2010 F1 season preview: Toro Rosso

Toro Rosso have developed the STR5 themselves from last year's car

Toro Rosso have developed the STR5 themselves from last year's car

Last season was a reality check for Toro Rosso after their giant-killing feats in 2008.

For the first time in their five-year history the team have had to manufacture their own car this season. How will they fare in 2010?

Car design

Toro Rosso?s decision to run a developed version of last year?s car could prove to be a smart decision as they switch from (effectively) running a customer car to becoming a full-blown constructor.

Because of this team team has expanded, adding 50 staff and now numbering around 200. The drawing office?s staff alone has increased from ten to 30.

The similarities between the STR5 and its predecessor (and the Red Bull RB5) are clear to see. The space left around the engine last year – which was intended to be occupied by a KERS which was never used – can now be deployed more effectively

It took until late in 2009 for the team to get a handle on the STR4 but once they did Sebastien Buemi started popping up in Q3.

The advantage of using last year?s car as a base of the new one should include greater reliability early in the season. It also allowed them to begin testing from the first day at Valencia, giving more precious driving mileage to its still quite inexperienced driver line-up.

Driver line-up

Toro Rosso may be forging a path for itself as an independent constructor from Red Bull but it is still fulfilling its brief to be a hothouse for young driving talent which its big brother can then cherry-pick.

Buemi had a respectable and occasionally impressive debut season in 2009, quickly dispensing with Sebastien Bourdais and then making the most of the better car he had under him later in the season.

There were a few crashes ?ǣ notably in that crazy weekend at Suzuka ?ǣ but generally he impressed rather more than former F3 rival Romain Grosjean did.

Jaime Alguersuari coped admirably well being thrown in at the deep end and we should consider 2010 the beginning of his rookie campaign. His handful of races in the second half of last year was the testing he should have had before getting in the car.

But Toro Rosso has always been a high-pressure environment for young drivers. If Buemi or Alguersuari falls short it wouldn?t be a surprise to see Red Bull reserves Daniel Ricciardo or Brendon Hartley drafted in mid-season.

Strengths

Should be a strong candidate for early-season points and not just thanks to the enlarged points system.

The arrival of the new teams should also flatter them.

Weaknesses

They?re striking it out on their own in terms of development. The conservative route they?ve taken is a wise one but it remains to be seen how the recently-enlarged team can manage the car?s development throughout the year.

Then there?s the question of how well the team?s two fairly inexperienced drivers will contribute to that process as well.

Poll: championship position

They shouldn’t be bottom of the pile as they were in 2009 but how many of the established teams can Toro Rosso beat in 2010? Caste your vote below.

Where will Toro Rosso finish in the 2010 Constructors' Championship?

  • 1st (1%)
  • 2nd (0%)
  • 3rd (1%)
  • 4th (0%)
  • 5th (1%)
  • 6th (7%)
  • 7th (12%)
  • 8th (25%)
  • 9th (34%)
  • 10th (14%)
  • 11th (2%)
  • 12th (1%)
  • 13th (2%)

Total Voters: 883

Loading ... Loading ...

See all the articles in the F1 Fanatic 2010 Season Preview

2010 F1 season

Images (C) Red Bull/Getty images

Advert | Go Ad-free

24 comments on 2010 F1 season preview: Toro Rosso

  1. MuzzleFlash said on 8th March 2010, 13:48

    They should have a comparitively good year with the 3 new teams likely to be running behind them, but I’m sure they have bigger aspirations than that.

  2. How many previews are yet to be published? 4?

  3. No better than ninth, I would say. I predict that at least one of Toro Rosso’s drivers will be fired mid-season when it’s discovered that the car isn’t on the pace – because, as it was with Speed, Liuzzi and Bourdais, that will be the driver’s fault. The lack of unity and harmony within the team will hurt them.

  4. ajokay said on 8th March 2010, 14:17

    1st… 4%… 2 votes.

    Have Tommy B and Katy been here already?

    I vote 9th, behind Renault and Force India (just).

  5. PJA said on 8th March 2010, 14:20

    I think Toro Rosso will finish in 9th, last of the established teams.

    The STR5 will be the first car Toro Rosso has designed although it does seem to be an evolution of the STR4/RB5, which would be understandable even if the RB5 didn’t finish 2009 as arguably the best car.

    The team will benefit from not having two rookies this year although they hardly have vast amounts of experience and Alguersuari doesn’t have a full season under his belt yet. Given Toro Rosso’s history I wouldn’t be surprised if this is not the driver line-up they start next season with, and if results go really badly there may even be a change before the end of this season.

