Toro Rosso STR8 unveiled in Jerez
Scuderia Toro Rosso have revealed their 2013 F1 challenger, the STR8, in Jerez, a car team principal Franz Tost says must take the team to sixth place in the Constructors’ Championship.
“I’ve always had the desire and determination to succeed and now I’m ready to reinforce that and let everyone see what I’m all about.”
The Red Bull junior squad finished eighth in 2011 and had targeted improvement last year. However, the team was unable to find enough performance in 2012’s STR7 to progress and finished last year’s championship in ninth position. Tost is hoping for better in 2013.
“We have worked hard and hopefully done a good job these past months, but until we all line up on a real race grid, there will be no clear picture of what we can expect,” he said. “Nevertheless, we have set ourselves a target of finishing sixth in the Constructors’ classification.”
Last year’s tough season saw technical director Giorgio Ascanelli depart the team, with James Key joining and Tost admitted that the team's new look goes beyond the arrival of the former Sauber man.
“James Key has been with us for six months now, while Chief Designer Luca Furbatto has been in Faenza for just over a year and the STR8 is the first car to be penned by him and his design team,” he said.
“Both our drivers will also have new race engineers for this season,” he added. “Daniel Ricciardo will work with Marco Matassa, who was his data engineer and has already engineered him at a couple of races in 2012. Jean-Eric Vergne is teamed up with Phil Charles, formerly a race engineer at Renault F1.”
For Vergne and Ricciardo the 2013 season represents something of a make or break year. While both were afforded latitude as rookies in 2012, the new season is one in which they must deliver, but both insisted they were ready for the challenge.
“The 2013 version of me is a more confident person and driver, with more self-belief than last year,” said Ricciardo. “I’ve always had the desire and determination to succeed and now I’m ready to reinforce that and let everyone see what I’m all about.”
Vergne, who finished 2012 with 16 points, six clear of his team-mate, said his first priority is to beat Ricciardo again.
“My priorities for the coming year? The first one is of course to score as many points as possible,” he said. “After that, like any driver, I want to beat my team-mate. I learned a lot from him last year and I feel I am ready to do better and move forward.”