Toro Rosso has expanded its Faenza facility and built its new STR4 for the first time, it emerged on Monday.

Toro Rosso has expanded its Faenza facility and built its new STR4 for the first time, it emerged on Monday.

In the Circuit de Catalunya pitlane, the Italian based squad unveiled the Ferrari-powered car, and began testing it with Sebastien Bourdais at the wheel, insisting it is not a clone of sister team Red Bull's RB5.

"With any F1 car, the packaging revolves around an engine and peculiarities from the drivers and, as we run a different engine to our sister team, it involves a different fuel system and fuel tank," team boss Franz Tost said.

"Therefore, ours is completely different to the Red Bull Racing car and is designed here by us."

The STR4, however, is visibly identical to the RB5, having been designed by Adrian Newey and his team at Red Bull Technology.

But the 'customer car' issue remains highly contentious in F1 circles, with the practice to be phased out completely for 2010 by the precise definition of the term 'constructor'.

Team manager Gianfranco Fantuzzi insists that, unlike in previous years, the STR4 was produced almost entirely at Faenza.

"We have now made the actual chassis in-house, whereas last year it was produced by Carbotec in Austria," he said, revealing that the process involved re-commissioning the old Minardi autoclave and hiring more staff.

A new building, to become a machine shop, is also under construction, Toro Rosso said.

 

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