The STR8, the team’s eighth creation, will be driven by Daniel Ricciardo and Jean Eric Vergne.
Toro Rosso slipped to ninth in the championship in 2012 and recruited technical director James Key.
“Going into this season is a completely different experience to this time last year, when I had to deal with a lot of unknowns,” says Jean Eric Vergne. “This year, I will still be learning – you never stop learning – but the basics are there and I will be able to focus on more important aspects of the job.”
“There are many changes within the team, and for me personally, I will be working with a new race engineer. I expect it will take some time to learn to work together, but I regard this as a positive step for me. My new engineer comes from a world championship winning team and he will bring a different approach and overall I think it should be a good thing. In general, I sense a new philosophy within Toro Rosso: I wouldn’t say people are working harder, but maybe they are going in a better direction and everyone has been working hard since the end of last season, to achieve our goals.”
“My priorities for the coming year? The first one is of course to score as many points as possible. After that, like any driver, I want to beat my team-mate. I learned a lot from him last year and I feel I am ready to do better and move forward.”
“The 2013 version of me is a more confident person and driver, with more self-belief than last year,” added Daniel Ricciardo.
“I’ve always had the desire and determination to succeed and now I’m ready to reinforce that and let everyone see what I’m 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. We want to make a big step forward and we have to get back among the teams we should be fighting with.”
“I have a new race engineer for this year, but it’s not a step into the unknown as he used to be my data engineer and he ran me in Austin and Sao Paolo last year so it’s not like we haven’t worked together yet.”
“The six days I will spend in the cockpit for pre-season testing should be enough time to get a good relationship going and I’m looking forward to it as an exciting new challenge. As to who my main rivals will be, you have to treat all the other drivers as competitors and I can’t single out anyone in particular. My main rival is probably myself because at times, a driver can be his own worst enemy! Testing’s fine, but I’m really looking forward to Melbourne: starting the season at your home race means more pressure, but having more fans is a positive pressure and a good thing.”