REUTERS - Toro Rosso unveiled their 2015 car on Saturday and set their rookie drivers, including Formula One’s youngest ever racer Max Verstappen, an ambitious target of fifth place in the constructors’ championship.
The Red Bull-owned outfit took the wraps off the STR10 car at the Jerez circuit in Spain on Saturday, the eve of pre-season testing, with 17-year-old Verstappen partnering 20-year-old Spaniard Carlos Sainz.
“The 2015 season is a new challenge for all of us. We’ve put a lot of work into the STR10 and we are convinced that we will have a successful year,” said team principal Franz Tost in a statement.
“Our objective is to finish fifth in the constructors’ championship and we are ready to do our best to achieve it.”
Renault-powered Toro Rosso finished seventh last year with Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne and Russian Daniil Kvyat, who has moved to Red Bull.
The team’s best result in the constructors’ standings was sixth in 2008, when Germany’s future four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel was driving for them.
“I can’t wait for the season to start and tomorrow will seem like a very long day, watching Carlos in the car,” said Verstappen, son of former F1 racer Jos, who gets his first taste of action on Monday.
“With two days in the 2014 car at the Abu Dhabi test and the Friday mornings I did last season, combined with time spent in the simulator, I feel well prepared,” added the teenager.
With three four-day tests scheduled in Spain before the season-opener in Australia on March 15, both youngsters will be hoping for as much track time as possible.
“Six days on track here in Spain and then it will be time to head for Australia and my first Grand Prix, something I have been looking forward to ever since I started karting,” said Verstappen.
Sainz, whose namesake father Carlos is a former world rally champion, will be first to try out the new car on Sunday.
“I have worked very hard over the winter on my personal fitness, as well as spending time in Faenza to familiarise myself with the team, having also done some days in the simulator,” he said.
“Now we have just 12 days to prepare for Melbourne, so going through all the race weekend procedures will be a priority for me, as well as putting in as many miles as possible behind the wheel.”
Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ian Chadband