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11 February 2019 14:30

Haas F1 Team Formula 1 2019 Formula One World Championship

The William Dampier

First pictures: Toro Rosso STR14 2019 F1 car revealed

Toro Rosso have unveiled the team's 2019 challenger, to be driven by Daniil Kvyat and Alexander Albon during the 2019 Formula 1 season. His first ended when he was promoted to Red Bull in 2015 to replace Sebastian Vettel, but he returned just over a year later after struggling to impress. The Russian departed Toro Rosso before the end of the 2017 season after failing to recover his form and spent last year working with Ferrari as a simulator driver. The Thai-British driver contended with champion George Russell for the Formula 2 title this year, with Lando Norris also involved in a title fight that has seen all three competitors move up to F1. Toro Rosso has revealed the first images of its new contender for the 2019 F1 season, the STR14.

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Toro Rosso launch 2019 STR14 F1 car

This is the first time in four years Toro Rosso have enjoyed continuity in their power unit supplier from one year to the next, having previously switched between Renault and Ferrari. As parent team Red Bull has joined Toro Rosso is using Honda power, the two teams have been able to share more parts for the upcoming season. F1's rules set down which parts of a car a team must design itself, but Toro Rosso is now able to obtain more 'non-listed parts' from Red Bull. The junior Red Bull squad finished ninth in the championship last year, ahead of only the struggling Williams outfit. However there were encouraging signs of potential in the Toro Rosso-Honda package, such as Pierre Gasly's excellent fourth place in Bahrain, and the team's sixth and seventh on the grid at Suzuka when Honda introduced a significant power unit upgrade.

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While Toro Rosso has changed both its drivers for the upcoming season, the line-up is not entirely new. Daniil Kvyat first drove for the team five years ago and is making his return after spending 2018 as one of Ferrari's simulator drivers. Kvyat's team mate is newcomer Alexander Albon, who finished third in Formula Two last year behind fellow 2019 F1 debutants George Russell and Lando Norris. Albon had a contract to drive for Nissan's Formula E team this season, but scrapped the deal after he was offered the chance to return to the Red Bull fold for the first time since losing his place on their junior driver programme in 2012. Toro Rosso have become the second Formula 1 team to show off their 2019 challenger, after revealing the STR14 that will be driven by Alexander Albon and Daniil Kvyat this season.

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The car is an important one for the team, following the announcement that Toro Rosso and Red Bull would increase their technical cooperation for 2019. That will see the two squads' cars share an entire rear end – which includes the Honda power unit that Red Bull will switch to in 2019, plus the gearbox, rear suspension, and electronic and hydraulic components – as well as some front suspension parts. Driver line-up-wise, meanwhile, it's all change for Toro Rosso – and both Daniil Kvyat and Alexander Albon will doubtless be pleasantly surprised to find themselves in the positions they're in currently, given that Kvyat lost his drive with Toro Rosso before the end of the 2017 season, while F1 debutant Albon was dropped from Red Bull's Junior Team programme all the way back in 2012. Toro Rosso rolled out its 2019 Honda-powered STR14 at Faenza, a car that will be entrusted to F1 returnee Daniil Kvyat and rookie Alexander Albon. With both Red Bull and Toro Rosso now supplied by Honda, the junior bull outfit's STR14 has received its complete rear-end design from Milton Keynes' engineers, with the common componentry making life much easier for Honda.

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Toro Rosso concluded its 2018 campaign 9th in the Constructors' standings, but as a team that was helping Red Bull Racing lay the groundwork for its switch to Honda power this year, the Italian outfit was often forced to the back of the grid on Sundays as a result of grid penalties attached to its chronic engine component changes. Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost has already warned that his team will once again work in the interests of Red Bull Racing this year whenever required to help the senior squad's development rate. On the driver front, Red Bull has brought back to the fray 24-year-old Daniil Kvyat, who endured several gyrations between Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso between 2014 and 2017, when he left the Faenza team before the end of that season. Sitting opposite the Russian in the team's garage this season will be new recruit Alexander Albon. Toro Rosso has become the second Formula 1 team to launch its 2019 car ahead of the new season.

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Toro Rosso heads into the second year of its engine partnership with Honda looking to improve on its ninth-placed finish in the 2018 constructors' championship, having been encouraged by the Japanese manufacturer's gains towards the latter stages of last season. Honda's progress was enough to convince the Red Bull senior team to follow Toro Rosso's lead by switching power unit suppliers for the upcoming campaign, with Pierre Gasly being drafted in to replace the Renault-bound Daniel Ricciardo. Gasly's promotion to Red Bull opened the door for a surprise return to the sport for Daniil Kvyat, while Formula 2 frontrunner Alexander Albon has taken the seat of Brendon Hartley for what will be his rookie season. The Baftas attracted an audience of only 3.5 million viewers on Sunday night, amid criticism of the decision to broadcast the film awards on a time delay and poor reviews for the host, Joanna Lumley. The ceremony began at 7pm on Sunday and the BBC One broadcast started two hours later, meaning the winners of most categories were all over social media and news websites before TV viewers were able to tune in.

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Those watching at home saw that Roma had won the best film prize at 10.30pm, more than an hour after its director, Alfonso Cuarón, had stood on stage to accept the award. ITV appeared to benefit, attracting 5 million viewers to a new episode of the Inspector Morse spin-off series Endeavour during the same time slot as the Baftas. Better than the Golden Globes, not as good as the Oscars, essentially just another chance for Blighty to tell Hollywood that "The British are coming!" Even if they are travelling by ScotRail. A lot of effort has gone into glamming up the Baftas so that American stars will call in on their way to the Oscars on February 24. "Next year there will be a film called, 'And the Bafta goes to'." Don't give up the travel docs, Joanna.

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One drawback of the otherwise fabulous setting was that it took forever for the winners to reach the stage, by which time the right thing to do would have been to grab the award and skedaddle. Hardly compelling viewing, but the Baftas prefer to play things safe, even if it makes for a tedious watch not worthy of a Sunday night prime time slot. The winners of the 72nd annual BAFTA Awards were revealed on February 10. This was just 36 hours before Oscar voters began weigh in with their choices for the winners of the 91st annual Academy Awards. Last year, 13 of the BAFTA winners had a chance to practice their Oscar acceptance speeches, including all four acting champs.

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In 2017, the BAFTAs batted.500, with nine winners going on to claim Oscars and another nine not. "Roma" won the same four awards for Alfonso Cuaron that he is expected to claim at the Oscars: Best Picture, Director, Cinematography and Foreign Language Film. However, the British film "The Favourite" overperformed at the BAFTAs compared to its Oscar odds, winning six equivalent awards (plus Best British Film). SEE 2019 BAFTA Awards: Full winners list of the 72nd annual British Academy Film Awards PREDICT the Oscar winners now; change them until February 24 Releasing a film called The Favourite in awards season takes some nerve, but Bafta voters weren't in the mood on Sunday night to shoot down hubris. Not quite, though: blocking the broom's path in three crucial categories, including Best Film and Best Director, was Alfonso Cuarón's black-and-white historical epic Roma, which now seems likeliest to make off with Best Picture at the Oscars a week on Sunday.

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