  6. This weak team con surprise, alongside Force India!

  7. Immort said on 8th March 2010, 15:04

    I was in doubt renault or Toro Rosso for 9th I decide to put Renault on 9th as they really have a bad car. Torro Rosso will compete with Williams and Force India for 6-8th

  8. steph said on 8th March 2010, 15:48

    Last of the established teams. Now on their own and although they have a strong aero base thanks to RBR I see natural struggles. Jaime shows promise but he’s going to have to deliver. He’s had really poor time coming to f1 with so limited testing but STR aren’t the msot patient team so he has to show his worth.

  9. Steezy said on 8th March 2010, 17:02

    People complain about new teams like HRT and such, but it’s Torro Rosso which gains my ire the most. I don’t like the idea of two teams of the same like that. It would be abit like Man Utd being allowed to have their Reserve team play in the Premier League. Unfair to the other teams who have actual desire to improve and be truly independent. I know they’re becoming slowly more independent but they will never be the same as a proper team on its own.

    How do teams feel over the years that have been rejected by the FIA only to see a team like Torro Rosso just sit there and act like a creche with next to no real development of their own.

    I know Red Bull GmbH want to always show off how extreme they are but do we really need four of their cars on the grid.

    /rant

    • Get it all out ;)

      (Just as a side note) Real Madrid reserves play in the second tier of Spanish football.

      Customer cars have been allowed in F1 before. HRT didn’t make their car in fact they had even less to do with it than Toro Rosso.

      • The car needs to be a unique design, it doesn’t have to be designed by the legal entity that is the team itself.

        Wasn’t the Lotus designed by someone else too? Aerolab or something? The Virgin car is designed by Nick Wirth’s company.

        There must be some technicality involved here though since AFAIK the team must own the intelectual property of the design.

        So Campos should be the owners of Dallara design.

        • I don’t think the car needs to be entirely a unique design. Red Bull Technology designs the chassis for both teams which is partly how they get around it, also they use different engines and have separate development programs, allegedly. I imagine others could do similar with third party designers if they were smart about it.

        • Yes, it’s the intellectual property that is the important part. It doesn’t matter who designs it, but the team must own the IP of the design. This effectively stops two teams from running the same chassis as only one entity can claim ownership of the IP.

  10. I’m optimistic about Toro Rosso’s chances, I think they could grab 6th. Renault appear to have taken a dive and without Alonso making the difference I think they’re in for a rough one. I’ve felt pretty disillusioned with Williams ever since they failed to capitalise on their BMW partnership. I think Sauber are Toro Rosso’s main rivals given they share the same engine.

    Buemi for me Buemi was the most promising Rookie since Hamilton, and before him it was Alonso and Raikkonen, so I’ll be interested to see if he can build on that promise and make a claim as a future world champion.

  11. STRFerrari4Ever said on 8th March 2010, 21:37

    Good article Keith this year is going to be a make or break season for STR. I’m confident that they have a good base to build on in the STR5 and during the entire winter they’ve gained valuable data so i’d expect them to have quite good pace early on. The drivers need to be more consistent & regularly get points to ensure that STR can finish in a fairly good position, I know the development phase will be the hardest for them but I’m sure that they’ll pull through somehow. Here’s to a great year for Scuderia Toro Rosso!
    P.S They’ll finish somewhere between 3rd & 7th ;)

  12. wasiF1 said on 9th March 2010, 2:22

    9th, in front of Virgin,Lotus & HRT.
    Do they have the same amount of budget as their elder brother have?

  13. Dane said on 9th March 2010, 4:19

    Its funny that both STR drivers were born 31 October 1988.

    • TommyC said on 9th March 2010, 4:44

      it’s even funnier that that’s wrong…
      Jaime has the same birthday as me. 23rd March 1990

      • TommyC said on 9th March 2010, 8:03

        it’s even funnier again that even though it says jaime’s bday is 31 october, it also says he is an aries.

  14. I agree with you, I do believe! Would this be likely to be able to have your webblog translated in to German? English is actually my own 2nd language.

  15. Dennoow said on 9th March 2010, 19:45

    I think they might be a bit quicker than Renault although I do regard Kubica a better driver. He’s got so much cleaning up to do there. Here it’s a bit win or lose. They have to devellop the car themselves, less help from Red Bull. I voted 8th, behind top 4, Williams, Sauber and Force India

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments must abide by the comment policy. Comments may be moderated.
Want to post off-topic? Head to the forum.
See the FAQ for more information.