As an increasing sign of progress from the Toro Rosso F1 team, it managed to achieve his best ever finish in the formula 1 at the Chinese Grand Prix. Ricciardo managed to finish the race in the seventh position. Toro Rosso have been one of the consistently improving teams in recent years. This result is a huge morale boost for the team. Ricciardo started the race in the seventh position and he managed to finish ahead of several top runners like Nico Hulkenberg and Paul di Resta. In fact, Ricciardo finished just a couple of seconds behind Ferrari driver Felipe Massa.
After the race, the Australian driver said that he is extremely delighted to have taken his first points of the season, while also managing to show others that Toro Rosso are a team capable of finishing in the points position. This is not the first time he has started a good qualifying position. Ricciardo started the last years Bahrain Grand Prix in the sixth position, but was unable to finish in the points scoring position. However, the team has managed to avoid a repeat of the same, which proves that they are moving in the right track.
Despite the points, Ricciardo said that he could have finished a couple of places above had it been for a better strategy.
“I am really pleased to score my first points of the season and to confirm the qualifying performance. After yesterday afternoon I kept calm, knowing the real work would begin today. The last time I qualified this well was sixth in Bahrain last year and then I failed to score, so today, I really wanted to show people what I could do, so it’s great for me to have had a great race but it’s especially good for the team, who have worked so hard for this,” said Ricciardo.
The Toro Rosso driver Jean-Eric Vergne has said that the team has made significant progress in recent testing as a result of the introduction of several new parts. The changes to the car were made on the first day of testing ahead of the new season. The Frenchman completed 59 laps on the day, while Toro Rosso were rewarded with a third fastest time on the day. Despite the poor conditions, Toro Rosso have displayed a lot of potential ahead of the new season according to Vergne. Vergne was especially happy with the way the car performed in the wet, while he has said that it was just about good in dry conditions.
The good feedback from the car after just a few laps was hugely essential in the Frenchman putting a string of consistent laps. Despite the significant boost in performance, Vergne refused to reveal the details about the upgrades that have gone into the car on the first day of testing. Despite this promising show, Vergne has refused to get carried away by saying that things are still unclear at this early stage. It is too early to say whether the team has made significant positions in the pecking order. Vergne has said that things will be clear from the Melbourne Grand Prix.
“We have new upgrades here [and] we are really happy. There were many things we wanted to test and we could follow the programme quite well despite the bad conditions. In the wet I think we were looking competitive. In the dry at the end of the day it was looking more or less OK. It was only four laps so it was quite tricky to have a good feeling, but just in those laps it gave me good feedback,” said the 22-year-old Frenchman ahead of the new season.
The Toro Rosso F1 team can be realistically challenging for a sixth position in the upcoming 2013 F1 season according to the technical director of the team, James Key. He has said that the disappointing 2012 season has been quickly put into the back of the minds by the team, who have been working extremely hard in order to improve the car for the upcoming season. The team managed just 26 points in the 2012 season and finished in the ninth position of the constructors championship table. Even though Key has acknowledged that this is an extremely ambitious target for the team, he is confident that they can achieve it.
Key has said that it is extremely important to have ambition within the team, and he has clearly seen the team not satisfied with the ninth place finish last season. Even though it is a big challenge for the team that has the resources and size of Toro Rosso, it is extremely important to challenge and put pressure on themselves if they are to be successful according to Key. Key has said that one of the major challenges for the team will be coming in the form of the regulation changes that will kick into effect shortly. The 2014 season will see several changes made to the cars.
“I think that what I’ve seen in the team is that there are two parts to it. One is the ambition to do it; I don’t think anyone was satisfied with P9 in the constructors. Secondly, I think the size of the team and the resources we have – and [we] are building – is a big step obviously, and it’s a big ask. So I think it’s possible and the belief and the will are there within the team to achieve,” said Key.