Toro Rosso STR4 launched – first pictures

2009 F1 season

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The Toro Rosso STR4 has been revealed, meaning the 2009 F1 grid is now complete.

Unsurprisingly, the STR4 is outwardly identical to the Red Bull RB5, albeit with the usual Toro Rosso paint job.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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38 comments on “Toro Rosso STR4 launched – first pictures”

  1. it does look quite good

  2. that nose is very interesting…

  3. If this and the RB5 go as well as they look it’s going to be a Red Bull-heavy season.

  4. I actually bought a red bull for the first time simply because these cars so look awesome. I love the gold details, hope its fast.

    1. Have they managed to get you to buy their cola yet? I see this has it on the rear wing endplates as the RB5 does.

    2. I’ve tried their cola. Not to my liking, going to stick to Coca-Cola :)

    3. I’m tempted to get their cola — have not seen it in local shops yet, though. caffeine++ and artificial ingredients– sounds like a good combination. Plus they sponsor the RB Air Race which is really neat (too bad I won’t have time to attend the US race in California. Ticket prices are quite cheap).

      And oh, Keith, many people have already commented on the “pain job” thing. For some reason the RBR5/STR4 does not look as good in STR colors than its predecessor, though. The high nose looks a bit monstrous.

  5. StrFerrari4Ever
    9th March 2009, 7:48

    now that thats wat im talking about i waited a week nervously to see this and its finally here well i hope it has serious pace with that Ferrari engine going to be interesting to see if its better than the RB5 with the Renault engine damn today’s gonna be brilliant dont yu think :D

  6. StrFerrari4Ever
    9th March 2009, 7:55

    haha im going to buy crates of the stuff :) fancy some keith? ;)

  7. They’ve put out a fairly lengthy press release which I’ve added to the

  8. looks like a photo copy of red bull. didn’t expect more from them .no originality of course same old “red bull S#^%” livery . think they will be fighting on the grid with the likes of ferrari & brawn gp. just wanted to know whether they will be using their own KERS or do they have a deal with ferrari for KERS. i think both the red bull & the toro rosso designed by adrian newey will prove to be fast but very fragile. newey has a reputation of designing some very radical & unreliable cars. hope renault & ferrari have sorted their engine & kers issues or else we will be seeing very little of these cars during the races. good bless g.berger & the 2 Sebastiens.

    1. Berger has sold his share back to Mateschitz

  9. Last sentence: “paint job” rather than “pain job”?

    Otherwise nice looking car – will help us compare Ferrari vs Renault engine much better, as the chassis variable is removed here.

  10. Just had another idea – how much info sharing goes on between Red Bull and Toro Rosso? What if Red Bull is a front runner this year, competing with Ferrari, could Toro Rosso help them out by giving info about the Ferrari engine’s performance?

  11. Keith, I didn’t think it was THAT bad – ‘the usual Toro Rosso pain job.’

  12. Now that is a very nice looking F1 car. Although it looks identical to the RB5, that paint job really does look smart.

    It’s going to be harder to tell the two Red Bull teams apart this year. The Toro Rosso blue is lighter than pervious years, and their gold is less gold and more yellow.

    It is beautifully metallic, almost pearlescent, though. Love the gild swirly bits too.

    The future’s bright, the future’s Red (Bull).

  13. Their livery is very very similar to RedBull; except for engine cover; everything else is same.

    It will be tough to spot the 3 Sebs and Webber.

  14. As expected it’s a Red Bull with a different paint job. I agree that it may be hard to tell them apart due to the different shades used on the Toro Rosso this year.

    Is this the last year when Red Bull and Toro Rosso are supposed to be allowed to use the same chassis or has that changed with all the recent cost cutting measures?

    1. Yes, they are supposed to be using their own chassis next year, not withstanding any new cost-cutting measures that may be announced. Of course, they should benefit from the low-cost engine supplies, as will Red Bull, so the total cost saving for Red Bull Technologies will be significant.

    2. But Autosport reports somwhwat different roadmap for Toro Rosso for the year 2010:

      “Toro Rosso are having to gear up to design their own car from scratch for 2010, with their exemption to use a ‘customer car’ running out at the end of this year.”

      What is more, Scuderia Toro Rosso’s technical director Giorgio Ascanelli insists his team’s new STR4 is not simply a rebadged Red Bull Racing RB5.

      Full article:

    3. Sorry for misspell in my comment and misunderstanding for your comment. Apparantly I “mis”sed so much that I’m get so nervous (:

    4. I guess they have similar “repackaging” and reliability concerns to Brawn and Force India – effectively it’s a change of engine from the original design, at short notice.

