Jean-Eric Vergne is hoping Toro Rosso makes a big step forward in competitiveness with the STR9.

In 2013 Toro Rosso struggled to score points on a regular basis and Vergne himself scored just 13 points throughout the year. After the team launched its 2014 car, Vergne said there could be opportunities for teams in the midfield to score shock results but that he wants to aim higher than that.

"Reliability is definitely going to be the key for the first grand prix," Vergne said. "Many people are already saying we're going to see a lot of red flags. Already after the first test I'm sure people will be afraid of not finishing the race but some people will be afraid of not starting the race either!

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"It's definitely going to be difficult for the teams and the engine manufacturers, but that will leave some teams - especially like us if we're in the same place as last year - a good opportunity to score some good points. But hopefully we're going to be one of the teams that will play in the front and then at least we can sometimes reach for some really good results."

However, Vergne thinks the biggest difference he can make as a driver will come prior to the race as the teams look to get the most out of the new power units.

"I actually think the driver won't have so much to do in the race. Probably a couple of things but everybody will get to know that really early in the season. Where the driver can make a difference is going to be in the work with the team getting all of the clever engine maps right, so there is a lot of work for us."

And Vergne is confident that he can deliver in what will be his third season with the team.

"It's definitely going to be a key year for myself and for Toro Rosso too. Both the team and myself are hoping to make the best out of it and I'm really confident looking at our team which is working on the car and working with me. I really think we can have a good season if we put everything together."