Toro Rosso targets P6. No, seriously

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The intrepid troops at Toro Rosso have their sights set on finishing sixth in this year’s Formula 1 championship, Franz Tost tells the official F1 site.

I know, I know, I’m thinking the same thing: Then why didn’t you get some good drivers? Well, let’s see if he can explain himself:

Q: Franz, you have Daniel and Jean-Eric in the car again this season. What do they have to do to be here again next year?
Franz Tost:
 Both drivers showed good performances last season and both have stepped up. The important thing is that we can give them the car to perform. Both have shown in the past that they can win races and championships and I am convinced that both Daniel and Jean-Eric have what it takes to develop into successful Formula One drivers.

Did we watch the same season?

Tost goes on to explain what each driver brings to the cockpit, but it’s when he starts talking about the car for 2013 that I see a brief moment of hope:

Q: To be fair, last season you perhaps didn’t have the car to let your youngsters shine. What about in 2013?
FT:
 Last year we had a car that was good at the start of the season, but we lost out on development in the course of the season. We have done a very detailed analysis of where it went wrong last year – in what areas our car had deficits – and hopefully have learned from that 2012 experience. I am pretty sure that we have a much better car now and will be able to give our two guys a much better chance to compete.

Q: You’ve had James Key as technical director since last September. Do you feel an upward trend?
FT:
 Yes. James Key has built a very good technical team around himself and the method he is working with fits my philosophy. I am sure that his direction is the right one for us, and that if we keep working as we do now we will be successful.

Q: Key has a lot of F1 experience with a few different teams…
FT:
 He was with Jordan when I met him – he was the data engineer of Ralf Schumacher – and stayed with the same team through its many metamorphoses. Then he switched to Sauber and for whatever reason he didn’t feel so much at home there, and then he came to us. Hopefully he’ll be a fixture in our team for the next couple of years.

And then, that hope explodes in a pointillism of Ralf. Good luck fighting for P8, guys! (I’d also suggest not betting either Toro Rosso driver follows Sebastian Vettel to the big boy team.)

Are we to the point, now that testing has started, when we can start picking which teams will finish where and which drivers will do what?

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