At a ceremony at the Circuito de Jerez, hosted by long time sponsors CEPSA, Scuderia Toro Rosso unveiled the tenth Formula 1 car in the team’s history, as rookies Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen took the covers of the STR10 ahead of its track debut on Sunday.
The Faenza-based team have been in Formula 1 since 2006 when they took over the entry from Minardi, and the STR10 is the latest car the team have created.
The team are aiming high with the James Key-led designed STR10, ably assisted by Chief Designers Paolo Marabini and Matteo Piraccini, with Team Principal Franz Tost believing that fifth place in the Constructors’ championship is not unrealistic.
“The launch of the new STR10 car today here in Jerez de la Frontera marks the start of a new and hopefully thrilling F1 season,” said Tost.
“The 2015 season is a new challenge for all of us. We’ve put a lot of work into the STR10 and we are convinced that we will have a successful year. Our objective is to finish fifth in the constructors’ championship and we are ready to do our best to achieve it.
“Our engine partner Renault has also worked very hard to come up with new modifications and I’m sure that our joint effort will give us a package which will certainly be very competitive. All in all, we have a much stronger team as well as a very competitive STR10 and fast drivers; it’s a great combination.”
Tost was also excited about the new driver line-up for 2015, with 2014 Formula Renault 3.5 Series champion Sainz and multiple race winning European Formula 3 driver Verstappen replacing Jean-Eric Vergne and the Red Bull-bound Daniil Kvyat, and the Team Principal believes they are both ready for the step up into Formula 1 this season.
“Another point that also makes me happy is that we have a very high-skilled young driver pairing which makes this season even more exciting,” insisted Tost. “They both showed fantastic performances throughout their career, winning races and championships, and it’s because of their driving skills that Red Bull has decided to bring them to Scuderia Toro Rosso.
“I’m really sure that they are very well prepared for this challenge, as is the rest of the team. We are ready for it!”
Sainz was naturally delighted to have been selected as a Toro Rosso driver for the 2015 season, and admitted he has been working hard throughout the winter to prepare himself for his debut. He will be the first driver to test the new car when pre-season testing gets underway at the Jerez track on Sunday.
“I am very happy to be making my first official appearance as a Formula 1 driver here in Spain and I am looking forward to trying the car for the first time tomorrow,” revealed Sainz. “I have worked very hard over the winter on my personal fitness, as well as spending time in Faenza to familiarise myself with the team, having also done some days in the simulator.
“Now we have just 12 days to prepare for Melbourne, so going through all the race weekend procedures will be a priority for me, as well as putting in as many miles as possible behind the wheel.”
Team-mate Verstappen, who will become the youngest Formula 1 driver in history when he makes his debut in the Australian Grand Prix in March and will be the latest son of a former F1 driver [his father is former Benetton, Arrows, Simtek, Tyrrell, Stewart and Minardi driver Jos Verstappen] to race in F1 as well, admits he is excited about getting out on track on Monday for his first run in the STR10, and is already preparing himself for his race debut.
“I can’t wait for the season to start and tomorrow will seem like a very long day, watching Carlos in the car,” said Verstappen. “With two days in the 2014 car at the Abu Dhabi test and the Friday mornings I did last season, combined with time spent in the simulator, I feel well prepared and I’m really up for this challenge, which is very exciting.
“Six days on track here in Spain and then it will be time to head for Australia and my first Grand Prix, something I have been looking forward to ever since I started karting.”