The Joy of Six
This will be the sixth year that Scuderia Toro Rosso competes in the Formula 1 World Championship, since the team was created with a view to finding two extra cockpits for the stars of the future coming through the ranks of the Red Bull Junior Driver Programme. Six years down the road, that is very much the team's raison d'etre, with Sebastien Buemi still among the youngest men on the grid, while his team-mate, Jaime Alguersuari only turns 21 a few days before the second Grand Prix of this season. Still on the school front, the team will be squeezing a third driver into the cockpit at most of the races, as Red Bull junior, Daniel Ricciardo will be taking on the role of 'Friday driver,' standing in for one of our drivers in turn for Free Practice 1. Why are we so keen on this teaching role? Maybe the words Sebastian Vettel, World Champion are explanation enough.
On the commercial front, we can look forward to a second year of support from Money Service Group, while on the technical front, 2011 is the second year that
Scuderia Toro Rosso will have designed its car totally in-house, in Faenza and in our Bicester (ÚK) wind tunnel facility. This year's design is possibly less conservative than in 2010 and naturally takes into account the requirements set out in the technical regulation changes, such as the banning of double diffusers, blown rear wings and adjustable front wings, to be replaced with the arrival of adjustable rear wings and the return, after a one year break, of KERS. Toro Rosso did not use the Kinetic Energy Recovery System in 2009 and this year we hope to enjoy the advantage of using the one evolved by our engine supplier Ferrari, who made good use of the power boosting system two years ago. It will of course be linked to the very same specification 056 V8 engine as used by the other F1 entrant that calls itself a 'Scuderia,' albeit with a prancing horse in its livery, rather than a toro. So there are plenty of unknown factors going into 2011, including a new tyre supplier, Pirelli. So that's an Italian tyre supplier, a car designed and built in Italy, under the supervision of an Italian technical director, running an Italian engine with three drivers who can speak Italian. 'Non può che essere un buon segno, che ne dici,' as they say in Faenza.
Sebastien Buemi – Driver Car No. 18
We have Father Christmas to thank for bringing us Sebastien. It was Christmas 1993
when his father couldn't think what to buy his lad as a present and got him a go-kart.
This was something of a no-brainer as Sebastien's grandfather once took part in the Le Mans 24 Hours and other events. As the karting grew in importance, it became very much a family event, with a whole tribe of people traipsing around Europe to support the youngster and his cousin Natacha, who also had the racing bug. Sebastien whizzed through the various karting classes, taking Swiss and European title, before moving up to single-seaters in 2004. In Formula BMW, he was soon spotted by Red Bull, who put him on the books, helping him to take the title before going on to be runner up in Formula 3 and the Asian GP2 series. In 2008, he won twice in GP2, including an amazing victory in tricky conditions from 21st on the grid at Magny-Cours.
This is your third full season in Formula 1. Does that make it particularly
Before Buemi arrived on the scene in 2009, only six Swiss drivers had ever scored
Grand Prix points, and Sebastien immediately added his name to that list, joining an elite group of drivers who scored points on their F1 debut. Just getting to Formula 1 is something of an achievement as motor racing is banned in Switzerland, presumably because the noise of the engines might drown out the sound of the cow bells or the cuckoo clocks.
significant for you?
I have big expectations to be honest, as I have quite a lot of experience now: I know all the circuits, I know how Formula 1 works and we also have quite a lot of experience in terms of building up the car. So, if all goes well and hopefully it will, we should be able to score many points and finish in the top eight of the Constructors' championship.What's the next step? What do you need to have a successful season?
I think it's a combination of many things. The first thing is that I have to give the maximum, getting the most out of myself and I need to have a good car, which is
obvious as it is actually the same for all the drivers. The team is doing a good job to get everything working better than before and hopefully produce a quicker car. We switched the focus to the 2011 car pretty early in the season last year, so I have big hopes for the start of the season and how things will work out.You're going to be very busy in the cockpit this year, with the adjustable rear
wing and the KERS. What's that going to be like?
How do you prepare for 20 races?
Engine : 8-cylinder
This season with all the rule changes, it could be a bit difficult, especially in the early stages at the first few races. It is not yet really clear how we will use the rear wing and the KERS as we are still awaiting a rule clarification. It will take a bit of time to get used to it, but that will be the job of the drivers to be on top of it to the maximum by the start of the season. We will be trying to get up to speed during the winter tests to see what we can do and how we can improve it.
