Jaime Alguersuari has expressed his conviction that Scuderia Toro Rosso will be able to 'fight for points at every race' in F1 2011 – and double world champion Fernando Alonso agrees that the Red Bull 'junior' outfit looks to have made 'significant progress'.
Toro Rosso concluded the 2010 campaign a lowly ninth in the final constructors' standings with a best finish of eighth place to its credit – and already Alguersuari and team-mate Sébastien Buemi are under pressure to perform this season, with the spectre of highly-rated test and reserve driver Daniel Ricciardo and young Red Bull protégé
Jean-Eric Vergne waiting expectantly in the wings for them to trip up [see separate story – click here
However, on the basis of pre-season testing form at least, it seems the new STR6 could just be the small Faenza-based concern's best creation since the second half of 2008, with an innovative 'double floor' leading to some head-turning lap times and causing observers to tip STR as a potential dark horse in 2011. Alguersuari admits he is feeling confident.
“We will fight for points at every race,” the 20-year-old told Spanish sports daily Marca
, conceding that the new regulations – with Pirelli replacing Bridgestone as the sport's sole tyre-supplier and the ban on double-diffusers – 'have favoured us'. “I think we will be competitive.”
However, despite Alonso's confession that he has been impressed by what he has seen from Toro Rosso so far this year, Alguersuari re-iterated that he and his countryman are not close.
“We're not friends,” stressed the former British F3 Champion, who has previously described the Ferrari star as 'very cold'. “We are both Spanish, but that's it – we have no relationship.”