Formula 1

Toro Rosso aiming high with the STR10

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Toro Rosso are setting an ambitious target as they reveal their 2015 car, the STR10.

Now entering their tenth season, as the name suggests, Toro Rosso have continually been a team everyone has kept an eye on.

From the emergence of Sebastian Vettel in 2007-08, the shock departures of Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari after 2011 and now the rise of Daniel Ricciardo, the former Minardi team has seen top class drivers come and go. 

And with an all-new driver line-up consisting of 20-year-old Carlos Sainz Jr. and the youngest driver in history, 17-year-old Max Verstappen, this year there is no doubting many in the F1 community will be watching what the next generation of drivers can do.

Two young hotshots 

Sainz Jr. certainly has the much higher pedigree of the two with a season in GP3 as well as the current Formula Renault 3.5 champion, but his arrival in F1 is being largely overshadowed by that of his team-mate.

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When it was announced Max Verstappen would be racing in F1 this year it shook the sport to its core, at just 17 very few believe the Dutchman is ready to make the move up to the pinnacle of motorsport.

However, he was third in his first season in single-seater racing, competing in the European Formula 3 category, and looked at ease in his three practice appearances for Toro Rosso towards the end of last season.

There is no doubt all eyes are on Verstappen, and he has a lot of critics to prove wrong, but providing he can keep out of trouble there is also a huge amount of potential as is highlighted by the eagerness of Red Bull to get him straight into F1.

The best Toro Rosso ever

The car itself is certainly, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful designs seen so far, gone is the nose that really no-one could adjust to last year and the aggressive sidepods certainly make this a car with potential.

However, as is always the case with Toro Rosso, there is a feeling the car could always be a lot better if it didn't have to play second fiddle to the main Red Bull team, team boss Franz Tost is aiming for fifth in the Constructors' championship, a lofty target in anyone's book but he believes this is comfortably the best mini-Bull made so far.

"After finishing seventh in the Constructors' Championship last year, our main target is to finish in fifth position and I'm confident that we can achieve this in 2015," Tost was quoted by Crash.net

“The technical team led by James Key has done an extraordinary job to start this year strongly, passing all crash tests for the new STR10 first time and not losing any valuable time in the process.

"I'm very proud of this and it gives us confidence to keep on believing in ourselves, to be certain that we are definitely on the right track and to continue working hard to keep move forward," he added.

Top five? Too much to ask

Given the competition for those top 10 places this year managing fifth would be a remarkable achievement though, personally I don't see it as a realistic target as doing to finish there would likely mean beating a team like Williams, Ferrari or McLaren and given the development advantage those teams hold maintaining a season long challenge will be very difficult.

Therefore my prediction is they will stay seventh in the Constructors' standings though doing that would mean beating either Lotus or Force India which would still be a great achievement.

Much of their success does depend on how the two drivers settle in to F1, but as mentioned it will probably a year where the drivers gradually get faster as the season progresses, its whether Toro Rosso can maintain a car to match the development of those behind the wheel. 

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