James Key is the mind that directs the team of engineers and designers Toro Rosso and the main responsible for the project, which should allow the Italian team to better positions on the grid at the 2017.
The next year, Toro Rosso will have the Renault engine and it is expected that problems of top-end speed end definitely, something that weighed in excess of Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat this year.
The british engineer recognizes that the 2017 is the biggest regulatory change since that is in the Formula 1, so that the challenge is of great importance. To try to overcome this, the team began to work on the car at the end of 2015, even before the regulations become fully defined.
“It’s a huge change. Honestly, from the point of view of the chassis, the suspension and tires, it is the largest that I have personally experienced in 19 years of F1. From the point of view of the chassis, is the biggest change of the last two decades, even greater than that of 2009, and certainly greater than that of 2014. It are exciting times!”
“Basically there are two processes in motion. First, you have a huge amount of development to do to try to understand what what car make with this regulation, without real experience, because for a long time, we can only operate in the virtual world (wind tunnel and Computational Fluid Dynamic). the process ends at the end of January. Second, start on the track for winter testing, after which there is that to start a season with all that work done in the virtual world”.
“we Started the project of 2017 in September 2015, so we have been 14 months. The regulation of chassis was not completed at that time, but we think that, with a change of this nature, the sooner we get started, the better.”
One of the advantages that can be exploited Toro Rosso is the collaboration with Red Bull, although James Key believes that it will be something more likely in 2018, when both bands already have experience with the new regulation.
“There are several areas now where it is acceptable to perform a piece for a team and another to use it, especially in relation to the thruster unit. But also in the gearbox and the suspension. Means that we can unify our resources a bit more and to have better synergies in those areas and, certainly, both teams are seeing what opportunities there are. The problem with the new regulation, obviously, is that it does not have anything to discuss because you have to tackle the entire design process”.
“In 2017 there will not be many opportunities for synergy, in the second year of this regulation, once it has worked under this regulation, it will open a lot more, so that, by 2018, there will be better opportunities. That said, having the same engine help, you can have a lot of common elements in certain areas of the power train”.
The car of 2017 is already being manufactured and the impact test required nearly ready, so that James Key says that there will be no problems to be in the first pre-season test at the end of February.
“We are manufacturing larger parts of the car of 2017. The chassis is being done according to the plan. It is still early, we don’t have a lot, but the first unit going well. The gearbox is on the way as the rest of the components, both manufactured in house as well as those of external suppliers.”
“Certainly, we’re going to stop at this moment, we are doing development work in the structures of impact and be on time to the test of winter (the equipment must pass the impact tests of the FIA before using the car on track). From a development point of view, we’re also going to stop, as is normal. We have a tight schedule in the winter“.
“With the new rules, we are paying particular attention to the loads of the car, which will be much higher because the corner speeds will be much higher. In addition we need to make sure that, structurally, we have not lost anything. have No experience with these cars, so we need to check twice that they are robust structurally. So it’s a winter very intense, we also have to discuss the development of the first part of the season”.