In terms of preparation it will be the same as ever. You always try to get the maximum out of yourself and out of the training. There are not many changes you can make to your programme, but it will be important to work out when to stay out in between races and when to come back home. For example with the back to back races, it will be important to make the right choice: will it be better to stay out to avoid the jet lag for example? Your training is always the same though, as you push hard in the winter to bring your level up and then you try to keep that level all season long. That means you need a good compromise between time when you relax and recover and when you train again hard.How important is stability within the team?
Stability is a big point. When you get to a race weekend and you need to concentrate to get the maximum out of the whole crew, it is important to have stability, especially with my race engineer for example: I know him really well he knows me, so we can understand each other without talking. This is an important point because when you have to spend time working together in between the sessions you need to get to the point quickly and knowing one another really well can be an advantage.Will it be a help that Jaime will be more experienced?
I think it's really important to have a team-mate that has experience because from a team point of view that makes a difference. We are only allowed to run one car per day during winter testing and if you can use all the days to get the car to go quicker and understand it better, then it makes a difference when you come to the first race. Me and Jaime do not have so much experience, but this is our third season and I'm pretty sure we can extract the most out of the car.What about Pirelli tyres?
We had two test days in Abu Dhabi at the end of the last championship and it will be important to understand them quickly, because this might make a big difference when you get to the first race. We will learn how they work in cold conditions with all the testing in Europe, but as soon as we get to Bahrain the four days of testing will be very important in terms of understanding their behaviour in our qualifying and race simulations.You're still the only Swiss on the grid – important to you?
To be the only Swiss driver is something I am proud of, especially as it is not easy being a Swiss in Formula 1 as we do not have any circuits in Switzerland and we cannot go racing at home, which makes it a bit more difficult to get to Formula 1. But I don't concentrate much on that: obviously we have a lot of support from the national media and I would say the Swiss people also love Formula 1.What's the best thing about F1?
The best thing about Formula 1 is to drive the car, just to get in the car and go racing against all the other drivers. You race against the best drivers in the world, you race with the fastest cars in the world on the best and most beautiful circuits in the world, which makes everything fantastic. When you can feel the adrenalin at the start as you go and fight against the other guys and when you feel the speed at Monza for example, doing 350 kph at the end of the straight, or going round high speed corners or tackling Monaco, it's all just amazing.The best thing about Scuderia Toro Rosso?
I think Scuderia Toro Rosso is a fantastic team. It is really good for young people because the team knows how to teach new drivers to get up to speed in Formula 1. It has huge potential and a bright future.Source - Scuderia Toro Rosso
Pirelli Tyre Test: Day One
This was a significant day for Formula One , as it was the first ever track test for all teams using tyres supplied by Pirelli, the Italian company which has a contract as the sole tyre supplier for the sport, for the next three seasons.
Each team was supplied with four sets of tyres for today – two Prime, which corresponds to a medium compound tyre on the Pirelli listing and two Option or Soft compound tyres. Jaime Alguersuari was at the wheel of the STR5-03 and spent the morning evaluating how the car behaved on the new tyres, as well as working on set-up to suit them. In the afternoon, work began on evaluating tyre performance and behaviour over long and short runs.
'It was a useful experience for me to run on these new tyres,' said Jaime Alguersuari. 'We did a good mileage, some runs on heavy fuel and some with less and it was interesting to see how the tyres behaved. It is too early to say more than that, because of course there will be more development to come from Pirelli before the next season starts.'
'From the car side, we had a trouble free day,' said Chief Engineer, Laurent Mekies. 'Track conditions are now very different to those over the race weekend, partly because of the two days of running during the young driver test. The day went well and we are now preparing for the second day of running with Pirelli, when Sébastien Buemi will take over at the wheel.' Pirelli Tyre Test: Day One
Source - Scuderia Toro Rosso
1. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:40.170s (94 laps)
2. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing 1:40.500s (77)
3. Gary Paffett McLaren 1:40.874s (94)
4. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1:40.950s (83)
5. Robert Kubica Renault 1:41.032s (39)
6. Rubens Barrichello Williams 1:41.425s (91)
7. Paul di Resta Force India 1:41.615s (20)
8. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:41.778s (81)
9.Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso 1:42.019s (71)
10. Adrian Sutil Force India 1:42.859s (20)
11. Timo Glock Virgin 1:44.124s (78)
12. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus 1:44.686s (88)
13. Pastor Maldonado Hispania 1:45.728s (83)