Scuderia Toro Rosso have become the fourth team to officially launch their car for the 2014 Formula One World Championship, dubbing it ‘STR9’ (if you didn’t understand the pun in the title, proceed to laugh now) as it is the ninth generation for the Faenza-based team.
Red Bull’s sister team showcased the new car with Jean-Eric Vergne and new boy Daniil Kvyat (pronounced kwee-at) at the Circuito de Jerez in Northern Spain, ahead of the beginning of Winter Testing tomorrow (Jan 28).
The car, like all its predecessors, is decked in dark blue, with gold and red accents and an intricate painting of a charging Toro on the engine cover.
One thing unlike its past versions though, is of course the nose. With a narrower front wing (like all of this year’s cars) it has a monstrous protrusion not unlike a bull’s horn, although it is dark blue and rounded.
The car has been designed by James Key and is the team’s first car to use a Renault Engine after 7 years with Ferrari. It will be driven by the aforementioned pairing of Vergne and Kvyat, one of the youngest duos on the grid. Rather fortunately, they have chosen numbers 25 and 26 respectively, one of only two teams to have sequential numbers for their two drivers. The others are Ericsson and Kobayashi at Caterham, using 9 and 10.
Forgive me, but the Journalist inside me is taking a break for a few minutes. The Formula One Fan inside wants to speak…
The new nose rule mandates a nose tip no lower than 185mm from the ground, without the use of a ‘stepped nose’ used in 2012/3. But the ‘Anteater noses’ are arguably a step too, are they not? The rule is badly-worded and as such, different interpretations have been made by several teams. It looks like many teams have designed what I’m going to call an ‘Actual Nose’ and then bolted on what I shall name a ‘Technical Nose’ to satisfy the criteria of the rules. So, what they are doing is legal within the sport, but it’s the very very bare minimum to match the formula.
While this is clever in exploiting the loophole in the regulation (Echoes of double-diffusers and blowing exhaust gasses) the cars are some of the ugliest yet, even beating the precedent set by Ferrari’s Platypus-style 2012 entry.
Another quandry I have with the Toro Rosso’s design is – why on earth did the paint the phallic technical nose dark blue, when the actual nose is gold? It looks utterly ridiculous, like the car has crashed into a pot of the wrong-coloured section of a Dulux catalogue.