Toro Rosso new driver pairing Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Éric Vergne have taken the covers off the Faenza team’s 2012 racer, the STR7, at the Jerez pit lane.
As was widely expected, the Ferrari-powered STR7 features the now-ubiquitous ‘platypus’ stepped nose section, a design concept that has been adopted by all of the 2012 cars revealed to-date, except for McLaren.
This year’s design has a shorter wheelbase than its predecessor, while accommodating a newly-designed, longer gearbox. It has also continued with its design focus on tightly sculpted and drastically undercut sidepods, a feature that was widely-praised last year.
The car is the third to be wholly designed and assembled by the team since the FIA banned the use customer chassis; the team had previously run designs by Red Bull Technologies, or hand-me-down chassis from its sister Red Bull Racing team.
It was the first opportunity for the team to show off its brand-new driver line-up of Ricciardo and Vergne, after the team’s shock decision at the end of the year to drop both Jaime Alguersuari and Sébastien Buemi from its line-up.
Last year, the team finished an impressive eighth in the Constructors’ Championship standings with its slippery STR7, narrowly missing out on seventh place to Sauber at the end of the season.
As ever, team management remains optimistic that its new design will help propel it further up the field, despite the disadvantage of two inexperienced drivers.
“We have invested a lot of money to build up the infrastructure and I hope the results will be good in the forthcoming season. This investment was only possible because we have strong partners,” said team principal Franz Tost.
“Tomorrow we go out the first time with the new car and it is always something very special. We have two new highly skilled drivers and I am convinced both will do a very good job.
“Last year we finished eighth in Constructors’ and this year we hope to do better, so seventh or more.”