Toro Rosso reveal STR13 after image leak bid

Date published: February 21 2018

Toro Rosso have coolly played off the fact that their new STR13 was leaked by revealing the car themselves five days earlier than initially planned.

The Red Bull junior team are due to officially unveil their car in the pitlane at the Circuit de Catalunya shortly before the first winter test begins, but released various teasers on social media as the STR13 took to the track for a filming day.

Whilst those pesky work experience members didn’t get a shot, someone else managed to, prompting Toro Rosso to respond on Twitter by just showing us the real thing anyway.

More details and images are still due on Monday.

Toro Rosso respond to taunts about Honda engine

Date published: February 15 2018

Toro Rosso have released a cheeky FAQ article after being teased over the start-up of their Honda engine.

Most teams have been building up to their 2018 launches by posting videos of their engine start-ups, with the Red Bull junior team showing theirs just before Haas became the first team to release images of the new VF-18.

The video of the Honda start-up was met with the usual jokes given the Japanese manufacturer’s rocky years with McLaren, but Toro Rosso took them all in good spirit and posted a comical article in response.

Toro Rosso will be the last team to launch their car, opting to peel the covers off on the morning of the first winter test on Monday, February 26.

Gasly: Shame the grid girls are gone

Date published: February 11 2018

Pierre Gasly is the latest to lament the loss of grid girls in Formula 1, saying they are part of the sport’s DNA.

Last week Liberty Media gave the ladies the boot having declared that the “custom does not resonate with our brand values and clearly is at odds with modern day societal norms.”

Instead Formula 1 will use grid kids in the hopes of inspiring a new generation.

The decision has not been welcomed by many with Gasly the latest to voice his unhappiness.

“It’s not my fault!” he jokingly told Auto Hebdo.

“Personally, I find it a shame because grid girls were part of the DNA and the glamorous side of Formula One.”

Key hoping for a reliable Honda power unit

Date published: February 6 2018

James Key is hoping that Honda’s 2018 power unit will be reliable from the first lap of pre-season testing, as he reckons that will make a huge difference on Toro Rosso’s season.

This year Red Bull’s junior team will run Honda power after signing with the Japanese manufacturer as their sole customer.

It is a move that is shrouded in uncertainty given Honda’s wretched reliability last season when they powered McLaren.

As such Key acknowledges that his biggest desire is for the Honda power unit to be reliable from the get-go.

The Toro Rosso tech chief told RACER: “I think it makes a huge difference.

“It works both for us and Honda as a team together, it’s important for both of us to have that situation.

“When we ran the 2015 Ferrari engine in 2016, that was a very well-established engine.

“It had done an entire season; all of its issues had been ironed out and as a result we got an extremely reliable unit and we were able to do absolutely tons of winter testing.

“That was extremely useful for the team and for the drivers. So it does make a difference.”

He added: “We have had different experiences! Last year I think we did half the amount of mileage and in 2014 we did a tiny amount of mileage and that was all power unit-related, so I think it matters a great deal.

“Let’s see where we are – it matters of course very much to Honda too, so hopefully at that point it will be OK. There could be teething problems with certain things but that’s what testing is for. You never know, but that is the target for both sides.”

Revealed: Entry fees for each team for 2018 season

Date published: February 4 2018

Following the confirmation of 2018 entry list from the FIA, the fees that each team have paid for the upcoming season have now been revealed.

According to the current regulations, every team has to pay a base figure of $516,128 (£365,455), which is indexed by the US consumer price index of annual inflation. The champions must then pay an additional $6194 (£4386) for every point earned and the other teams must pay at a reduced cost of $5161 (£3654) per point.

After being involved in a slightly closer title fight in 2017, Mercedes’ have seen their entry fees drop by $600,818 (£425,421), while Red Bull, Williams, Toro Rosso and McLaren are also paying less.

Ferrari’s improvement means the Scuderia are paying $639,964 (£453,139) more this year, with increases, too, for Force India, Renault, Haas and Sauber.

Entry fees:

Mercedes – $4,653,720 (£3,295,159)
Ferrari – $3,210,170 (£2,273,025)
Red Bull – $2,415,376 (£1,710,255)
Force India – $1,481,235 (£1,048,818)
Williams – $944,491 (£668,765)
Renault  – $810,305 (£573,752)
Toro Rosso – $789,661 (£559,135)
Haas – $758,695 (£537,209)
McLaren – $670,958 (£475,085)
Sauber – $541,933 (£383,726)

Figures via F1 Technical

Toro Rosso to launch STR13 in Barcelona

Date published: January 30 2018

Toro Rosso will be hoping they are saving the best until last after announcing they will unveil the new STR13 ahead of the first day of testing in Barcelona on Monday, February 26.

The Red Bull junior team are embarking on a new journey in 2018 as they will be powered by Honda following the end of their three-year spell with McLaren.

Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley will also be sinking their teeth into their first full Formula 1 campaigns after both switched to the team in the latter stages of the 2017 campaign.

Toro Rosso’s confirmation means there are just three teams left to confirm the launches of their 2018 challengers: Red Bull, Force India and Haas.

Confirmed launches:

Williams – February 15
Sauber – February 20
Renault – February 20
Mercedes – February 22
Ferrari – February 22
McLaren – February 23
Toro Rosso – February 26

Toro Rosso can ‘spring a few surprises this year’

Date published: January 30 2018

Although James Key concedes no one knows until the season begins, he feels Toro Rosso could pull off a “surprise” this season with new engine partner Honda.

This season Toro Rosso are teaming up with Honda having taken over from McLaren as the Japanese manufacturer’s only F1 team.

The partnership is a brand new experience for Toro Rosso as, instead of being a customer, they are essentially operating as a works team.

“It’s been a totally different world for us, working with Honda and working as a works team,” Key, Toro Rosso’s technical director, told RACER.

“To have such a strong collaboration with your power unit supplier is new for Toro Rosso, but it’s an extremely welcome situation to have.

“Honda are excellent to work with, I have to say.

“We’ve shared an extremely strong common goal and a very good working relationship to date, and there’s no reason why that won’t continue in exactly the same way.”

He added that both parties have been “very honest” with one another about their past issues which means they’ve been able to hold open discussions.

“I think the really good thing with how we’re working is that we’re very transparent with each other, so if we do have a concern or an issue, then we always highlight it.

“Honda have been very honest about the problems they had last year, for example, and have said how they got around them. We’ve done the same, so it’s been a really open discussion on how we can achieve our goals, but with all the data and all the resource to back it up as well.

“So I think it’s been an excellent experience. It’s been hard work because it’s a big responsibility, being the only team that’s working with a company as big and important as Honda, but I think the way we’ve done it and the way we’re working at the moment has been very positive.

“So I’d like to think we can spring a few surprises this year. There’s obviously a lot of questions and you never know until you hit the track, but certainly on the Honda side they’re working extremely hard and they’re hoping to start off in a positive way.”