Tost: No change in Toro Rosso atmosphere since driver change

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TURIN, Italy – Scuderia Toro Rosso Formula 1 team principal Franz Tost says he has seen no difference in the atmosphere at Faenza since the change in driver line-up after the Russian Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen was fast-tracked up to Toro Rosso’s senior team, Red Bull, for the Spanish Grand Prix, with Daniil Kvyat moving in the opposite direction.

One motive for the move was to defuse any tension building at Toro Rosso between Verstappen and teammate Carlos Sainz Jr., who remains with the team and is set to stay on for 2017.

At the FIA Sport Conference in Turin earlier this week, Tost was asked whether he had noticed a change in the atmosphere at Toro Rosso since the driver change was made.

“I think that we have quite a good professional atmosphere, but it’s important that the drivers feel good,” Tost said.

“I don’t see or I haven’t observed a big change.”

As part of the changes at the team, former Marussia and Manor F1 president John Booth joined the team on a consultancy basis as director of racing in tandem with his commitments in the FIA World Endurance Championship.

When asked by NBC Sports what effect Booth’s arrival had on the team, Tost said: “It was good.

“John came in, he’s experienced, he can support us on the strategy side and regarding matters for the race team.”

Tost also confirmed that the decision to bring in Booth had been largely taken by the senior Red Bull team.

“It was a combination [between Toro Rosso and Red Bull] that was coming from Red Bull.”

SuperMotocross set to introduce Leader Lights beginning with the World Championship finals


In a continuing effort to help fans keep track of the on track action, SuperMotocross is in the process of developing and implementing leader lights for the unified series.

Currently Supercross (SMX) utilizes stanchions in the infield that are triggered manually by a race official. At least two stanchions are used in each race as a way to draw the eye to the leader, which is especially useful in the tight confines of the stadium series when lapping often begins before the halfway mark in the 22-bike field. This system has been in place for the past two decades.

Later this year, a fully automated system will move to the bike itself to replace the old system. At that point, fans will be able to identify the leader regardless of where he is on track.

The leader lights were tested in the second Anaheim round this year. An example can be seen at the 1:45 mark in the video above on the No. 69 bike.

“What we don’t want to do is move too fast, where it’s confusing to people,” said Mike Muye, senior director of operations for Supercross and SMX in a press release. “We’ve really just focused on the leader at this point with the thought that maybe down the road we’ll introduce others.”

Scheduled to debut with the first SuperMotocross World Championship race at zMax Dragway, located just outside the Charlotte Motor Speedway, a 3D carbon fiber-printed LED light will be affixed to each motorcycle. Ten timing loops positioned around the track will trigger the lights of the leader, which will turn green.

SMX’s partner LiveTime Scoring helped develop and implement the system that has been tested in some form or fashion since 2019.

When the leader lights are successfully deployed, SuperMotocross will explore expanding the system to identify the second- and third-place riders. Depending on need and fan acceptance, more positions could be added.

SuperMotocross is exploring future enhancements, including allowing for live fan interaction with the lights and ways to use the lighting system during the race’s opening ceremony.