SCUDERIA Toro Rosso is the second Formula 1 team to show off its 2019 car with the STR14 set for the first winter testing when it begins in earnest at Barcelona next week.
While Haas became the first team to publish images of its new car, its mostly black livery hid much of the detail on the VF-19 beyond the simplified front wing.
Toro Rosso’s new car gives the first clear look at the design changes brought on by this season’s new aerodynamic regulations, showing a dramatically different bargeboard arrangement.
Bargeboards improve air flow, smoothing and redirecting the turbulent or “dirty” air that emanates from the front wing, suspension, and front wheels.
This dirty air prevents cars following from generating enough downforce in the corners, which makes it difficult for them to overtake.
The new rules are aimed at making racing more competitive.
Thai-born Alexander Albon and returning Russian Daniil Kvyat will drive this season’s Toro Rossos that will share a rear end with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing, since both will have Honda power units.
Gearbox, rear suspension and some front suspension parts, as well as some electronic and hydraulic components, will also be shared.
“The way I’ve gone about my career and my racing is I never set any goals on anything,” 22-year-old Albon said.
“Every year, it was just each race, take it step by step, focus and race in that session — whether it would be practice, qualifying or the race.”
Teammate Kvyat, 24, added: “Like everyone else, we are working hard to put the best package together and the best thing I can do for myself is to work as hard as possible on myself and on my performance.
“I believe in the guys in the team. They know what they’re doing.
“I think we’re looking good and I feel that everyone is motivated and focused. I can see that, and it gives me confidence for the future.”
The Red Bull junior team endured one of its worst seasons in F1 last year, finishing after an inconsistent start with Honda engines.
Team principal Franz Tost said he didn’t want to set a specific target at the moment.
“All things considered, the quality of the synergies with Red Bull Technology, the belief in our very high level of in-house technical knowledge, the impressive development trajectory Honda has shown so far, and the couple of strong young drivers we have available make me feel confident,” he said.
Team manager Graham Watson was also upbeat.
“We’ve studied videos of our 2018 pit stops and worked on refinement of positioning,” he said.
“Secondly, we’re going to inherit quite a lot of axle and wheel rim design from Red Bull to improve further.”
Meanwhile, Red Bull Racing wunderkind Max Verstappen has completed the public service ‘punishment’ imposed on him after last year’s Brazilian Grand Prix by attending a gathering of international race stewards in Geneva.
The FIA said the 21-year-old Dutchman had taken part in ‘interactive case study sessions’ with race officials during the weekend.
“We are doing our job on the track, trying to get the best out of the race, and it’s clear that the stewards are doing their job to find the best way to reach a fair decision,” Verstappen said.
“It’s been a good lesson for me and I’ve learned a lot, both in my day in Marrakesh, which I really enjoyed and which gave me a good understanding of the stewards, and now here.”
Verstappen, the youngest driver to win a Formula 1 race, was ordered to do two days of public service for an angry confrontation with Force India’s Esteban Ocon at Interlagos last November.
Verstappen was leading the Brazilian Grand Prix when he tried to pass backmarker Ocon, who tried to retake the position but made contact and sent the Dutchman into a spin that cost him victory.
The Red Bull driver angrily confronted the Frenchman afterwards and gave him a shove, an action for which he was then punished.
Verstappen served the first of the two days by joining officials at a Formula E race in Morocco last month, observing how race decisions were made.
The FIA said Verstappen had joined a competitors’ panel discussion in Geneva with triple World Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx, M-Sport world Rally team principal Richard Millener and BMW Motorsport director Jens Marquardt.
If that was punishment we wonder what sentence would be applied if any future shoves by Verstappen escalate to real violence.
He and Ocon have a history of confrontation through the years, and the big question now is how he will get on with new teammate Pierre Gasly, who, like Ocon, is also French.
The Formula One season starts in Australia on March 17.
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