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Toro Rosso aiming for eighth with 'unconventional' STR6 01 Feb 2011

(L to R): Jaime Alguersuari (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso and Sebastien Buemi (SUI) Scuderia Toro Rosso unveil the new Scuderia Toro Rosso STR6. Formula One Testing, Day 1, Valencia, Spain, Tuesday 1 February 2011. (L to R): Jaime Alguersuari (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso with Sebastien Buemi (SUI) Scuderia Toro Rosso. Formula One Testing, Day 1, Valencia, Spain, Tuesday 1 February 2011. Jaime Alguersuari (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR6. 
Formula One Testing, Day 1, Valencia, Spain, Tuesday, 1 February 2011 Jaime Alguersuari (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR6. 
Formula One Testing, Day 1, Valencia, Spain, Tuesday, 1 February 2011 Jaime Alguersuari (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR6. Formula One Testing, Day 1, Valencia, Spain, Tuesday 1 February 2011.

The season hasn’t even begun yet, but Toro Rosso already have a firm idea about where in the standings they want to end the year. At the launch of their new car, the STR6, in Valencia on Tuesday the Italian team made it clear they are aiming for eighth in the constructors’ championship, after finishing 2010 in ninth place.

The 2011 season will be Toro Rosso’s sixth in Formula One competition and the second year they’ve designed their car in-house, at their Faenza factory and their Bicester wind tunnel facility. For technical director Giorgio Ascanelli it’s exciting to finally see his ambitious car design hit the track.

“This year the tools which design the car in its performance aspect, which are again the wind tunnel and CFD, are more mature, which means that although we are still learning how to make the best of them I think we have started using them properly,” Ascanelli explained.

“The change in rules has led us to make some 14 changes and yes, we think we have been a little bit more ambitious than last year. For this year, we have to aim for eighth place, because that is our target and I didn’t think that was possible if we had gone with some sort of conventional car.

"It’s an ambitious way, if it doesn’t work that will be my responsibility and I am going to take it. We will try to do better and we will try to fulfil our mission which is at the end of 2011, we want to have a 2012 which is better than 2011.”

Team Principal Franz Tost is just as determined to push the team further up the order in 2011.

“The past five years have shown a good history for the team, as we had to build everything up almost from zero,” said Tost. “We are quite confident that we have a good future and can have a good year in 2011.

“The first hope is that we perform well, with a good, fast, competitive car. Apart from that, we need the drivers and the team to do a good job and if all these components come together then I am convinced we can have a good season and close the gap to our direct competitors.”

Toro Rosso will once again field Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari for the 2011 season. The two drivers racked up just eight and five points respectively in 2010, and it’s clear both want to make more of an impression on the scoreboard this year.

“I have big expectations to be honest, as I have quite a lot of experience now. I know all the circuits, I know how Formula One works and we also have quite a lot of experience in terms of building up the car,” said Buemi. “We switched the focus to the 2011 car pretty early in the season last year, so I have big hopes for the start of the season and how things will work out. So, if all goes well and hopefully it will, we should be able to score many points and finish in the top eight of the constructors’ championship.”

Alguersuari added: “I think it is definitely a key season for me this year. Every season is important and definitely this one is going to be very significant for myself, because it is my second full year in Formula One and because it is the second year that Toro Rosso builds its own car, so it will be completely decisive for our future, for the future of Toro Rosso and for my future, because we obviously need to target our competitors which are Williams, Force India and Sauber. We need to fight against them and finish the championship ahead of them.”

In a change from 2010, the two drivers will alternate in handing their car over to reserve driver Daniel Ricciardo for Friday morning practice sessions of race weekends. Combined with his drive in the World Series championship, it will mean a busy year for Ricciardo, but the Australian is ready for the challenge.

“I think it will hit me in Bahrain, when I’m rolling out of pit lane for the very first time!” he said. “I’ll be on the same track with guys I’ve been watching for ten years or so and it will be good fun. I’m sure I’ll enjoy it and from then on, as I drive the session I’m sure it will feel as normal as it can. Hopefully I will seize the opportunity with both hands and see where it goes from there. I expect to be working with the team for the rest of the weekend too. It will be to my benefit, to learn as much as I can from the other drivers.”

The STR6 is already on track at Valencia, with Alguersuari in the cockpit. The team will continue to test their new charge over the next three days.

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