Scuderia Toro Rosso STR-2: Bull Cloning
By: Jeremy McMullen
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By: Jeremy McMullen
| People thought cloning, and the ethics involved, only concerned the biological sciences, but for the past two years Formula One has been debating the same subject, only with different animals involved. Some teams, undoubtedly feeling like the unsuspecting tourist in Pamplano, Spain on the wrong day of the year, are angry with the cars of Toro Rosso and their uncanny resemblance to either past or present Red Bull Racing car designs. Last year sparked off the debate when Toro Rosso ran a virtual copy of the 2005 Red Bull RBR-1 chassis. But if there was a debate last year, should Toro Rosso be successful this year, the fire that burned in a controlled and contained manner last year will turn into a virtual inferno.
In Formula One there are no customer cars, meaning, each team designs and builds their own car for the racing year within the dimension parameters settled on by the FIA. Therefore, while Red Bull owns 50 percent of Toro Rosso the team is still responsible for designing and building its own chassis. Now, throughout the year teams will investigate other team designs and will employ those, or similar, designs to their own cars to improve performance. This has been allowed given the fact the basis for the chassis remains similar to that the team themselves designed and built. While teams, in the past, have taken small design features and have tried to apply them to their own car, Toro Rosso is on the other end of the spectrum. Instead of trying to find the small features of other teams and applying them to their STR designs, the problem with Toro Rosso's machines, and in particular its new STR-2 chassis, is that of finding any design on the car that is unique to or originated with Toro Rosso's design team.
The point the other teams are essentially making is that there is no difference between the Italian Red Bull Race Team (Scuderia Toro Rosso) and Red Bull itself. Therefore, it is like four cars from one team lining up on the grid; four chances at points when each team is only allowed two. It's obvious some of the teams literally feel like they are running with the bulls. And it is as obvious that teams like Williams, Spyker, and Super Aguri feel the prospect of racing against a team comprised of essentially four cars would lead to fewer chances for precious points, and thus, survival in Formula One.
Leading up to the first race in Australia teams like Williams and Spyker threatened court injunctions against Toro Rosso if the team tried to race with the STR-2 chassis. This, of course, did not end up happening. All along Toro Rosso proclaimed there were differences between their chassis and its RBR3 brethren and it seemed as though other teams believed them or just let them go.