Spanish unveiling for the Toro Rosso STR8 04 Feb 2013
On the eve of the first pre-season test in Spain, Toro Rosso have launched the car with which they will contest the 2013 FIA Formula One World Championship.
The Italian teams unchanged driver line-up of Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Verge took the wraps off the Ferrari-powered STR8 - the eighth car produced by Toro Rosso - in the Jerez pit lane on Monday afternoon.
The STR8 is the first car to be designed by Toro Rossos strengthened technical team led by chief designer Luca Furbatto, who joined the company just over a year ago, while the whole project has been overseen by James Key, the teams technical director since last September.
Formula One is approaching a new era, specifically in 2014, and, at Toro Rosso, we have already made significant changes to our structure both in terms of manpower and facilities, to be ready for that, said team principal Franz Tost. We believe the changes made will also help in the short term for this coming season and, combined with the fact that Daniel and Jean-Eric are more experienced, now that they have a season with us under their belts, we start winter testing in a mood of justified optimism.
Australian Ricciardo, starting his second full season with Toro Rosso, commented: The 2013 version of me is a more confident person and driver, with more self-belief than last year. Ive always had the desire and determination to succeed and now Im ready to reinforce that and let everyone see what Im all about. I spent most of the winter down under and when I came back into the factory in Faenza, I could feel a very positive atmosphere with everyone excited about the new car. The target for us this year is very simple: to improve on last year.
French team mate Vergne, also beginning his second F1 campaign with Toro Rosso, added : Going into this season is a completely different experience to this time last year, when I had to deal with a lot of unknowns. I had to learn the majority of tracks, understand so many details about Formula One and adapt to working with the team. This year, I will still be learning - you never stop in Formula One - but the basics are there and I will be able to focus on more important aspects of the job. In general, I sense a new philosophy within Toro Rosso: I wouldnt say people are working harder, but maybe they are going in a better direction.
Toro Rosso endured a tough 2012 season, finishing a lonely ninth in the constructors standings with 26 points, their best results being two eighth places, in Belgium and Korea. Their new car will make its track debut at Jerez on Tuesday, when the first of three, four-day pre-season tests in Spain begins.
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