Giorgio Ascanelli, Toro Rosso’s Technical Director, believes his team should be able to compete in the F1 midfield this season.
The team finished last of the 10 teams in the Constructors’ Championship last year, and has set promising lap times during pre-season testing in the team’s first solely-built F1 car, the STR5.
He expects the team’s drivers, Sébastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari, to be able to compete regularly with the likes of Renault, Sauber and Williams.
However, Ascanelli acknowledges that the top teams are too far ahead.
"My perception, at the moment, is that we are where we’re supposed to be. You can’t even begin to think about comparing yourself to Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes, because the group in front looks too far ahead already,” Ascanelli told Autosprint.
"The feeling is that, up to Jerez, we were close to the midfield, with Williams, Renault and Sauber. In the second session at Jerez, Sauber and Renault had done something better, while Williams was already a bit faster than us. However, we can say we shouldn’t be too far back."