Toro Rosso STR2

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Toro Rosso STR2
Vitantonio Liuzzi 2007 Britain 2.jpg
Category Formula One
Constructor Toro Rosso
Designer(s) Adrian Newey
Predecessor STR1
Successor STR3
Technical specifications
Chassis carbon-fibre and honeycomb composite structure
Suspension (front) cast titanium uprights, pushrods, carbon-fibre upper and lower wishbones
Suspension (rear) cast titanium uprights, pushrods, carbon-fibre upper and lower wishbones
Engine Ferrari 056 2398cc V8, 19,000 RPM Limited
Transmission 7-speed longitudinally mounted high-pressure hydraulic system for power shift and clutch operation AP Racing triple-plate-type clutch
Fuel Shell
Tyres Bridgestone Potenza
AVUS Racing Front: 12.0 to 12.7in x 13in Wheels
AVUS Racing Rear: 13.7in x 13in Wheels
Competition history
Notable entrants Scuderia Toro Rosso
Notable drivers 2007: 18. Italy Vitantonio Liuzzi
2007: 19. United States Scott Speed
2007: 19. Germany Sebastian Vettel
2008: 14. France Sébastien Bourdais
2008: 15. Germany Sebastian Vettel
Debut 2007 Australian Grand Prix
Races Wins Poles F.Laps
22 0 0 0

The Toro Rosso STR2 is the car with which the Scuderia Toro Rosso team competed in the 2007 Formula One season. It was unveiled on February 13, 2007 at the Circuit de Catalunya.[1] The car is, controversially, a variant of the Red Bull RB3 chassis (although powered by a Ferrari instead of a Renault engine). It was initially driven by Vitantonio Liuzzi and Scott Speed, until Speed was replaced by Sebastian Vettel at the Hungaroring for the remainder of the season. The car in a modified form was also used to compete in the first four races of the 2008 Formula One season. The modified car was driven by Sébastien Bourdais, four-consecutive-time Champ Car winner, and Vettel.

Controversy[edit]

Spyker and Williams before and throughout the season repeatedly stated their belief that the STR2 is in fact identical to the Red Bull RB3. Central to their objection was their belief that the Concorde Agreement clearly requires all teams to construct their own individual chassis. Both teams threatened legal action over the possible breach of regulations, particularly Colin Kolles, the Spyker team principal.[2]

Launch[edit]

A STR2 at the 2007 Red Bull Air Race London.

The car was launched in a low key event on a test day at the Circuit de Catalunya on 13 February 2007, and immediately attracted the expected controversy when photos were released. There was a pre-event fear of the car not being ready but work through the previous night by the mechanics ensured that it was unveiled on time.[3] Liuzzi was confirmed as one of the team's drivers at the launch but the announcement of his teammate was delayed due to 'contractual issues'. Scott Speed, who partnered Liuzzi at the team in 2006, was believed to be the most likely choice, and his re-appointment was later confirmed.[4] The car itself was, as explained, a development version of Red Bull Racing's RB3. The Red Bull RB3 was designed by Adrian Newey, who earned a reputation as one of the most successful F1 designers with Championship-winning cars at both Williams and McLaren. In order for Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso to use the chassis, Newey was employed by 'new' consortium named Red Bull Technology. This provided a loop-hole for STR around the prohibition of chassis sharing, as both teams were legally using a car developed by an 'independent' third party. Team Principal Franz Tost commented at the launch,

"We are quite optimistic, I think we can make a step forward with the new car and the new engine. We have one very experienced driver and the second we will see.

"Therefore it is becoming better and better and we expect a quite successful season."[5]

STR2 & STR2B Development[edit]

2007 STR2 Car Development[edit]

Generally the STR2 and RB3 received aerodynamic revisions at different stages through the season. The STR2 was fitted with a new front wing in Monaco, similar to the one that sister team Red Bull implemented in the previous round, with 2 curved upper profiles that improve airflow over the car and increase downforce.[6] The team further developed the STR2 in Turkey with a new barge board development.[7] The STR2 was fitted with a "arch" over the nose on the front wing around the Italian Grand Prix,[8] the Red Bull RB3s did not sport such a wing design until around the Japanese Grand Prix.[9]

2008 STR2B Car Development[edit]

An STR2B driven by Sébastien Bourdais at Valencia in January 2008.

The STR2 has been developed further to include the new McLaren Electronic Systems "Standardised Electronic Control Unit" that prevents the cars having electronic driver aids like engine braking and traction control. The car has also been adapted for the new rules on driver safety with higher headrests around the cockpit. Another development is a new gearbox, as the 2008 rules state that cars must have a gearbox that lasts for four races: if one fails, the driver will face a penalty of five places on the starting grid.

So far this year the main development for the team has been the gearbox for the early 2008 testing season, Chief Engineer Laurent Mekies thinks the team "are going in the right direction" on the gearbox development.[10]

Driver Sebastian Vettel has also said that the STR2B has its advantages to be starting the 2008 season, as it's a proven machine and it won't have any of the niggles or teething problems of a new car.[11] The team's new car, the STR3, will probably not be launched until around or after April.

