For many weeks now, it's been a case of what William Shakespeare would have described as "2B or not 2B" as Scuderia Toro Rosso has wrestled with the decision regarding which car to run in the Turkish Grand Prix.
The original plan, having decided as long ago as last year to start this season with a modified version of the 2007 STR2, was to introduce the new 2008 car, the STR3 at the fifth round of the world championship, the Turkish Grand Prix.
However, STR2B has been given a stay of execution and will have its swansong in Istanbul. For the reasons why, over to Scuderia Toro Rosso Chief Engineer, Laurent Mekies: "Everyone in the company has worked really hard to try and meet the deadline of running the new car in Turkey, but we had to make the tough call of delaying the arrival of STR3 by one more race. The main reason is that we do not feel we have enough spare parts to run the new cars in a totally professional manner."
This means the new car will debut in the glamorous surroundings of Monaco. "As one can imagine, given the unique nature of the Monaco track and the working conditions at the circuit, this is not an ideal venue to run a new car for the first time," continues Mekies. "However, everyone is prepared to face the challenge and give it our best shot."
Meanwhile, the team is equally keen to give the old car a good send off at the technically demanding Istanbul Park circuit. "This will be the first time for Sebastien Bourdais on this track so we have tried to work as much as we could off-track to get him to the right level of preparation for the coming race," says Mekies. "In any case, so far this year, he has shown that he can adapt pretty quickly to a new track. Sebastian Vettel was already driving for us in Turkey last year: it was his second race with the team and he performed well there. This weekend, we will try and put together all our knowledge about the STR2B for this challenging track, which is one of the few where you can actually overtake other cars! Hopefully we will have some good racing in Istanbul, so that we can end this car's career in style!"