Toro Rosso reveals STR10 ahead of Jerez test

1 Comment

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.

X44 Racing win 2022 Extreme E championship as Abt Cupra score first race victory

2022 Extreme E Uruguay
Extreme E
0 Comments

Abt Cupra Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and Klara Andersson scored their first win in the Extreme E Energy X Prix in the 2022 finale in Uruguay as Lewis Hamilton’s X44 Vida Carbon Racing drivers Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez survived a chaotic finale to edge the 2021 champion Rosberg X Prix team of Johan Kristoffersson and Mikhaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, by two points.

“There are so many emotions,” Andersson said in Extreme E’s coverage. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long. In my second race, first full weekend to be at the top of the podium: it’s big.”

Andersson was behind the wheel at the finish.

Rosberg Racing entered the event with a 17-point advantage over X44, but the standings were close enough that four teams remained in contention in Round 5.

“It’s a crucial weekend for us,” Loeb said in Extreme E’s coverage prior to the race. “We are not in the best position to win the championship, but the only thing we can do is try to win the race and score as many points as possible.”

The top two title contenders each crashed in qualification and were relegated to the Crazy Race, Extreme E’s version of the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). For the moment, they had the steepest hill to climb, but then the other two championship contending teams, Chip Ganassi Racing and Acciona Sainz Racing failed to advance from their heats.

Only one team advances from the Crazy Race, so the X44 drivers were in a must-win situation to simply keep hope alive.

More: Extreme E 2023 schedule

Ahlin-Kottulinsky and Gutierrez ran wheel to wheel into the first turn at the start of the LCQ.

The Rosberg racer experienced crash damage in that turn that damaged her front steering, but managed to limp back to the pits at the end of her two-lap stint. The team attempted to fix the steering, but incurred a penalty for having too many mechanics in the pit area.

Meanwhile, Gutierrez took the early lead, but knew she would need to sit through a five-second penalty for an incident earlier in the weekend. The female half of the gender equal pair erased the penalty by entering the Switch Zone with a five-second lead before turning the car over to Loeb.

That was all the nine-time World Rally Championship titlist needed to give him the advantage needed to win the Crazy Race.

But the championship was not over yet. X44 Racing needed to finish third or better in the five-car finale to earn enough points for the title and after advancing from the LCQ, they were forced to take the worst grid position.

A chaotic start to the Finale saw Loeb run as high the lead and low as fourth after getting pushed off course during his first lap. And that is how he entered to Switch Zone.

On her first lap, Gutierrez slammed into Molly Taylor. With one lap remaining, X44 and Gutierrez were still in fourth and the title hope was quickly evaporating, but it was announced halfway through the lap that the third-running Andretti United team would suffer a penalty for a Switch Zone infraction. The seven-second deduction for Timmy Hansen braking too late in the zone made the difference in the title.

Coming off a disappointing Copper X Prix when Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour crossed under the checkers first, but were relegated to fifth by penalty, the McLaren pair scored their first podium of the season in second.