Toro Rosso's STR8 Formula One car has gone backward in order to go forward. The team had been trying to optimize a 'double floor' sidepod design for the last couple of seasons but never got it where they wanted it – the team finished eighth in the Constructor's Championship in 2011, ninth in 2012. Chief Designer Luca Furbatto went back to a more traditional sidepod design with the STR8, and additionally worked on areas of weight distribution, redesigning the rear end to be more compact, developing a more aerodynamic rear suspension that provided more setup options and providing a season-long development track for the aero department. He said the only carryover part from the STR7 is the steering wheel.
The new approach is part of a complete revamp of the team itself, said to be about half the size of a top team: STR poached James Key, ex-technical director at Sauber, late last year, has restructured its aerodynamics division, added a vehicle performance department and worked to strengthen the communication between its base in Faenza, Italy and its aero personnel in the UK. The team wants to finish sixth in the Constructor's Championship this year, and that would mean getting ahead of all of the other midfield teams in Williams, Sahara Force India and Sauber.
The first video below sums up the launch of the car, the second goes into detail about how the STR8 is going to do what it does.