      They’ve hit the ground running though, looking at Monday’s test times. Melbourne is looking more and more like anyone’s race…:)

      I think it’s the best looking car of all – a cleaner colour scheme than Red Bull’s. Shame they’ve both written “Red Bull” in exactly the same place…

  15. It’s too simplistic to say that STR4 is simply RB5 with a Ferrari engine and a different paint job.

    Properly installing a Ferrari engine and KERS in a car designed around a Renault engine and KERS isn’t the work of a moment. While the engines are probably similar in terms of dimensions, weight, etc there are likely to be significant differences in the Ferrari and Renault KERS systems. STR will have had to rework electrics, hydraulics and cooling systems. There may also have been some small aero and suspension geometry changes needed too. These are relatively minor changes but they require major input, especially with a car so elegantly and tightly packaged as RB5.

    STR’s real task is not just to install a Ferrari engine in a car designed for a Renault, but to make sure it isn’t losing the fine detailing and performance of the RB5. Adrian Newey designed RB5 from a blank sheet of paper. Giorgio Ascanelli and co will not have had that luxury.

    1. That’s very true I was being a bit flippant. Here’s what Ascanelli had to say about the work involved:

      Red Bull Technology does extremely significant work in defining the essential characteristics of the new car: its length, wheelbase, weight distribution, its basic metric characteristics. However, with any F1 car, the packaging revolves around an engine and peculiarities from the drivers and, as we run a different engine to our sister team, it involves a different fuel system and fuel tank. Therefore, ours is completely different to the Red Bull Racing car and is designed here by us.

      The same goes for the water and oil systems linked to the engine. Different engines have different heat rejection and different operating temperatures, with materials specified to different levels. Also, the tolerances, which you have to respect when building an engine, are tuned in such a way that an engine works at its best within a defined temperature range. This in itself conditions the radiators and also all of the internal aerodynamics. That then impacts on the aero side and this work is also done in Faenza.

      The engine mates to a gearbox via some fixings and a clutch. Here again the clutch installation is completely different between the two cars. In fact, the clutch itself is very different and the work of installing clutch and gearbox is also completely done in Faenza, involving a casing designed in Faenza and using completely different technology to the one Red Bull Technology provides to Red Bull Racing. The same goes for the oil and water radiators and the entire hydraulic and electronic systems.

  16. In terms of engine performance, I don’t see any overwhelming difference between them. However, reliability is another issue – Exceptionally, Renault were allowed to make significant changes, I envisage that this might bring out a gremlin, or two.

  17. Now seeing the launch photos rather than just the studio ones, the blue is still darker and the gold is still gold. It must have been the studio lighting.

  18. Not bad, slick lean and mean…

  19. Scott Joslin
    9th March 2009, 12:55

    It almost looks black in some pictures. JPS Lotus anyone?

  20. Mouse_Nightshirt
    9th March 2009, 14:01

    Those pictures make Bourdais look like Heikki with a shaved head and glasses, and like Buemi has a very sharp point in his race seat.

  21. I never really like the STR on TV but it looks awesome in person. I hope the team do well enough this year to justify the investment it’ll need for them to build a car next year.

  22. looks great!

  23. So it is RB5 with a differnt paint and engine, Ok I get that. So if next year they are to have to use the different chassie, Why not just call the whole team Red Bull Racing and now they have four cars with the same chassie, engine change optional? RB is a four car team why not just put it on paper that way and get rid of the STR banner? Can anyone anser that for me. BTW nice car but I like the RBR better.

    1. Because I believe teams can run no more than 2 cars.

  24. Very nice, the livery is – as ever – prettier than the Red Bull.

    And I started drinking Red Bull Cola before the adverts started! :P

  25. looks alright… better than last years car. i expected the 09 cars to look weird but they do look better.

    once again mclaren were running slow today and almost 3secs of the pace… they were running the 09 rear wing tho. lets just hope they get their ***** into gear.

  26. interesting another team to have exploited the blind spot

  27. I’m loving both Red Bull’s and the Toro Rosso’s cars this season. As Keith said, if the cars perform as good as they look, they’ll kick ass this season. And I really hope they do.

  28. Very nice looking car, I love the nose, don’t ask why!

    I think the cars will be very different, we saw that last year, although that was significantly down to the lack in Renault Horsepower. Having said, that I always felt, well from a viewers standpoint at least, the STR was easier to drive. Does anybody else share this opinion?

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