Monday, 4 February 2013

Toro Rosso STR8 Narrowly Avoids Another F1 Naming Scandal

2013 Scuderia Toro Rosso STR8
In 2011, Ferrari wanted to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Italian independence by naming their F1 car the F150. Unfortunately, that didn't go down well with Ford, who have had their own F150 seemingly forever, so they sued them for potentially causing confusion between the two, what with a big pickup looking exactly like a Formula 1 car and all. Toro Rosso, Red Bull's Ferrari-powered B-Team, should thank the Italian language for putting the adjective after the noun, or else the STR8 you see here could easily have caused similar upsets with Chrysler/Dodge, who use "SRT8" on their V8-powered hotrodded versions of cars. Mind you, with Infiniti exploiting the Nissan-Renault Alliance to sponsor Red Bull, maybe Dodge could exploit the new Fiat-Chrysler alliance to similar effect. But they haven't, so forget about it.

Piloting the Challenger Charger STR8 will be Daniel Ricciardo, who may or may not still have braces on, and Jean-Eric Vergne (or JEV to his team). Strict team boss Franz Tost is "expecting" a 6th place finish in the World Constructor's Championship, which means that Vergne's new car will have to be 20,000 leagues better than last year's car, which only managed 9th with the same drivers thanks to a mix of surprising performances, poor ones and some bad luck as well. Riccirado often battled with Schumacher for tenth in last year's races, which may have taught him something.

Ooh, I think the braces have come off.
The STR8 has a smooth, straight nose that's still very flat, giving a huge gap for air to get in and under the car. You might think that getting air under the car would be a bad thing, but the various underbody aero wizardry and the fact that ground effect is now so well understood mean that they can control the air better, channeling it to where it's needed, which is ultimately the diffuser. Speaking of air and the diffuser, there's a Coanda exhaust here as well. Surprise surprise.

Unlike many of the new cars, you can actually see where the vanity plate fits on here.
Nothing much else to say at this point, so here are some more pictures. You know how it goes by now.

Intricate 2013 front wings are intricate.
The diffuser is blocked off, much like the Ferrari's was. Well, it's rude to go getting upskirt shots anyway!
Want to sit in there? It'll cost you roughly 1.2 metric tonnes of bank notes. Any currency will do.
More pictures here.

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