Scuderia Toro Rosso have confirmed that they will not hold off an official launch of its 2016 challenger until February 29, although the car will make its on-track debut in the first pre-season test next week at the Circuit de Catalunya.
Due to the Italian team’s switch from Renault to a year-old Ferrari engine at the end of the 2015 season, staff have been forced to work extra shifts in order to complete the STR11 in time before next week’s pre-season testing, which has meant they have had no time to sort out their livery.
Team boss, Franz Tost, confirmed on Monday that Toro Rosso was on schedule to rolling out their car for the first pre-season test at Barcelona next Monday, and also revealed that the outfit have decided that they would run a temporary test livery in Barcelona.
“It will be a blue car,” Tost confirmed when asked about the livery plans.
“We will present the car officially on the 29th of February because we are so late with everything. We want to make a proper paint job as well, so we will present the car only then in Barcelona.”
Tost is not worried about the first pre-season testing with the car on track to completion, with a fire-up of the Ferrari-powered STR11 expected to take place some point on Monday.
“In F1 you have always two problems,” said Tost. “You run out of time and you run out of timing. That is always the same. It is nothing new this year.
“Nevertheless, because of the late decision of what engine we were running this season everything got a little bit late, but our people did a fantastic job.
“The car is nearly ready. I think we will have the fire-up today and we absolutely on schedule. Therefore I am not worried for the first test in Barcelona.”
Spaniard Carlos Sainz Jr is scheduled to test the STR11 on Monday, before handing the car over to Dutch sensation Max Verstappen for day two.