[F1 2019 VIDEO FEATURE] TORO ROSSO: RESURGENT FORCE

There’s no doubt that Toro Rosso was held back last year. The minnow squad finished a disappointing ninth in the constructors’, two spots down from what it achieved in each of the previous four campaigns.

…and it was the price to pay for being a development mule for top team Red Bull Racing and new power unit partner Honda.

2019, though, should see the outfit finally benefitting from that hard work, with team principal Franz Tost confident of progress.

SOUNDBITE (English) FRANZ TOST,
TEAM PRINCIPAL, TORO ROSSO:
“I’m feeling quite good [about 2019] because I think [that] we have the ingredients together for a successful season. The car, I expect will be competitive, then we have a fantastic power unit partner with Honda. They made big steps forward during the winter months. We have two very strong drivers.”

But while the squad has big ambitions, its average finishing position since its first campaign in 2006 is 7.9 and its best ever result sixth in 2008, when a young Sebastian Vettel claimed his maiden win at Monza.

And while Vettel is long gone, there’s still an experienced hand behind the wheel with Daniil Kvyat returning to the team for the third time since 2014 with the Russian on a mission to resurrect his F1 career.

SOUNDBITE (English) DANIIL KVYAT,
F1 DRIVER, TORO ROSSO:
“My first-ever test was with Toro Rosso, my first-ever race in Formula 1 was with Toro Rosso as well. A bunch of very talented people and we’ll be working on extracting everything out of our talent this year.”

Kvyat will be a strong pace benchmark for rookie Alexander Albon, who’s still getting on top of his new role as a Grand Prix driver.

SOUNDBITE (English) ALEXANDER ALBON,
F1 DRIVER, TORO ROSSO:
“I wouldn’t say lights out, I’d feel… I won’t be the calmest when the green light goes in Melbourne, but I do think I’ll know the car a lot better than what I do now.”

But over the first week, Albon finished 67 thousandths of a second up on Kvyat. Though the Russian topped Day 3, and the Anglo-Thai racer spun, highlighting his inexperience. 

Both drivers, though, have plenty to prove on the road to F1 2019.