Scuderia Toro Rosso have become the first team to do a proper launch by allowing photographers and press to see its car for the first time in the Jerez pitlane little past 17:30 local time.
Team principal Franz Tost said before the unveiling of the car that he was especially proud of his team as they have never worked so hard as in the last few weeks, often staying at the track to 2 or 3 o'clock at night to get everything finished. He also mentioned that never before in the history of his team, work on a new car began so early, a long road that was guided by Technical Director James Key.
Alfonso Escámez, CEPSA Senior Vice-President Communication & Institutional Relations: “As CEPSA embarks on its third full year as sponsors of Scuderia Toro Rosso, the team will be facing a number of challenges as a result of all the changes underway, but we firmly believe that we have what it takes to achieve all of our aspirations. CEPSA and STR adhere to the same principles and values: team spirit, cooperation, motivation, enthusiasm and the drive and determination to excel, which are the cornerstones of everything we do and make it possible for us to successfully meet all our goals.
Franz Tost: “In 2012, we began a concept study for STR9, the earliest we have ever started a new car project, As time went by, more and more of our staff were involved in the project, as we invested a lot of effort and resources, both technical and financial into the design of the new car.
In 2014 the key parameters for success will be finding the best balance between deploying the power of the engine and managing the 100kg fuel limit per race, the use of the two energy recovery systems and, just as in the past, the tyres. Apart from the new rules, at Toro Rosso we have also had to adapt to a new engine partner and we are looking forward to working with Renault. One final new element for us is on the driver side, as Daniil Kvyat joins us to race alongside Jean-Eric Vergne. Both are very talented and we expect good things from them.
With all these changes, some that affect everyone, others that are specific to Toro Rosso, it is really difficult to set targets or make predictions. However, it is clear we have to improve our performance and make a step forward.”
Daniil Kvyat: “I am very excited that I am about to start my first season in Formula 1. It will be a year of discovering many new things, which I expect will be very interesting. I can’t wait to actually start the driving part, the best part of my job. Six days of winter testing is not a lot and I will have to see how quickly I get used to the new car, which wasn’t a big issue when I drove the 2013 car. Being a rookie means there’s a steep learning curve, but the bright side of this year’s regulation change is that all the drivers will be getting used to a new way of driving, starting from zero. Anyway, I have always liked a big challenge. Physically, I feel ready after a good winter training programme, concentrating a bit on my neck muscles. The team hasn’t set me any specific targets, so its just a case of getting on top of my game as quickly as possible.”
Jean-Eric Vergne: “This will be my third season in Formula 1 and I definitely feel better prepared than ever before. From what I have seen in the factory, the same applies to the team. Now we must make the most of winter testing and work hard to ensure that all our efforts pay off. I am confident we have what we need to do well. From a driver’s point of view, we will have a lot of new elements to understand and changes that will require us to adapt as quickly as possible. That will be one of the tasks for winter tests, so that we can make the most of the package available right from the first race. We will have to adopt a different style of driving, especially in the races, with this new power unit combined with the need to manage fuel, while the changes to the rule regarding levels of downforce will make the cars feel different, offering less grip, which will also take some getting used to. It’s going to be a fascinating start to the year.””
Finally, Tost also thanked Daniel Ricciardo for his great results during 2013, results that "delivered him a drive with Red Bull Racing". For his current drivers, he was sure that Jean-Eric Vergne would shine when given a good car, and that Daniil Kvyat ended up in the Toro Rosso thanks to his GP3 championship win in 2013.