• Jerez Test, Day Four

Vergne 'much more confident' of STR8

ESPN Staff
February 8, 2013 « Bianchi notes 'clear improvement' at Force India | Ferrari simulator needs 'a lot of work' - de la Rosa »
Jean-Eric Vergne completed 92 laps on Friday en-route to the fifth quickest time © Sutton Images
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Jean-Eric Vergne said he is "much more confident" about the STR8 after the first pre-season test at Jerez.

Toro Rosso launched its new car in the pit lane ahead of the first day of testing, with more changes than many other teams as the input of new technical director James Key becomes visible. Vergne said that while he had been confident before the test, his optimism had grown even further after two consecutive days in the car.

"We have made progress throughout the four days and in terms of pure mechanical understanding of the car, we've made a significant step forward compared to last year and, specifically today, we got through all our planned work programme," Vergne said. "I am much more confident about the new car than I was before the test and it gives me a good feeling from behind the wheel.

"One of the aims of the design team was to give us drivers a car with a broader operating range in terms of set-up options and I can already say they have succeeded in that point. There is still a lot to do, so I'm looking forward to my next session in Barcelona."

Team principal Franz Tost was a little more reserved about the car's potential but said he was pleased with how the team had worked through its schedule.

"We can be satisfied with these first four days of testing. The car showed reasonable potential and reliability was not too bad, which meant we completed a respectable number of laps, first with Daniel and then with Jean-Eric. In contrast to this test last year, when they were rookies, both of them knew what to do and what to expect. However, the two of them had to get used to working with new race engineers and that part of the test also progressed well. There is absolutely no point in talking about car performance at this stage. The most important task we face now is to analyse everything we have done over the past four days in Jerez, so as to decide what our priorities will be in Barcelona in eleven days' time, when we start the second test session."