Toro Rosso yet to exploit STR8’s potential – Ricciardo

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Daniel Ricciardo says Toro Rosso are still trying to understand their 2013 car and are yet to get the best out of it.

“The basic thing is downforce, every car always wants more downforce,” said Ricciardo. “When you have understeer or oversteer it’s usually due to a lack of downforce.”

“I think we have more tools on the car and we can use them better but we’re still trying to understand it. There is more potential but not enough is showing at the moment.”

The STR8 marks a departure from the team’s previous design direction following the departure of technical director Giorgio Ascanelli. The team’s new design chief James Key joined them late last year and the new car was designed by ex-McLaren man Luca Furbatto.

Ricciardo said a major development for the STR8 will arrive in time for the fifth race of the year: “In Barcelona that’s planned. I think all the teams bring updates but hopefully that will give us what we are looking for.”

“We have quite a lot of things going on with the car that should make it quite a bit better than it was last year,” he added.

“I don’t feel we have got the most out of that stuff yet and when we do find it, it should make the car better. The thing is a lot of guys are improving and no one will stay where they are. We’ve got to find a bigger step than everyone else and at the moment we are going with them and not taking the step we need at the moment.”

NHRA: Brittany Force cleared to race this weekend in Phoenix after bad wreck 2 weeks ago

Photo: John Force Racing
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Drag racing is a Force family tradition. So, too, is not keeping a Force family member down.

Just 12 days after the most serious wreck of her six-year drag racing career, Brittany Force and John Force Racing announced late Thursday afternoon that the defending 2017 NHRA Top Fuel champion has been medically cleared and will indeed race in this weekend’s NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in suburban Phoenix, Arizona.

“I flew into Phoenix early this (Thursday) morning and headed straight out to the race track to meet up with my team,” Force said. “I suited up and got belted back into my car that I ran all last season.

“It honestly felt good to be strapped back in and I was surprised how comfortable I was. I’m looking forward to getting back in my car tomorrow (Friday’s first two rounds of qualifying) and getting back in the swing of things with my guys.”

The 31-year-old Force, one of four daughters of 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ John Force, suffered a concussion and bruising after the hard crash she was involved in on February 11 in the first round of eliminations of the season-opening NHRA Lucas Oil Winternationals in Pomona, California.

Shortly after leaving the starting line in a race vs. Terry Haddock, Force’s dragster crossed from the right to left lanes, impacted the retaining wall with a very hard lateral crash, bounced off, spun, went on its side and briefly caught fire after crossing the finish line wheels-up.

While she is still recovering from the bruising, Force feels strong enough to get back behind the wheel. Getting back in the race car could be the best medicine of all, since she has three runner-up finishes in Phoenix, including back-to-back second-place showings in both the 2016 and 2017 national events.

The three-day event kicks off Friday with qualifying rounds at 4 and 6:30 p.m. ET, the same times as Saturday’s qualifying. Final eliminations begin at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.