Key laments Mercedes coincidence

27/02/2017
NEWS STORY

When Mercedes tweeted: "You know what guys, that... looks... ACE #respect", to Toro Rosso as the team unveiled its 2017 contender, most assumed the German team was agreeing with the fact that the Faenza outfit's STR12 is one of the prettiest cars we've seen this year.

However, James Key isn't so sure, believing the tweet to be a backhanded compliment, a dig even, at the fact that aspects of the Faenza car bear a striking similarity to the Brackley outfit's challenger, especially in terms of the nose, sidepods and front suspension.

"On the one hand we were sort of pleased to see someone else has done a similar thing," said Key, according to Autosport, "but on the other we were disappointed that we weren't the only team to think of something.

"There are many different concepts out there actually," he continued. "The diversity is very obvious. But I looked at the Mercedes and went 'Ah, they've got our front suspension'.

"Most people would say we've got Mercedes' front suspension," he added. "The nose is similar, the front of the sidepods is similar, even the bodywork on the sidepods is similar. It's complete coincidence."

Referring to the move to a - dare we say, Mercedes-style - narrower nose, he said: "It's very much an aerodynamic decision from our group, who looked at the various options. It is a different direction to the one we've had, the last two years have been reasonably similar, for us but also for other teams.

"Looking at the various options, that narrow nose and narrow pylon space at the front we felt matched the philosophy we thought was correct for the car at the time."

While Key might have been disappointed by the "similarities", driver Carlos Sainz was positively enthused.

"When the car looks similar to the car that is winning every race, it gives me confidence and a good feeling," said the Spaniard. "I think Toro Rosso can be confident because if there is something they showed in the last three years, it is that they are able to do some good aerodynamics.

"We will probably not win the championship, I am not asking for that," he admitted, "but a weapon that allows us to be in the top 10, that is what I expect and I really hope for.

Check out our Toro Rosso STR12 gallery, here.

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Published: 27/02/2017
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