Scuderia Toro Rosso will be designing and building its own cars in 2010 at the old Minardi factory in Faenza. The design work on the new car is being done by a team in Faenza led by the team’s technical director Giorgio Ascanelli. The team’s chief designer will be 35-year-old Ben Butler, who began his career with an apprenticeship at Lotus Engineering before joining Stewart Grand Prix in 1998. He remained with the team when it became Jaguar Racing and was then transformed into Red Bull Racing. In 2006 he was seconded to Scuderia Toro Rosso and has been working as the STR cars in recent years. He became the chief designer at the team on September 1. Among others who have been recruited to the team are Canadian James Blake, formerly of Bombardier and McLaren, and a number of aerodynamic staff including Niccolo Petrucci and Victor de Oliveira, both from Brawn, and Mitchell Russian from Renault. The STR aerodynamic and CFD group is based in Bicester, in the old Jaguar windtunnel which was built in the original Reynard Racing Cars building. Ironically, this is next to the Wirth Research facilities where the Manor F1 car is being constructed, although Nick Wirth is designing his F1 car without using any windtunnels, believing that the job can be done entirely with CFD these days. The F1 world will be watching with interest to see if Wirth is right. In theory CFD is much more efficient than windtunnel work as the computers can run automatic tests 24 hours a day and try out many more things without the need to create physical models.
The only question is whether the results equate to what happens on the race track.