Toro Rosso reveals STR10 ahead of Jerez test

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Scuderia Toro Rosso has become the latest team to reveal its new car for the 2015 Formula 1 season, lifting the covers off the STR10 in Jerez today ahead of pre-season testing.

Rookie drivers Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jr. were on hand to unveil the new car, which features a revised nose design from 2014.

“The launch of the new STR10 car today here in Jerez de la Frontera marks the start of a new and hopefully thrilling F1 season,” team principal Franz Tost said.

“The 2015 season is a new challenge for all of us. We’ve put a lot of work into the STR10 and we are convinced that we will have a successful year. Our objective is to finish fifth in the constructors championship and we are ready to do our best to achieve it.

“Our engine partner Renault has also worked very hard to come up with new modifications and I’m sure that our joint effort will give us a package which will certainly be very competitive. All in all, we have a much stronger team as well as a very competitive STR10 and fast drivers; it’s a great combination.”

However, technical director James Key has confirmed that the design that runs in testing will only be an interim one, with a number of updates set to be applied ahead of the first race of the year in Australia.

“The car is a real mix of very different approaches in some areas, while also refining and developing what we felt were some of the more solid philosophies of the 2014 car,” Key explained. “It will look quite different by the time we get to race one and we’ve got several very new ideas which have gone into it, which the team is exploring for the first time, which makes it an interesting project.

“We’ve pushed the limits of timing much more with STR10 than with passed cars and we’re dealing with it really well. We have a pretty aggressive plan for development. We’ll turn up to race one with a fundamentally different car to the one we run in testing.”

Verstappen’s rise to F1 has been a controversial one. He will smash the record for being the sport’s youngest ever driver in Australia, making his debut at the age of 17. However, Red Bull clearly believes that the son of ex-F1 driver Jos Verstappen has what it takes to race with the very best.

Sainz has been close to reaching F1 in the past, but only secured a seat with Toro Rosso following Sebastian Vettel’s decision to leave Red Bull, prompting Daniil Kvyat’s promotion. The Formula Renault 3.5 champion also has a famous racing father, with Carlos Sainz being a legend of the rally world.

The Red Bull junior team enters its tenth season of racing in 2015, having evolved from Minardi for the 2006 season. It has produced three full-time Red Bull drivers in that time, with four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel being the most notable graduate. Vettel also claimed the team’s only race win at the 2008 Italian Grand Prix.

With an all-rookie line-up, Toro Rosso’s hopes of breaking into the top five in 2015 may seem ambitious, but both Verstappen and Sainz have proven themselves in junior formulae. Should Renault fix the problems that blighted its engines in 2014, the team could yet put itself in the fight with the likes of Force India and McLaren this year.

The STR10 will get its first public test run at the start of pre-season testing in Jerez tomorrow, with Carlos Sainz Jr. getting behind the wheel before handing the reins over to Verstappen on Monday.

NTT re-signs as IndyCar title sponsor in multiyear deal starting with the 2024 season

James Black/Penske Entertainment
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The IndyCar Series has re-signed NTT as its title sponsor in a multiyear agreement starting in 2024.

NTT, a global information technology and communications company based in Japan, became the series’ title sponsor before the 2019 season after starting as a sponsor of the No. 10 Dallara-Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing.

NTT Data (a subsidiary of parent company Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp.) will remain the official technology partner of IndyCar, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Indy 500 and the NASCAR Brickyard weekend.

With the extension, an IndyCar spokesman said NTT would become the second-longest title sponsor in series history. The longest title sponsor was PPG from 1980-97 (under the CART sanction of the Champ Car Series).

NTT replaced Verizon, which was IndyCar’s title sponsor from 2014-18 after IZOD from 2010-13.

“NTT is an excellent partner across our enterprise with strong expertise and a deep commitment to our sport,” Penske Corp. chairman and IndyCar owner Roger Penske said in a release. “From Smart Venue technology at the Racing Capital of the World to the reimagined Series mobile application, NTT is transforming the fan experience in new and innovative ways. We look forward to a bright future together.”

NTT has used artificial intelligence-enabled optical detection technology at IMS to provide information to the track’s operations and security teams, helping improve fan traffic flow and safety, the track said.

“IndyCar is a great partner for NTT Data because of our shared commitment to driving innovation, increasing sustainability and delivering amazing experiences,” NTT Data CEO Kaz Nishihata said in a release. “We also appreciate how IndyCar is so diverse, with drivers from 15 different countries, and races that range from short ovals and superspeedways to road and street courses. It’s both an incredible sport and a wonderful example for our world.”

NTT also has been instrumental in helping redesign the IndyCar app and providing more race and driver data for use in NBC Sports’ broadcasts by utilizing 140 data points from every car in the field.

“NTT is fully invested in the development and growth of our sport and has already established a terrific track record in our industry with problem-solving capabilities and access to top talent and tools,” Penske Entertainment president and CEO Mark Miles said.

Said NTT Data Services CEO Bob Pryor: “We’re thrilled to continue our collaborations that enhance and expand the fan experience for motorsports and serve as proof points for data analytics, AI, and other innovative digital technologies. For more than a century, this racing series has pioneered innovations making driving safer for everyone, and by continuing this relationship, we will accelerate the pace of innovations and new technologies, particularly related to sustainability that ultimately can benefit organizations, communities and individuals around the world.”

Starting as a Japanese telephone company, NTT grew into a $100 billion-plus tech services giant with U.S. operations based in Plano, Texas.