Overtime for Toro Rosso staff ahead of new season


ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 25: Daniil Kvyat of Scuderia Toro Rosso and Russia during practice for the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit on November 25, 2016 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images). Credit: Red Bull Content Pool

Pre-season testing for the 2017 Formula 1 season kicks off in Barcelona on February 27, and Scuderia Toro Rosso will enforce a 24/7 work schedule for its staff, over a four-week period, to ensure they are ready this year.

The huge changes that have been introduced for 2017 means teams have a race against time to get their challengers ready before the start of winter testing, even with the later start date this season.

The intense schedule is nothing new for staff at the Faenza based squad, as the team had to adopt a similar strategy last year due to the delay in sister team Red Bull Racing announcing its engine plans for 2016.

This year there is no such issue, but as he explained to Autosport.com recently, Team Principal Franz Tost wants to ensure they are fully prepared.

“From the production side, we will have to work 24/7 for a period.

“From the middle of January to the middle of February, we will run three shifts per day.

“It’s a very short period because it’s quite cost intensive.”

The months preceding winter testing are the most frantic of times for F1 teams, as they strive to make the tight timescales. Tost is confident however, that Toro Rosso will meet the deadlines as planned.

“It becomes tricky when the aerodynamic department do not want to release the drawings and they just want to gain another day.

“It becomes always very tight but it’s a performance gain. It’s every year the same story, nothing changes.

“As long as you can stay in the wind tunnel and do research and development, there’s more performance you can come up with.

“This is the difference with a small team, once we set up the deadline we must say ‘stop now’, because otherwise we don’t drive.

“We need to have the decision about the drawing release on a certain date and then they know it’s absolutely latest, it’s not possible anymore because we’re on the limit.”

The Faenza based squad were powered by a 2015 specification Scuderia Ferrari engine in 2016 that they were unable to update, and that saw them struggle for performance last season, especially towards the end of their campaign.

This year they have gone down the same route as Red Bull and will be powered by the latest Renault engine, a switch they hope will see them move dramatically up the order in 2017.