It’s a black art reading too much into pre-season testing performances as we have Jaime Alguersuari written before, but one team that has – surprisingly and – consistently featured at the pointy end of the timesheets has been the Scuderia Toro Rosso.

Switzerland’s Blick newspaper has been quick to label the new Ferrari-powered STR6 as the “Wunder Auto” (wonder car) after a series of very competitive outings to-date in the pre-season tests at Valencia, Jerez and Barcelona.

On the Saturday of the recent Barcelona test, Jaime Alguersuari came within a whisker of knocking Sebastian Vettel from the top spot of the timesheets, while team-mate Sébastien Buemi was third-fastest on the final day of testing at the circuit.

Of equal importance is that the STR6 has proved to be a reliable machine, and the overall signs seem to indicate that the outfit might do better than its ambition of finishing in seventh place in the Constructors’ Championship this year.

And while the nay-sayers out there might argue we’re being too optimistic with our predictions, those from within the Faenza camp are quietly confident, and have rejected any suggestions that their pace is mere showboating.

“I know very well the conditions under which I did my fastest lap,” Alguersuari is quoted.

“Believe me … I am more than satisfied.”

  Toro Rosso STR6 exhaust exits
The STR6 features some clever design tricks. Note the placing of the exhaust exits, for example…

[Images via F1 Technical and Sutton Images]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.