Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis
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Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis

F1 tech review: How Toro Rosso’s adaptability helped boost Honda

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F1 tech review: How Toro Rosso’s adaptability helped boost Honda
By: Giorgio Piola
Co-author: Matthew Somerfield
Dec 21, 2018, 5:42 PM

If any team can make a late transition to a new power unit partner, and still be relatively successful, it’s Toro Rosso. The Italian ‘minnow’ has become accustomed to this in recent years, switching to Renault at the start of the hybrid era, before returning to Ferrari power in 2016. The decision to move to Honda for 2018 came later than ever though...

It should not be underestimated just how much work must be undertaken to switch supplier, with each of the power units having their own physical, cooling and even aerodynamic demands. Unsurprisingly this workload did have an impact on the STR13, perhaps reducing the team’s chances of fighting those around it towards the back of the grid.

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However, it can also be seen as vital, as the car became a mobile laboratory for Honda as it continues to recover ground to Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault under these engine regulations. Sister team Red Bull will now make the switch to the Japanese manufacturer in 2019, and here’s the pictorial story of how Toro Rosso went through that process...

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Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13 rear

Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13 rear
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

This shot of the STR13 with the covers off at the British GP gives us some great insight into how the team arranged their internal cooling, taking on board the saddle cooler layout on top of the airbox previously used by McLaren and likely favoured by Honda.

Toro Rosso STR13 halo fin

Toro Rosso STR13 halo fin
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Toro Rosso was not on their own when it came to producing aero fins for their halo, but while most used the 20mm tolerance to control airflow on the top surface of the safety structure, they also opted to create surfaces on the underside. At the launch its fairing featured a winglet under the ‘widows peak’ to help with general airflow and also buffeting.

Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13 steering wheel detail

Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13 steering wheel detail
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Photo by: Erik Junius

A look across at the STR13’s steering wheel and the various controls at the drivers’ disposal.

Toro Rosso STR13 floor

Toro Rosso STR13 floor
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The team has become well known for its interesting solutions, often copied by many in the field, this area of the floor being one of them in recent years. It raised the complexity level notches a few levels further in 2018 too, utilising multiple L-shaped fully enclosed holes and an array of flaps just ahead of the tyre.

Toro Rosso STR13 front wing endplate comparison

Toro Rosso STR13 front wing endplate comparison
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Towards the end of the season it decided to make another aerodynamic push, as this new front wing arrived for the US GP, but with limited running in Free Practice it opted to wait until next time to run it. The new design featured a shorter endplate and an additional flap at the rear (arrowed) much like other teams had introduced earlier in the season.

Toro Rosso STR13 bargeboard

Toro Rosso STR13 bargeboard
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

As part of the US GP update the team also had a revised set of bargeboards, which featured a full length vertical slot in the forwardmost element (red arrow) and new sidepod deflectors (white arrow).

Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13

Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13
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Photo by: Mark Sutton

A look at the STR13’s bargeboards at the car’s launch, an area that most certainly evolved throughout the year.

Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13

Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13
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Photo by: Sutton Images

An added splash of colour on the STR13 as the team got testing underway in Barcelona. The team is checking that the wing is performing as expected, using flo-viz on one side and a hi-speed camera checking deflection on the other.

Pierre Gasly, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13

 Pierre Gasly, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13
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Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / LAT Images

Another flo-viz test during the pre-season test for the STR13.

Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13 rear diffuser detail

Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13 rear diffuser detail
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Photo by: Mark Sutton

A close up of the STR13’s diffuser at the Bahrain GP.

Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13 front brake and wheel hub detail

Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13 front brake and wheel hub detail
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Photo by: Mark Sutton

Toro Rosso employed a blown axle for 2018, here’s a close up of it and the brake assembly.

Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13 halo detail

Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13 halo detail
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

A close up of the winglets placed on the underside of the halo to help guide the airflow around the safety structure.

Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13 front suspension detail

Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13 front suspension detail
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Photo by: Mark Sutton

Toro Rosso crew making changes to the front suspensions third damper in China.

Toro Rosso STR13 bargeboards

Toro Rosso STR13 bargeboards
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Photo by: Mark Sutton

An overview of the bargeboard region in Azerbaijan.

Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13 bodywork detail

Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13 bodywork detail
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

A look at the complex and slotted floor region ahead of the tyre on the STR13 in Azerbaijan.

Brendon Hartley, Toro Rosso STR13

Brendon Hartley, Toro Rosso STR13
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Photo by: Andrew Hone / LAT Images

A top-down overview of the STR13’s front-end as Brendon Hartley emerges from the garage in Monaco.

Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13 bargeboard detail

Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13 bargeboard detail
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

A close-up of the bargeboard configuration used at the Monaco GP.

Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13 aero detail

Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13 aero detail
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Photo by: Mark Sutton / Sutton Images

A close-up of the under nose/chassis turning vanes which are split into three main sections but have serrated footplates too.

Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13 nose detail

Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13 nose detail
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

A look inside the STR13’s nosecone reveals the airflows passageway through the twin S-duct channels.

Toro Rosso STR13 mirror

Toro Rosso STR13 mirror
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Toro Rosso adopted two-piece mirrors, similar to the ones used by Ferrari, seen here at Silverstone.

Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13 rear wing detail

Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13 rear wing detail
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Photo by: Mark Sutton

The slotted and wavy T-wing employed by Toro Rosso, as seen here in Hungary.

Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13 bargeboards

Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13 bargeboards
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Photo by: Manuel Goria / Sutton Images

An extreme close-up of the bargeboards and their various surfaces and serrations.

Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13

Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13
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Photo by: Mark Sutton / Sutton Images

As the mechanics prepare the STR13 for action in Belgium we get to see the front suspensions caged third damper arrangement, which encloses a Belleville spring configuration.

Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13 rear wheel hub

Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13 rear wheel hub
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Photo by: Mark Sutton / Sutton Images

Time in the garage at the Belgian GP allows us a good view of the rear brake assembly.

Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13 rear diffuser

Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13 rear diffuser
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Photo by: Mark Sutton

Great view of the STR13’s diffuser in Russia, note the slots in the vertical strakes which allow the airflow to migrate from one side to the other as the car rotates.

Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13 bargeboards

Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13 bargeboards
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Photo by: Mark Sutton

A close up of the bargeboard and sidepod deflector region in Russia.

Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13 exhaust

Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13 exhaust
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

A close up of the rather elegant winglet used in Russia and hung from the rear wing support pillar in order to redirect airflow and influence the exhaust plume.

Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13 with rear aero sensor

Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13 with rear aero sensor
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Photo by: Mark Sutton / Sutton Images

Brendon Hartley with a large kiel probe array mounted behind the STR13 during Free Practice at the Japanese GP as the team collected some data.

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Series Formula 1
Teams Toro Rosso Shop Now
Author Giorgio Piola