Sebastien Buemi has revealed that Scuderia Toro Rosso plans to introduce its own version of the F-duct and blown diffuser concepts that have featured on many of its rivals' cars this season.
The Italian team has had to design and build its own car this season, after four seasons of using the creations of Red Bull Technologies Adrian Newey, and Buemi admits that developments have been a little slower in appearing from Faenza, but he is optimistic that the new parts will help to move both himself and team-mate Jaime Alguersuari back into the midfield fight after slipping backwards in recent races.
"Obviously, when you have two races in a row it is a bit difficult to analyse well what we did well and what we did wrong, so I spent one or two days in Faenza [during the summer break] just trying to look at it carefully," the Swiss driver revealed, "We know a little bit more about where we have got to improve ourselves, especially in qualifying. This is the place where we seem to be lacking pace, especially with new tyres. We will try some new things on Friday and Saturday just to see if we can improve it a bit. If we can just start a little bit closer to the Q3 then it might help a lot in the race.
"What I can say is that it is a big difference for us from last year to this year. Especially this year, as we have got to do everything on our own, so it takes a bit of time to get things working well. We have got some good things coming for the future with the F-duct and the blown diffuser - it is still not really planned when, but it will come. This is important. We just need to try our best with what we have got now and then when the new parts come we have got to get the maximum out of it. It takes a bit of time, but I am pretty sure the team is giving everything to get better and this is important."
The opening day at Spa-Francorchamps was another frustrating one for STR, with Alguersuari 14th fastest and Buemi 17th.
“We had an issue on the gearbox in the morning but, in reality, we did not lose much running time because it was raining so hard at that time," the Swiss driver admitted, "At least it meant I saved the wear on my rain tyres.
"In the second session, when it dried up, it was difficult to get a true picture relating to our performance, as everyone was trying something different. The important thing now is to do a good job of analysing all our data, in terms of car set-up and the difference between the two slick compounds, and see what we can do for tomorrow. In the dry, I was quite happy on the hard compound but, with the option, I did not get the tyres to work properly, so I did not get the most out of them and we will have to look at that in tomorrow morning's session.”
Although both Buemi and Alguersuari have been tacitly confirmed by team boss Franz Tost for next season, Red Bull consultant Helmut Marko insists that neither is safe long-term.
“The drivers must confirm themselves and develop,” he told Austria's laola1.at
, "At the moment it is looking good, but moves like Alguersuari crashing into the back of Buemi should not happen. With Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne, we have two very fast juniors....”
Marko added that both Red Bull juniors could appear in either of its teams' cars at the post-season test in Abu Dhabi.
“November is still quite a long way away, but it would be a logical consequence of our junior programme,” he confirmed, “To what extent and for which team has not been decided yet.”