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31 Dec 2012

2 Italian sources have today ran with the same story on Toro Rosso's 2013 Challenger the STR8:

The two articles circle around the same base principles, that the STR8 will be a new car and distinctively different to the STR7.  The STR7's main differentials to the rest of the field was the high waisted Sidepods.  These compromised the packaging of the radiators and internal components but also damaged the cars CoG a novel concept that was aimed at maximising airflow over the cars floor as much as under it.  Like Ferrari the team with which the car is powered the Launch car (above) was also presented with exhausts that tried to fuse the outgoing Sidepod's airflow with the exhaust plume.  As both found out this gave poor performance in an F1 that now regulated the use of Off Throttle Blowing.  As the season progressed the team assimilated the McLaren ethos with their interpretation of the Coanda exhaust.
Although their sister team and Sauber (also with the Ferrari engine) were having success with the ramped exhaust style without a major redesign they couldn't forge that path.
I'd suggest that with an all new design for 2013 the team will look to use the ramped Sidepod as although the Coanda exhausts were used in the majority up and down the field last season the ramp offers a better baseline and can be improved throughout the season.

The article also mentions the use of Pull rod suspension indicating Ferrari's use in 2012 and that Red Bull's Italian based team will not adopt it for 2013, even though other lead teams such as McLaren and Lotus have hinted they will assess it's merits.  Ferrari's adoption of pull rod suspension at the front of the car was not only introduced for it's aerodynamic qualities but to aid in both the lowering of CoG and treatment of the Pirelli tyres.  The latter a massively important part of the 2012 challenge for the teams aided Ferrari in their quest for front end grip.  The 2012 Pirelli tyres construction led to a much narrower contact patch which the pull rod arrangement may have assisted with, allowing for a better initial heat cycle and lengthened operating window when driven correctly.  With Pirelli already stating their 2013 construction widens the contact patch the mechanical gains from pull rod front suspension may have narrowed, the teams had the opportunity to see this first hand in Free Practice at Interlagos:

In an interview with Autosprint Daniel Ricciardo had this to say: "I can tell you I've already seen it and, when looking at it closely, it's very different from the old one,"

Above: The team didn't hold back when they tested at Abu Dhabi either evaluating what could be a Dual DRD (Drag Reduction Device) perhaps one of the key elements required for success in 2013.

It will be interesting to see how much influence James Key has had since his arrival at Toro Rosso from Sauber but one things for sure the team seem intent on closing the gap to the front runners.  Their recent announcement that they will run Renault engines for 2014 also raises the question of whom will supply their Gearbox and KERS. The obvious choice is a reunification of the Red Bull Racing partnership with Toro Rosso receiving parts from the team just as Caterham purchase theirs.



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