|Scuderia Toro Rosso|
Monday, 05 September 2005 10:29
Scuderia Toro Rosso, (Red Bull Stable in Italian) is a Formula One racing team (initially known as Squadra Toro Rosso - Team Red Bull, although this use of 'team' is restricted to 'squads' like football teams) owned by the drinks company Red Bull and former racer Gerhard Berger, which made its racing debut in 2006 Formula One season. The team principal is Franz Tost, formerly of BMW's motorsport division.
The team is based around the now defunct Minardi team and will be based at Minardi's factory at Faenza, Italy for at least 2 years - a condition of Minardi boss Paul Stoddart's sale of the team to Red Bull in 2005. Scuderia Toro Rosso will compete in Formula One as a Red Bull 'B' team to develop the careers of upcoming drivers alongside their sister team Red Bull Racing.
There has been controversy surrounding the team, as the STR-1 chassis that they are using may be infringing the Concorde Agreement as each team is expected to design their own car and components for it. However, the STR-1 was bought from Red Bull Racing, who are still a F1-entity (this was the same rule that stopped Super Aguri using the 2005 BAR chassis). The team state that RB1 was designed by Jaguar Racing, which is not an existing entity of F1 and is therefore not in breach of the agreement.
2009 QandA with Toro Rosso's Franz Tost
Franz Tost has been steering the ship since Toro Rosso started racing in 2006. We stepped up onto the bridge to quiz the captain.
Franz, how does Toro Rosso at the start of the 2009 season compare with the start of 2008?
"This year is already looking great as we are five races ahead of schedule, given that last year we did not get to race the ’08 car until the sixth round of the season - in Monaco! But seriously, with the continued support of Red Bull, Scuderia Toro Rosso has grown in several ways in the past 12 months. The team is bigger, having expanded its facility in Faenza and we have taken on more staff. The 2008 season was good in terms of our on-track performance, which, it’s fair to say, exceeded our expectations, with our biggest ever haul of points, a pole position and a win. It’s going to be tough to live up to that this year. While the rules have changed, within the team we can rely on a good level of stability, as all the key players on the technical side have been in place for some time now and so understand how to make progress. The other element of our package that remains the same is the support we receive from Red Bull Technology. And right from Red Bull Racing’s first test in Jerez it appeared that the car was competitive straight away and that Adrian Newey and his team had come up with a very promising package. The car looks good and shows very promising performance.
This year marks the third year of our collaboration with Ferrari, which, on both a human and technical level, works very well and it goes without saying that having an engine that won the 2008 Constructors’ World Championship can only be a good thing. As for our driver pairing, in 2008 we effectively started the season with two F1 novices, but this time, Bourdais has 18 grands prix under his belt, and this year’s rookie, Buemi, has shown well in winter testing."
How will the rule changes, technical and sporting, affect the team?
"At Toro Rosso, we support the cost-cutting initiatives instigated by the FIA and FOTA. These are a good thing for a small team like ours, as for example, the reduction in the use of wind tunnel time and Computational Fluid Dynamics has had a minimal effect on our work. In terms of manpower, it means we have not had to let many people go, allocating test team staff to other roles within the company. As everyone feels the effects of a worldwide recession, it is only right that Formula One is seen to acknowledge this and act accordingly, to allow the sport to flourish in a more sensible and less extravagant fashion than in the past.
"Looking at the major changes to the technical regulations, these do have a downside for us, because historically, whenever rules have changed significantly, it is always the bigger, more established teams who have the technical resources and experience to react quickly in adapting to those changes. It was the long period of stability in the rules which allowed Toro Rosso to be so competitive last year."
Your driver line-up?
"I mentioned the benefit of consistency in our technical line-up and we also have a level of consistency in our driver line-up, as Sébastien Bourdais tackles his second season in Scuderia Toro Rosso colours. In 2008, he produced some good performances in the races and in qualifying, but he was also unlucky at times. We expect him to benefit from the experience he gained last year: he knows the team, the circuits and the F1 environment and this will allow him to tackle the season with confidence. He will also surely enjoy the return to slick tyres, which better suit his driving style. As for the other driver, Sébastien Buemi, who comes from the Red Bull Young Driver programme, he has shown himself to be naturally talented with plenty of speed and, more importantly he is a quick learner. Having invested in his early career Red Bull is keen to see him progress at the top level of the sport. He faces a steep learning curve, but we should not forget he is still very young – he even makes Vettel look like a veteran!"
