Toro Rosso Drivers Voice Concern over Rival Progress

Toro Rosso Drivers Carlos Sainz Jr and Daniil Kyvat believe that Toro Rosso is in a good position to fight for first – but admit that the competition is fierce.

From here, it appears that the regulation change-up is working. Aside from the case of Honda, the remaining teams have shown that they’re capable of offering competitive performances in the races to come. It’s a particularly exciting change as the last several years of Formula One racing has seen the sport devolve into a competition between the “Big Three” manufacturer’s while mid and low-funded teams struggled to bridge the gap.

MONTMELO, SPAIN - MARCH 01:  Carlos Sainz of Scuderia Toro Rosso and Spain during day three of Formula One winter testing at Circuit de Catalunya on March 1, 2017 in Montmelo, Spain.  (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)
MONTMELO, SPAIN – MARCH 01: Carlos Sainz of Scuderia Toro Rosso and Spain during day three of Formula One winter testing at Circuit de Catalunya on March 1, 2017 in Montmelo, Spain. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)

Scuderia Toro Rosso stands as one such team. Placed firmly in the midfield, Toro Rosso has shown apt prowess and performance out on the track, but podiums won’t be easy to come by. Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz Jr. opened up about his thoughts regarding the team’s potential and current placement:

“I honestly think that the others have done also massive steps – Force India, Haas, Renault in particular, compared to last year. Williams is flying.
So it is going to be a very very tight fight for P5 in the championship, or to be the fifth-fastest car in Melbourne – so to get into Q3 will be extremely difficult.”

– Carlos Sainz Jr

MONTMELO, SPAIN - MARCH 01:  Carlos Sainz of Scuderia Toro Rosso and Spain during day three of Formula One winter testing at Circuit de Catalunya on March 1, 2017 in Montmelo, Spain.  (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)
MONTMELO, SPAIN – MARCH 01: Carlos Sainz of Scuderia Toro Rosso and Spain during day three of Formula One winter testing at Circuit de Catalunya on March 1, 2017 in Montmelo, Spain. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)

Sainz’s teammate, Daniil Kyvat, echoes his sentiment, but with a caveat. Though Kvyat believes the team is now heading into Melbourne ready to offer up a fight, they spent far too long beleaguered with issues that prevented them from maximizing their test runs:

“We did quite a few race simulation laps, a bit more of performance runs – we’ve done this work, which to be honest we should have been doing much earlier.
But at least we managed to do this job, because if we did not have this before Melbourne, than I would say we’re not ready.
But as we managed to do this day, I would say that we are in condition to fight.”

– Daniil Kvyat

MONTMELO, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 28: Daniil Kvyat of Russia driving the (26) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12 on track during day two of Formula One winter testing at Circuit de Catalunya on February 28, 2017 in Montmelo, Spain.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
MONTMELO, SPAIN – FEBRUARY 28: Daniil Kvyat of Russia driving the (26) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12 on track during day two of Formula One winter testing at Circuit de Catalunya on February 28, 2017 in Montmelo, Spain. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

It’s anyone’s guess as to how the pecking order will emerge in Australia, but it’s sure to be a healthy mix of hungry competitors.