Scuderia Toro Rosso admits an 'ambitious transmission solution' was to blame for both Scott Speed and Tonio Liuzzi both being hobbled in qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Determined to make up time on their rivals, STR adopted a new gearbox strategy for Spain but the first signs of problems were immediate when both Liuzzi and Speed ran into problems during practice.

For Speed, this continued straight into qualifying when he started to get the neutral gear on his out-lap and as such failed to record a time. Liuzzi on the other hand was able to reach the second stage of qualifying but any hopes of progressing further were ruined by a similar issue to that of his team-mate.

The problem that left the duo 16th and 22nd on the grid was eventually traced to the revised gearbox, something STR technical director Giorgio Ascanelli concedes was perhaps 'too ambitious' to run in qualifying.

"We have tried to advance out performance as much as we could and part of that meant adopting an aggressive solution on the transmission front. We were a little bit too ambitious. Friday was almost trouble free, but with a steep learning curve.

"This morning, running a more aggressive gearbox strategy on both cars, we had problems with Tonio's car. This afternoon, both cars suffered the same fault. For tomorrow, we can find a solution to get around this issue."

Liuzzi was particularly disappointed not to be able to challenge for a better position, not least because of the problems that also befell their Super Aguri rivals which meant a stronger grid slot was very much in the offing.

"A shame as I had managed to get into Q2," he said. "But once again unfortunately, I was hit with a mechanical problem. The car was going well after we managed to fix the problems we had in the morning session.

"We hope to be able to get everything working properly for tomorrow, when I hope we don't run into any more difficulties. It won't be an easy race, but I'm optimistic because to start from sixteenth is not so bad."

 

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