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F1 NEWS 

Toro Rosso switch to paint for aero gains

Tonio Liuzzi in the Bahrain Grand Prix, his STR2 carrying stickersScuderia Toro Rosso have changed the way they paint their car's livery in a bid to improve its aerodynamic efficiency.

The Italian-based outfit had undertaken a detailed review at ways to improve their STR2, and they hope the fine-tuning programme will add extra speed alongside more traditional developments.

One of the key changes implemented is that the team will no longer use stickers on the bodywork - especially with the design of the large red bull on the engine cover.

Instead, the team will now paint the car - a move that chief engineer Laurent Mekies believes has both aerodynamic and weight benefits.

"We have worked hard on the quality of the surface of our aero parts to get more performance out of them and to this end, we have now removed all the stickers from the bodywork and replaced them with paint," said Mekies.

"This not only makes for a smoother, less resistant surface, it also brings with it a weight saving benefit. From an aesthetic point of view, the car also looks much nicer."

Alongside aerodynamic updates, which include a new rear wing and sidepod wings for this weekend, Mekies says that much effort has been made to improve quality control at the team.

"As everyone knows, we really had to rush simply to get parts ready for the first three races, and the price we paid for rushing was that the quality level was not up to the standard we wanted," he explained.

"Now, we have worked on the aero quality of the parts, which involves ensuring that there is a better fit between all the bodywork components. There are a large number of bodywork components and the quality of the fit between them can have a significant effect on their aero efficiency.

"We believe this pursuit of efficiency is just as important as getting something like new barge boards or wing endplates. We are paying attention to detail and going for a quality product, optimising what we have.

"This is an ongoing task in an area where you are constantly striving to improve. The result of our efforts is that we should be in better shape for Barcelona than we were at the first three races."

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