What are the team’s targets for the year?
"All race teams should have the same targets: to win every race they enter! Of course, this is not going to happen and even matching our 2008 showing will be difficult, as the sport enters a new era. Therefore our target has to be to leave every race track on a Sunday night, knowing we have done the best job we could. The results will then depend on how everyone else has done."
FRANZ TOST – TEAM PRINCIPAL
As a young lad, Franz Tost’s big hero was Jochen Rindt: his bedroom walls were covered with posters of the Austrian ace and when it was dissertation time at school, Franz’s classmates would all groan, as they knew what was coming – another bloody eulogy to Rindt. Inevitably, Tost found himself behind the wheel, racing a Formula Ford. He was quick enough to win the 1983 Austrian FF Championship, but he felt he would not make it to the top as a driver so a degree in Sports Management from Innsbruck University was next on the agenda. This led to a job at the highly-rated Walter Lechner Racing School at the Zeltweg circuit.
From there Tost moved to a team management role with EUFRA Racing and at the end of 1993, he took the post of team manager with Willi Weber’s Formula 3 team. It was here that he crossed paths with Ralf Schumacher and Weber asked Tost to accompany the youngster to Japan. This led to looking after Ralf’s interests at Jordan and then Williams, prior to taking on the role of Operations Manager with BMW’s Formula 1 programme. From there, he took on the role of Team Principal with the newly formed Scuderia Toro Rosso in 2005.
2009 QandA with Toro Rosso's Giorgio Ascanelli
It’s a common misconception that before the start of the season a big truck turns up in Faenza from Milton Keynes, its back door folds down and, hey presto, a fully-built Toro Rosso car rolls out. In fact, Scuderia Toro Rosso has far more control over its technical destiny, right from the design stage through to construction. Technical Director Giorgio Ascanelli explains:
"Red Bull Technology does extremely significant work in defining the essential characteristics of the new car: its length, wheelbase, weight distribution, its basic metric characteristics. However, with any F1 car, the packaging revolves around an engine and peculiarities from the drivers and, as we run a different engine to our sister team, it involves a different fuel system and fuel tank. Therefore, ours is completely different to the Red Bull Racing car and is designed here by us.
"The same goes for the water and oil systems linked to the engine. Different engines have different heat rejection and different operating temperatures, with materials specified to different levels. Also, the tolerances, which you have to respect when building an engine, are tuned in such a way that an engine works at its best within a defined temperature range. This in itself conditions the radiators and also all of the internal aerodynamics. That then impacts on the aero side and this work is also done in Faenza.
"The engine mates to a gearbox via some fixings and a clutch. Here again the clutch installation is completely different between the two cars. In fact, the clutch itself is very different and the work of installing clutch and gearbox is also completely done in Faenza, involving a casing designed in Faenza and using completely different technology to the one Red Bull Technology provides to Red Bull Racing. The same goes for the oil and water radiators and the entire hydraulic and electronic systems.
"It’s going to be an interesting season. I think it’s good that the guys here in Faenza get the chance to control their own destiny in a way, but at the moment, we only have about a dozen people on the design side, so we’re a decade out in terms of manpower!"
Giorgio Ascanelli – Technical Director
From Ferrara, Italy, Giorgio has pretty much done it all in a motor sport career that dates back to 1985, when he worked as a calculation engineer at Ferrari. That was followed by a brief spell rallying with Abarth and then three years as Gerhard Berger’s race engineer with the Scuderia (the big red team, not Toro Rosso!)
He then moved to Benetton, engineering world champion Nelson Piquet before rejoining Berger at McLaren where he also engineered Ayrton Senna in 1993. Soon it was time to return to Ferrari, again working with Gerhard and also Jean Alesi. Ascanelli then moved away from the race tracks and built up Maserati’s very successful sports car racing programme from scratch. But when you have had the F1 virus, it stays with you for life and Ascanelli returned to the grand prix scene to head up Scuderia Toro Rosso’s technical operation for the start of 2007. Giorgio lists tennis as one of his hobbies saying, "I can go from pre-game warm-up to total exhaustion without playing a single point!"
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 April 2010 20:29|