Ferrari using STR to test engines? UPDATE Toro Rosso have strenuously denied that they are being forced to test old engines in Friday practice sessions by their engine supplier Ferrari. A report appeared in the German publication Auto Motor und Sport today claiming that Ferrari were using Toro Rosso as a B-team to test the longevity of their V8 powerplants, a claim dismissed by the Faenza-based squad.
Suspicion was aroused when both Toro Rossos appeared at the bottom of the speed trap readings in the Turkish Grand Prix Friday practice sessions at the weekend, before gaining 5 km/h when race engines were fitted on Saturday morning.
When contacted by Manipe F1, a Toro Rosso spokesperson explained that it is the team's decision to run with whatever engines they see fit. With a limit of eight engines per driver per season, all teams are being forced to test their engine mileage to the limit, especially in Friday practice.
“You've got a certain number of engines [per season] - you do what you have to do, bringing an engine to the end of their life before changing it,” the spokesperson told Manipe F1. “The engineers have got their plans, their program. They decide everything together.
“At the end of the day, you can have your reasons to use an engine until the very last possible kilometer, and you just do it.” 06/10/09 (GMM) Toro Rosso is being used by Ferrari as a sort of formula one 'B-team', according to a report in the German press.
Auto Motor und Sport magazine claims the Faenza based team has been asked all season to use progressively ageing engines throughout the three hours of free practice on Fridays.
It is suggested that Ferrari, the supplier of customer engines to the Red Bull sister team, is using the arrangement to test the longevity of its 2.4 liter V8s.
The problem for Toro Rosso, however, is that the engines used in Turkey by Sebastien Bourdais and Sebastien Buemi were each six Fridays old, and therefore 15kmh slower than the majority of the rest of the field.
This meant that, on Saturday with fresher engines fitted, the drivers encountered vastly different motor cars, whose Friday set up work was largely irrelevant.
Auto Motor und Sport said STR's Friday engines had 2,500 kilometers on the odometer.
"After 1400 kilometers, the power diminishes dramatically," team boss Franz Tost is quoted as saying.