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Toro Rosso uncover the STR8 in Jerez launch // The team's 2013 F1 challenger is revealed in all its glory

Published by Christine

Studio render of the Toro Rosso STR8

Toro Rosso's chief sponsors CEPSA got their name in all over the launch today, staging the event for the team ahead of the pre-season testing in Jerez tomorrow. With a bright red glare from the surrounding carpet and covers, we finally got a glimpse of the STR8 - looking very similar to the STR7 even if they don't admit as much.

A closer look at the car shows they have tweaked the bodywork between the sidepods and the floor in the hopes they can achieve better balance and better downforce. They could lose some straightline speed because of it, but more downforce overall should be better for them. They've also got new exhausts in place.

Technical Director James Key has only been with the team a few months, and has spent a lot of that time finding his feet. He has admitted to not changing much in the technical departments personnel wise, but instead pinpointing the areas they need to improve on.

Where I feel we are lacking is in our pure performance-based areas. Hence the hard push on the aero work and also on the vehicle dynamics and simulation side. We have made quite significant changes in that area and introduced a new Vehicle Performance department to the team.

- James Key, Technical Director

It should be good to see the team develop as they get more influence from the experienced James Key, he has likely not yet had the chance to make his mark.

Ricciardo and Vergne pull back the covers on the STR8
Ricciardo and Vergne pull back the covers on the STR8Credit: Peter Fox/Getty

Unusually for Toro Rosso, the team are starting to pay attention to the car itself, and not just pin all their hopes on finding a Sebastian Vettel style superhero.

I mentioned our two drivers and naturally, we will be expecting more from them this year as they both tackle their second full season of Formula 1. However, we are well aware it is up to us to provide them with a car that’s capable of allowing them to show their undoubted talent.

- Franz Tost, Team Principal

Overall, it looks like Toro Rosso are taking tiny steps forward but after what was a surprisingly poor 2012 for them, it's going to be a long haul back away from the "new" teams and towards the midfield again.

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