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STR hopeful about first non-Red Bull car


Sebastien Buemi, Toro Rosso, Abu Dhabi 2009Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost is optimistic that the need to construct its own car in 2010 will not mean his squad loses ground, but admitted that there could be a difficult transition period.

STR has so far used designs supplied by Red Bull Technologies, but this arrangement was frowned upon by several other teams who felt it was against the spirit of the regulations to run what could be described as a customer car. Dispensation was given until the end of 2009 to allow Toro Rosso time to ramp up its design facilities, so next season the team must become a fully-fledged constructor.

"We have to design the car by ourselves, we have to build the car as well and the infrastructure still needs to be improved. This will take time," Tost told AUTOSPORT.

"We just have to wait and see. I can only hope that the experience of the designers is good enough and they will do a good job.

"Top teams have sometimes brought out a not fantastic car. I hope that we as a small team can do a good job and bring a car to the racetrack that can achieve good positions from the beginning."

He pointed out that Toro Rosso had always retained some design capability so was not having to build up its resources from scratch.

"Fortunately we always kept some designers, and therefore we didn't need to start from zero," said Tost.

"But it's not easy to bring in the correct people with the skills and who will work together well. We have to see how everything will come out during the winter time. So far, as far as I can see, they're doing a good job. But we will see when the car is out on the track and we know the lap times."

Tost believes that Toro Rosso will still be able to carry over some parts from its Red Bull-derived 2009 machine, although he suspects that the rule changes for next year will limit how much can be transferred to the new design.

"The regulation forces us to design a completely new car because as you know there is no more refuelling during the races next year," he said.

"That means that the fuel tank is much larger, and that means the complete design philosophy of the car has to be changed. You have a new wheelbase, you have a different weight distribution, and all of this affects us and forces us into designing a completely new car.

"From the financial point is view it would be good if they find some carry-over parts, and also on the performance side as the [2009] car looks quite fast. Unfortunately as far as I can see up to now, there are not so many carry-over parts."

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