Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost expects to keep Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari as his drivers for 2011.
I believe our drivers will be well prepared for 2011, which is why they are both confirmed for next year. It is also logical, because one key role of Scuderia Toro Rosso is to bring on young drivers from the Red Bull Young Driver programme and at the ages of 21 and 20 respectively, both Seb and Jaime certainly still meet the right criteria.
Our drivers still lack F1 experience compared to the majority of their colleagues. Therefore, as they get more track time with every race, I expect to see an improvement in the final half of the season. This is particularly relevant to Alguersuari, because from Hungary onwards, he will be able to rely on the knowledge he picked up after making his debut there in 2009, knowing all the remaining tracks, with the exception of Korea.
It is not just a case of their driving getting better, because it is also true that their understanding and engineering feedback improves, which is vital if we are to get the most out of our package.
He confirmed he team has new developments coming for its car in the next two races but has also begun work on its 2011 challenger:
In terms of the car itself, we are introducing some updates over these next two races, starting with a new front wing in Hockenheim, then a new diffuser in Hungary. Other updates are in the pipeline and I am therefore convinced that car performance will improve, starting with next weekend.
The design group has been split, with part of it already working on the 2011 car, including starting wind tunnel work, which is a first, given that our Bicester wind tunnel was not fully validated this time last year and therefore was not able to contribute much to the basic design of the 2010 car.
Another part of the design group is still working on developing new specifications for this year’s car. Of course, our resources are limited when compared to the teams ahead of us in the championship, but we have no plans to increase our manpower, as the F1 regulations are moving towards capping the size of the workforce in the future and while our size might be a disadvantage at the moment, it could become a positive factor in the future.
I expect a combination of car updates and improved performance from the drivers and indeed the whole team to bring us more points in what remains of the season.
Why could we not do this earlier? It’s quite simply a matter of resources, in that we are a small team and even in this high-tech age, without the people to generate and drive the technology forward, not just in terms of production but also design and development, you cannot improve.
We have not fixed a cut-off date when development of the STR5 will stop and, while working on the STR6, if we come up with some solutions that we feel could benefit this year’s car and we have the resources and capacity to produce new parts, then we will introduce them on STR5. It would also mean we are effectively testing for 2011 this season.
Toro Rosso are ninth in the constructors’ championship at the moment but Tost believes they should be higher by the end of the year:
I have always said our target is to finish eighth in the Constructors’ classification. We are working very hard towards achieving this goal, even if our closest rivals at Williams and Sauber are doing a good job. Therefore it will not be easy.
Update: Buemi has apparently denied the deal, telling Swiss newspaper Blick “I have not signed yet. Also, there are some details that are missing, so the transfer market still open.”
Read more: 2011 F1 drivers and teams
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