Tech Talk with STR’s Giorgio Ascanelli

Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Giorgio Ascanelli spoke to the media on the launch day of the team’s STR5. He started by enumerating the factors that had steered the design of this year’s car: the need to carry more fuel, run narrower tyres, design a car with the now permitted double diffuser, changes to the cockpit which impinged on the design of the front end of the car, as well as various other detailed changes to the technical regulations.

“The use of the double diffuser led us to look at the design of the gearbox to accommodate it and the need to carry more fuel, inevitably led to a longer car, while we have obviously tried to recover some of that length by looking at the gearbox design,” explained Ascanelli. “Another change is that the ’09 car was designed to accommodate KERS, while this year, all teams have agreed not to run it and that has made our task a little bit easier.”

Although the rules state that every team must design its own car this year, Ascanelli made it clear that Scuderia Toro Rosso was starting from a good base line. “We were blessed with the fact that last year’s design from Red Bull Technology was a bloody good car, but I should make it clear that we did a lot of our own design work last year and that none of the manufacturing was done by Red Bull Technology.

We used several outside supplierS and, currently, we are increasing the ratio of how much of the car we build ourselves to the number of components we have to outsource.”

Increasing our in-house capacity has required an increase in terms of manpower and equipment. “We have acquired the former Red Bull Racing wind tunnel in Bicester, (UK) employed some rather good people to work there and we have expanded the staff to work on the CFD and calculation tools we have installed in the factory,” he continued. “We also have increased our manufacturing capacity by acquiring several new machining tools. But these are not things you can go and get off the shelf from the local tobacconist! So, it is a gradual process.  As for new staff, finding people is never easy, finding good people is very difficult. Once you find them you have to get them to work together. Everyone is good at something, but it takes time to find out exactly what that is.”