Toro Rosso STR10

Key: High hopes for “very different” Toro Rosso

2015 F1 season

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Toro Rosso STR10Toro Rosso’s Technical Director James Key says that his team are optimistic and motivated ahead of the opening test of the season.

The new STR10 has already been described as the team’s “best ever car” by Team Principal Franz Tost and Key already sees plenty of scope for improvement.

“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 explains.

“We have a pretty aggressive plan for development. We’ll turn up to Race 1 with a fundamentally different car to the one we run in testing.”

With Renault supplying two fewer teams this season, Key believes his team will benefit from an increased focus from the engine manufacturer.

“Renault have certainly made good progress over the winter. Now they don’t have to spread themselves so thin – which was maybe one of the issues last year – we can find solutions more quickly. It’s much more of a partnership than a customer relationship.”

The Toro Rosso technical chief also believes that he inexperience of Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jr is no hinderence to the team’s early season development.

“It’s not really about age, it’s about competence and we’ve got two very competent guys here,” says Key.

“I know that many of you think they are inexperienced, but they are not. They have been racing more than 10 years and that means they have a lot of experience. This is a new driver generation that is coming up now. I am convinced we will not have any problems.”

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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11 comments on “Key: High hopes for “very different” Toro Rosso”

  1. Lets hope they really bring something interesting to the table this year.

  2. TBH I’m surprised that with Newey stepping back from frontline duties that RBR haven’t snapped up Key. He has always built fast cars on limited budgets and on occasion made some mid-grid drivers look like superstars – think Sutil on the front row in Monza ’09 and the super Sauber in 2012. Give him RBR’s budget and resources and he would be awesome. Hope the STR goes very well this year…

    1. @clay That’s definitely the idea, hence his move to Toro Rosso. If the car is good this year, they’ll probably move him over to RB. In the mean time, Newey has scaled back, Peter Prod has gone to McLaren, so Rob Marshall et al. will have to step in before Key arrives.

  3. Looks awesome

  4. Sauber C31 fantastic car was good in fast circuits. Key is the man! I really miss him in Sauber. How different would be Sauber with Key and Hulkenberg…….how easy is to daydream….

  5. You see that is the sort of thinking why mid grid teams won’t move up the grid, just because James Key starts to shine a bit more in Toro Rosso all of a sudden people think he is too good for them he should go to RedBull. pfft..

    1. @david-beau

      What “pfft”? Formula 1 is a competition, as in, everybody is always striving to do better, drivers, engineers, marketing teams, etc. Everybody. And RBR is a better place to be than STR.

      So yes, of somebody is perceived as a talented individual, people will expect him/her to move up to a better place, that’s the whole damn point of a competition. If that somehow bothers you, maybe Formula 1 is not the sport for you.

  6. so he’s a glass half full kinda guy then….Or maybe more like ‘yes there is some liquid missing from the glass, but that’s not a problem, its an advantage!

    1. When that glass is filled with Red Bull, then less is better!

  7. Well, it looks pretty tight on the sidepods from a front view with a good undercut which usually helps. But not quite as tight as we usually see from the top teams at the very back. We’ll see when RBR reveals at the track tomorrow.

  8. It looks like a very good chassis aero-wise. Large surface on top of the sidepods leading the air to the back and very aggressive and tight undercut channelling the air to the diffuser, in other words very RBR like, much more fluid than the 2014 car which in the end was quite slippery but well short of downforce, perhaps this is the basis they need. Slender job by Renault aswell. For the start of the season Renault must have used lots of tokens, very tight car here in pictures but will it function properly? Ferrari cars looked a little bloated in comparison, not to mention completely different philosophy on the sidepods, by Ferrari going away from the likes of RBR and Merc powered cars.

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