Toro Rosso has launched its 2010 F1 machine ahead of the start of pre-season testing in Valencia.
The STR5 is the first car to be produced by the team itself after an effective ban on customer cars meant it was no longer able to rely on a design from parent outfit Red Bull.
Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari had already been confirmed as drivers for the 2010 season.
“2010 is a landmark year for Scuderia Toro Rosso as the new regulations demand that we go it alone in terms of designing and building our car in-house,” team boss Franz Tost said. “After four years of working in collaboration with Red Bull Technology, the STR5 is the first car that is 100 per cent down to our own endeavours.
“Creating the necessary infrastructure to tackle this task has been our biggest challenge, possibly more difficult than actually producing the car itself. We have taken on an additional eighty staff and expanded our facility to accommodate them, including a Machine Shop to increase our production capacity. In addition, we have commissioned a wind tunnel in Bicester, England, which we bought from Red Bull. It will take time for the highly skilled team we have assembled to learn to work together as efficiently as possible.
“Making predictions for the coming season is a dangerous trap, but if pushed, I would say we must aim to finish in the top eight in the Constructors' Championship, while giving our young drivers everything they need to improve, as well as optimising our infrastructure in order to be as competitive as possible in 2010 and beyond.”
Despite the team referring to the new car as 'conservative' in its design, the STR5 has been developed complete with a double diffuser and features a shark-fin rear to incorporate the larger fuel cell needed in 2010 following the ban on refuelling.
Having been forced to go it alone, technical director Giorgio Ascanelli admitted that a number of new challenges had been faced in putting the new car together.
“At the end of last year, we had already increased our staff to around 150 and now we have 200,” he said. “At the end of March '09, we got the green light as to what actually constituted being an F1 Constructor. That was the starting point for building up our operation in such a way that we could actually design a car that was achievable in engineering terms, working in a different way to the methods we had adopted in the past. Being recognised as a Constructor involves owning the intellectual property rights to what are defined as the listed parts: these are effectively the monocoque, the safety structures that are subject to homologation and crash testing, which means the rear and front structures, primary and secondary roll-over structures and the complete aerodynamic package, the suspension, fuel and cooling systems.
“Before even thinking about producing a car, we had to acquire the right tools to carry out these tasks and also hire the people who are to use these structures. Finding 50 people and putting them in an environment where they can do their job has been a tough task. As for the challenge we face this season, to quote Mao Tse-tung: 'we should not be talking about what we will do when we have crossed the river, we must first get the bridges and ships with which to cross the river.'
“We have started by building those bridges and ships. We are not quite there yet and, at this stage, getting everyone to work together in a productive fashion is our most important task.”
To view pictures from the launch, CLICK HERE