Toro Rosso F1 team held crisis meeting after Austrian GP
|By Edd Straw||Thursday, July 3rd 2014, 18:43 GMT|
Toro Rosso Formula 1 team technical director James Key has revealed he held a "crisis meeting" after the Austrian Grand Prix to address reliability problems.
While Toro Rosso has been fast enough to be a regular top 10 starter, the squad has the worst finishing record of all teams in 2014, with its cars finishing only eight times in 16 attempts and just once during the last three races.
As a result of the meeting, Key has redoubled the team's focus on reliability, even if it is at the expense of adding performance in the short term.
"I had a bit of a crisis meeting after Austria to go through all of those issues to say either we are going through a tough patch or we are doing something wrong," said Key when asked by AUTOSPORT about the reliability problems.
"We recognised that we should probably step back a little and be 150 per cent sure that there is no unexpected stuff going on.
"We have got a lot of stuff [upgrades] in the pipeline that we are trying to push through.
"From an aero perspective, we are happy with the Austria platform, that was quite a big change and that was relatively safe as a set of developments, so aero-wise we haven't taken a step back.
"But I have instructed the guys to double check everything that we have got coming mechanically, to make sure that all the load cases have been checked and double checked, that safety factors are increased and we have done rig testing before they hit the car."
While there are few new components on the car for the British GP weekend as a result, it is hoped that the Toro Rosso will run reliably ready for further upgrades to be introduced at the following race in Germany.
"There are a few minor tweaks on the bodywork but fundamentally it's the same as Austria with adaptations to suit Silverstone with the high-speed corners," said Key.
"The next step on the car will come in Germany."
AUSTRIA RETIREMENTS EXPLAINED
Key added that the retirements of both Daniil Kvyat and Jean-Eric Vergne in Austria, which initially baffled the team, had been understood.
Kvyat suffered a trackrod failure, while it was discovered that a mistake had been made with the front brake blanking (whereby cooling vents are blocked off to avoid over-cooling) on Vergne's car.
"It appears to be an issue with the trackrod of his car on the rear-right," said Key of Kvyat's retirement.
"It's not something we had seen in the previous race with that suspension spec and not something we saw on JEV's car.
"But we looked at it and we are beefing it up to be more robust, but it was an unexpected issue.
"[On Vergne's car] that was a mistake with too much blanking on the front brakes, it just overheated.
"The other car didn't end up with the blanking but somehow we ended up with blanking on that car."