Franz Tost (Team Principal)
For all Formula 1 fans, 2017 should be a year of excitement and uncertainty, as the sport’s technical regulations have undergone one of the biggest changes we have seen in a couple of decades. In simple terms, the cars are wider, longer, lower, faster, noisier and use bigger tyres, promising more grip, higher cornering speeds and hopefully even closer racing. 2017 is also a very significant year because, for the first time in decades, Bernie Ecclestone is no longer steering the ship, having changed Formula 1 from a minority interest sport into a global phenomenon. Now, we look forward to working with the new owners, who seem well qualified to grow the business in the future.
These radical changes mean that this year’s car, the STR12, started life as a clean sheet of paper, but it was designed and built by the same people in Faenza and Bicester who produced its predecessor, which was regarded as an excellent package. Everyone in the team has worked extremely hard to ensure we have a very competitive season. Further cause for optimism comes from the fact our chassis is mated to what is possibly the most competitive engine we have had so far in the hybrid era, as we return to Renault power once more. Last year, the French manufacturer made a big step forward and, looking at the engine and the way it is packaged in the car, it is particularly neat and tidy.
Scuderia Toro Rosso is known for promoting its drivers on a regular basis, in our capacity as a training ground for youngsters coming through the Red Bull Junior Driver Programme. However, this year the situation is rather different, as Daniil Kvyat will be in his fourth year as a Formula 1 driver and Carlos Sainz will now tackle his third season with us. They are a very talented pairing and I know they have worked very hard over the winter to be ready for the additional physical challenges involved in driving these new and faster cars. The crew that will look after the cars at the track is also very well prepared and generally, throughout the company we have the stability and strength in depth to tackle this season, when the pace of car development will be much faster than over the past couple of years.
All of this has been made possible by Red Bull, our owner and the best possible partner, along with Estrella Galicia, Acronis and Casio Edifice. Thank you everybody, let’s go racing!