The STR2B underwent a total re-working of the front suspension at the Barcelona test on 1–3 February,[12] This is to make better use of the Bridgestone Potenza tyres, but also clean up the area from the front wing to under the drivers seat, this will improve the efficiency of the rear diffuser, thus providing more grip.

Competition history[edit]

2007 season[edit]

Liuzzi's STR2 during the 2007 Brazilian Grand Prix, the last race of the season. In the latter half of the season, the arch shaped wing was installed over the front wing and front nose.

The team's results during the season were generally poor compared to its rivals. For the first half of the season, the STR2 did not reach the level of competitiveness expected, especially when compared to the 'sister' Red Bull Racing team. The car's main weakness, which it shared with the RB3, was the new seamless shift gearbox, which frequently failed during races. Results did pick up slightly in the second half of the season, as both Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso started to find more reliability with the car. A double points finish in China, with Vettel fourth and Liuzzi sixth, gave the team a total of eight world championship points. This gave Toro Rosso a 7th place finish in the Constructors' Standings after the disqualification of McLaren.

2008 season[edit]

The STR2Bs of Vettel and Bourdais failed to finish the 2008 Australian Grand Prix. Bourdais scored points, however, as he was classified in seventh position, albeit that while he did not finish the race he had completed 90% of the race distance. However, at the 2008 Malaysian Grand Prix both cars failed to score any points; Bourdais spun off in the first lap and Vettel retired with an engine failure. Bourdais finished 15th at the 2008 Bahrain Grand Prix, while Vettel retired on the first lap with engine failure.

Vettel driving the STR2B at the 2008 Malaysian Grand Prix

Coming back to Europe for the start of the European season, the team hoped that the STR2B would have its last race at the 2008 Spanish Grand Prix, with the STR3 being raced for the first time at the 2008 Turkish Grand Prix. The new car's debut was later delayed until the 2008 Monaco Grand Prix, as Chief Engineer Laurent Mekies said they didn't have enough parts to run the team in a professional manner over the weekend of the Turkish Grand Prix.[13]

At the 2008 Spanish Grand Prix, both drivers again failed to finish the race, after they were involved in separate collisions in the opening laps; Force India driver Adrian Sutil hit Vettel on lap one, while Bourdais collided with Nelson Piquet, Jr. on the second lap. Bourdais retired on the seventh lap due to suspension damage sustained in this coming together. Fortunes did not improve during the following round in Turkey, where Bourdais span off the track and Vettel finished in 17th, and last, position after suffering a puncture in the opening laps.

Complete Formula One results[edit]

(key)

Year Entrant Engine Tyres Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Points WCC
2007 Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari V8 B AUS MAL BHR ESP MON CAN USA FRA GBR EUR HUN TUR ITA BEL JPN CHN BRA 8 7th
Liuzzi 14 17 Ret Ret Ret Ret 17 Ret 16 Ret Ret 15 17 12 9 6 13
Speed Ret 14 Ret Ret 9 Ret 13 Ret Ret Ret
Vettel 16 19 18 Ret Ret 4 Ret
2008 Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari V8 B AUS MAL BHR ESP TUR MON CAN FRA GBR GER HUN EUR BEL ITA SIN JPN CHN BRA 39* 6th
Bourdais 7 Ret 15 Ret Ret
Vettel Ret Ret Ret Ret 17

* Only 2 points scored using the STR2B.

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Toro Rosso confirms 'launch' date - sort of.". crash.net. 2007-02-08. Retrieved 2007-02-10. 
  2. ^ "F1 Teams threaten legal action against each other". bitsofnews.com. 2007-02-07. Retrieved 2007-02-10. 
  3. ^ "New Toro Rosso launched in Spain". formula1.com. 2007-02-13. Archived from the original on 2007-02-15. Retrieved 2007-02-13. 
  4. ^ "Toro Rosso confirm Liuzzi, wait on Speed Spain". autosport.com. 2007-02-13. Retrieved 2007-02-13. 
  5. ^ "Tost hopeful of big step forward in '07". autosport.com. 2007-02-13. Retrieved 2007-02-13. 
  6. ^ "New Front Wing In Monaco". Formula1.com. 
  7. ^ "Barge Board Development". Formula1.com. 
  8. ^ "New Front Wing At Italy". Formula1.com. 
  9. ^ "New Front Wing At Japan". Formula1.com. 
  10. ^ "Focus on new gearbox for Toro Rosso". f1technical.net. 
  11. ^ "Vettel: starting ’08 with ’07 car has advantages". Formula1.com. 
  12. ^ "Toro Rosso drivers evaluate new front suspension on final day at Barcelona". f1technical.net. 
  13. ^ "Toro Rosso delays new car introduction". GPUpdate.net. 6 May 2008. Retrieved 1 February 2011.