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Scuderia Toro Rosso's Franz Tost is positive that the team's latest model, the STR4, will be strong up against competition in 2009. The German, Team Principal of the Faenza-based outfit, is present at the Circuit de Catalunya this morning as the team launched its new car ahead of the final official pre-season test session.
"2008 was good in terms of our on-track performance which, it is fair to say, exceeded our expectations following our biggest ever points haul, a pole position and a race win. It's going to be tough to live up to that this year. However, it is already looking great as we are five races ahead of schedule, given that last year we did not get to race the 2008 car until the sixth race in Monaco! With the continued support of Red Bull, Scuderia Toro Rosso has grown in several ways in the past twelve months; the team is bigger, having expanded its facility in Faenza and we have taken on more staff.
This season sees Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais retain his seat with the Austrian-Italian team and is joined by Formula One's only rookie of 2009, Swiss Sebastien Buemi. "In 2009, Sebastien Bourdais tackles his second season in Toro Rosso colours," Tost continued. "Last year he produced some good performances in the races and qualifying, but he was also unlucky at times. We expect him to benefit from the experience he gained last year - he knows the team, the circuits and the F1 environment and this will allow him to tackle the season with confidence. He will also surely enjoy the return to slick tyres, which should suit his driver style better.
Sebastien Buemi, who comes from the Red Bull Young Driver programme, has shown himself to be naturally talented with plenty of speed and, more importantly he is a quick learner. Having invested in his early career, Red Bull is keen to see him progress at the top level of the sport. He faces a steep learning curve, but we should not forget that he is still very young and even makes Vettel look like a veteran!"
Toro Rosso joins the other ten teams for four days in Barcelona this week, as we are presented with our only chance to see all competitors up against each other before travelling to Australia.
Scuderia Toro Rosso
|Scuderia Toro Rosso|
|15 May||Tost: Drivers need to perform exceptionally|
|12 May||Points-scoring Ricciardo left wanting more|
|14 Apr||'I didn't know Webber was there' – Vergne|
|8 Apr||Shanghai memories: Buemi's crash, 2010|
|22 Jan||Red Bull retains Buemi as reserve driver|
|7 Jan||'Buemi to continue as Red Bull reserve'|
|5 Feb||Toro Rosso eyes Renault engines for '14|
|4 Feb||Toro Rosso targets sixth in 2013 standings|
|6 Sep '12||Tost: A new chapter for Toro Rosso|
|28 May '12||Tough day for F1 drivers in Indy 500|
|13 Jan '12||Bourdais joins Lotus-backed IndyCar team|
|7 Mar '11||Drivers to test at Sebring on Wednesday|
|19 May||Video of the Day: LEGO Ferrari Formula 1 car|
|18 May||Rosberg hopes to capitalise on one-lap pace|
|18 May||Video of the Day: A closer look at braking|
|More Sébastien Buemi photos|
|More Franz Tost photos|
|More Sebastien Bourdais photos|