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The Toro Rosso team has admitted that it sometimes makes use of data from sister team Red Bull Racing; although customer cars are banned in Formula One, the two teams - both run by the Austrian energy drink producer - do not hide the fact that data can be shared between the two organisations.
"On some occasions it is true, but not everywhere," Franz Tost, Team Principal to Toro Rosso told the official F1 website. "We have a different engine to Red Bull Racing (Ferrari as opposed to Renault) and we have a different KERS system which means that the weight distribution is different, and therefore we cannot match all the data, only some."
Red Bull Racing first made its Formula One appearance in 2005 following their takeover of the Jaguar operation, with Minardi becoming Toro Rosso one year later. "The main work we do by ourselves," Tost continued. "It is also a question of the drivers - the drivers give different requests for car setups so it requires special and specific decisions for each driver and each car."
The team experienced a superb season in 2008 by finishing sixth in the final constructors' standings, one position and ten points ahead of Red Bull Racing. The highlight of the year came in Italy as Sebastian Vettel cruised to both pole position and the race win.
With just over one week remaining until first practice commences in Australia, Tost is positive over the prospects of the new STR4: "The car looks fantastic. Red Bull Technology and Adrian Newey (designer of both Red Bull cars) have done a great job, although after only one test it is difficult to say where we stand performance-wise. Overall last week's running in Jerez was satisfying although we did have a problem with the front suspension on day one, so after only 20 laps of running we decided to stop for safety reasons."
The team is not hiding the fact that is it behind in terms of pace and, like the Brawn and Force India teams in particular, will be continuing to develop its car during Friday practices on race weekends as the season progresses.
Scuderia Toro Rosso
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