11 February 2019 14:30
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.