and improved accordingly. For example, the new carbon manufacturing facility just completed in Faenza is state-of-the-art and would be the envy of many, given the high standard to which it’s been built and specified.
Over in Bicester, UK, the wind tunnel and aerodynamic departments are also expanding and there has been a lot of work to do on this side of the operation. Needless to say the majority of car performance is derived from its aerodynamics and a lot of work has been put into placing a heavy emphasis on the importance of the aero development. A big part of this has been to improve communications between the aero group in the UK and the design and manufacturing in Italy. In addition we are trying to ensure maximum aero development time with a quick turnaround of design and manufacturing periods. That is fundamental to what we do: a front wing will take the same amount of time to design and build for a given cost, but it could be worth one tenth of a second or four tenths of a second. It’s those four tenths that count, so if you squeeze the timing here in Faenza and allow more time on the development side, then ultimately it should result in a better performance in the longer term. Although there was already an awareness of that, it’s been a case of pushing that idea a bit more, tightening the deadlines and stressing the fact we must give as much time as possible to aero. With the CFD department based in Faenza, trying to ensure that the communications are as slick as they can be is also an important priority. We have introduced some new directions within the aero and CFD groups in the last few months to further improve our focus on development and our approach to how we develop the STR8 will be somewhat different to last year’s car.
I have not had to change much in the short time I’ve been here in the other technical groups, as it is the time of year when there’s a need to get the 2013 car as developed as possible before it hits the track, therefore a lot of emphasis at the moment has been on the CFD and Aero departments. When it comes to the areas which seem to be working fine with no major issues, I have by and large left them alone at this stage. Our car’s reliability last year was very good and one of the strengths we have is the attention to detail applied in the design, R&D and Quality Control areas. Everyone is very thorough in their work on the cars and how they are turned around here in the factory. Trackside, we also have a solid group and I have to say the operation at the track runs very smoothly from what I have seen to date.
Where I feel we are lacking is in our pure performance-based areas. Hence the hard push on the aero work and also on the vehicle dynamics and simulation side. We have made quite significant changes in that area and introduced a new Vehicle Performance department to the team.
From my previous experience in F1, teams face the same challenge but work in different ways. As Technical Director, I think it’s wise to tune the way you operate to match the existing strengths within a team and then get on with attacking the weaknesses, rather than change the entire team to match what you are used to, without first getting a proper overview of how it operates. Ultimately, the Technical Director is responsible for the performance of the car, therefore the decisions you take, whether they are technical, managerial, organisational or to do with budget, will all impact on the final product. I much prefer a technical approach, but you also have to step back and give the team the freedom they need to undertake their roles as best possible. In this respect, my role is a mix of detailed technical issues and the bigger picture and direction that the technical groups need to take.
At races, time is tight over a race weekend and it is important that we are all working in the same direction at the track. You have to take whatever combination of parts and understanding you have on the day and make sure it all works as well as possible in the given set of circumstances. Someone has to have the global overview of where we are and what we have to do next and understand our weaknesses and priorities. A lot of that comes from being at the track, as well as being able to see the other cars and having a general overview of what is going on. Attending the races gives you a very good feeling for exactly where you are and that helps the decision-making process as to what we need to have covered by the next event as well as what could hit the track in maybe three months time. The engineers and drivers might come up against some negatives that are holding them up and my role is in deciding which one of those problems needs to be solved first and how.
The major technical regulation change coming in 2014 is having an impact on us already and will do throughout the coming year. Every team faces this challenge, regardless of size, but it has a bigger impact on the smaller teams: we are looking at a completely different car so you cannot carry over many established designs or philosophies from 2013 to 2014. We will have to build up our knowledge of the new regulations and their implications significantly and apply it to the design of the 2014 car. It’s a balance between being as competitive as possible this year, while being well prepared and competitive
for 2014 and beyond, but that’s the nature of the business and a great challenge.
Franz Tost – Team Principal
Franz outlines our expectations for the season and the changes that have taken place within the team over the winter
Stability is usually seen as a good attribute for a Formula 1 team, however there are times when changes are required and, as Scuderia Toro Rosso prepares for its eighth season of Grand Prix racing, there is something of a new look to our team. In terms of the Faenza facility itself, our newest building, known as STR3 is now fully operational and home to our composites department, which is equipped with the very latest technology and, more importantly, staffed with highly qualified people. Being able to produce more and more of our car in-house is a great asset, as it gives us total control over quality and deadlines, which is vital if we want to move up the order in the pit lane. There is more to come, with work on another new building due to begin in the second quarter of this year for completion in 2014. It will be the hub of our operation, providing new offices and a home for our engineers and designers who are currently working out of a rather cramped facility. This building will also house the Car Assembly and Preparation area, as well as the Quality Control department, the Machine Shop and Stores.
In terms of our organisational structure, over the winter we created a Vehicle Performance Group, which is headed up by chief engineer, Laurent Mekies. This new group will focus on a variety of areas, with a strong emphasis on data analysis, an area where we have room for improvement as well as carrying out a lot of simulation work to help the design team make better informed decisions. It should also see an increase in our pace of development, particularly on the mechanical side of the car. We could not neglect the aero side and we have made changes to and expanded our aerodynamics department and there are plans to strengthen our CFD and Wind Tunnel operations.
We also have some people in different roles this year, as well as bringing some new blood into the Toro Rosso family. James Key has been with us as Technical Director for six months now, while Chief Designer Luca Furbatto has been in Faenza for just over a year and the STR8 is the first car to be penned by him and his design team. Both our drivers will have new race engineers for this season: Daniel Ricciardo will work with Marco Matassa, who was his data engineer and has already engineered him at a couple of races in 2012 and some tests. Jean-Eric Vergne is teamed up with Phil Charles, formerly a race engineer at Renault F1. Gianfranco Fantuzzi has spent several decades travelling the world working in Formula 1 and our Team Manager has decided he would like to spend less time in airports! He has now moved to a factory-based role, while we are pleased to welcome Steve Nielsen as his replacement. Steve is very experienced and comes to us following a brief stint with the Caterham team, after a long career at Renault F1.
I mentioned our two drivers and naturally, we will be expecting more from them this year as they both tackle their second full season of Formula 1. However, we are well aware it is up to us to provide them with a car that’s capable of allowing them to show their undoubted talent. After taking part in the sport’s longest ever season in 2012, every team now knows just how tough a task faces us all again, even if at the moment, there are only 19 races on the calendar. Not everything is new in 2013 for Scuderia Toro Rosso: as I said, we have the same two drivers and I am delighted that our three main sponsors, CEPSA, Falcon Private Bank and NOVA Chemicals, have all decided to continue to support us in our championship challenge. As for our engine supplier, this is the seventh year that our power will come from not so far away in Maranello, courtesy of Ferrari. Even though the 2013 season has not even started yet, another date is already occupying our minds, in the shape of 2014. Next year, the sport of Formula 1 faces the biggest shake up in terms of technical regulations that we have seen in a very long time. Naturally, like everyone else in the pit lane, we started our preparations for this new challenge a long time ago. Predictions for this season? Let’s wait and see. We have worked hard and hopefully done a good job these past months and the three test sessions in Spain in February will begin to reveal some trends among the teams, but until we all line up on a real race grid, there will be no clear picture of what we can expect. Nevertheless, we have set ourselves a target of finishing sixth in the Constructors’ classification.
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