Toro Rosso plan “major” update for Monaco GP

2011 F1 season

Sebastien Buemi, Toro Rosso, Shanghai, 2011

Sebastien Buemi, Toro Rosso, Shanghai, 2011

Toro Rosso have taken the unusual step of planning a significant upgrade for the STR6 for the Monaco Grand Prix weekend.

Teams ordinarily avoid introducing major changes at Monaco because the street circuit is so unusual, and the potential for bodywork damage is high.

Chief engineer Laurent Mekies told the team’s website: “We have planned major steps for car development during the year that have been established since before the start of the season.

“At some point pre-season, you have to sign off the car to go into production to be built and maybe you have a good idea for a component the next day, so these are the building blocks for your next development update.

“This has indeed been the case with us and we will see a significant step introduced in Monaco and another one later in the season. These two steps are planned and will hopefully provide good performance improvements.”

Mekies expects the team to be in a season-long battle with three teams: “At the first race, we found we had a reasonable race pace and our direct competition came, as expected from Williams, Force India and Sauber and we found ourselves fighting these guys throughout the opening three races of the championship.

“Our STR6 appeared to have the potential to fight them, which was good news.

“We are going to have an interesting fight with these three or four teams all season long ?ǣ if you like, this is our championship battle within the championship.”

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20 comments on Toro Rosso plan “major” update for Monaco GP

  1. RIISE (@riise) said on 29th April 2011, 8:55

    Hmmm yes strange decision, where better to test a downforce upgrade though? Maybe the marshalls can cover the barriers with foam as they test it…

    They’ll be short of pace in Turkey and Spain then. I would’ve though an update for Barcelona would be more beneficial, at least they have more comparable data.

    • OEL said on 29th April 2011, 9:06

      Not enough time?

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 29th April 2011, 10:32

      So possibly it will be more mechanical an improvement then. Or maybe just to have it out on track as soon as possible and then work on it before running it in the race.

      I must say the team do look better than they did last year, they seem to be having a clue where to go with the car and can fight for the points regularly.

    • It’s not a strange decision at all. Small teams always target Monaco because the big teams don’t. When you add that to the fact that the driver can make a larger difference there than at any other circuit it’s the only sensible move for a team that doesn’t score regular points.

      Because Monaco is so different to all the other circuits, by spending a disproportionate amount of development time on it, they have a genuine chance to leapfrog the larger teams at that race and score points they usually wouldn’t be in contention for.

  2. Douglas62500 said on 29th April 2011, 11:47

    lol he said interesting fight with “three or four teams” all season long “if you like”. Is that fourth team Lotus ? Surely it can’t be Mercedes or Renault.

    • RIISE (@riise) said on 29th April 2011, 12:45

      Hispania of course.

      • Douglas62500 said on 29th April 2011, 19:51

        Oh btw I’m actually looking forward to see Hispania’s upgrade package on the coming race. I have a feeling that they might just catch Virgin on pace very soon, given how much of a rush it is to develop the aero parts for their current F111.

  3. Bäremans said on 29th April 2011, 12:46

    Lotus is bragging that their Barcelona upgrade would make them a points contender.
    So they apparently expect about 1 to 1.5 seconds in quali and race pace with a single upate. Well, miracles do happen sometimes. If true, then STR would not be fighting with Lotus. They would be trying to keep up ^^.

    • S.J.M (@sjm) said on 29th April 2011, 13:10

      Well, im fairly certain that Gascoyne said its a exhust update. So when you think about what speed increase the Mclaren car got just by changing their exhust in pre-season, its not unreasonable to think that it could push their speed up quite some!

      I reckon Buemi is hoping its not a front suspension upgrade, not after China 2010….

      • Mads (@mads) said on 29th April 2011, 14:47

        Well you can’t really compare the pre season testing McLaren with the one they race now. The system they ran in testing was not working so as soon as they got a working system on the car they got some pace back. I think it was more a case of the exhaust being the bottleneck in terms of performance for McLaren, with the rest of the package being up in the top three. With Lotus it will be a general upgrade more then replacing a part that simply did not work, so they will never be able to gain as much time as McLaren did when they replaced the exhaust.

      • Douglas62500 said on 29th April 2011, 19:49

        Yeah especially Mclaren was bringing that onto their already fast car and shaved a whole second off. On the Lotus it could probably make an even bigger difference if they get it right. What’s more, I guess they might actually do it this time, given that they are now awfully close to STR and other backend midfield teams now even without the exhaust system. With their updates (possibly other aero parts as well ?) they should make some kind of jump as they would expect. Let’s just hope they don’t muck things up. Oh & let’s hope there would be Caterham logos over the car as well !!

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 29th April 2011, 13:29

      Lotus’ upgrade will never give them 1.5 seconds per lap.
      Unless they stole Red Bull’s nose cone!

      • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 29th April 2011, 13:52

        Everyone said that about Force India’s upgrade in 2009. Next race they were on pole.

        • Dev said on 30th April 2011, 3:04

          that car was made for spa & one can’t ignore the circumstances, some teams messed up with tires in qualifying & minus Red Bull & Brawn rest were trying to cope up with a KERS car with too much of the weight problem. FI made a right choice to shun KERS capable car around Valencia that year & it paid dividends. This year it’s a different story. This year KERS matters, DRS in qualifying matters.

  4. BrownyNSW said on 29th April 2011, 13:56

    Torro Rosso introduced their new car at Monaco 2008, and Seb straight away got a 5th place. Although they originally planned to launch the new car at Spain but Bourdais smashed it in practice or something

    • Ian D said on 29th April 2011, 21:34

      I remember that, they scored points in almost every race for the rest of the season after the Monaco upgrade. Including the win at Monza. Who knows they could do the same again

      • Dev said on 30th April 2011, 3:11

        those upgrades with RBR upgrades fitted on STR, this year they are developing em… i’m assuming their current development set up is not as good as Red Bull Technology set up. maybe it’s not as easy for them as it was then.

  5. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 29th April 2011, 16:14

    Crikey I would be embarrassed to be fighting Williams if I was a pre-2010 team now.

    An update Monaco is indeed unusual. Should be interesting if it works – they manage the tyres pretty well…until they fall off ;)

    • Dev said on 30th April 2011, 3:24

      i think Williams are always quick around Monaco. but i think this year their problem has be reliability & drivers. both letting them down.

  6. alexf1man (@alexf1man) said on 30th April 2011, 14:41

    remember when they took the STR3-B in 2008 to monaco? worked wonders from Valencia onwards.

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