After a promising debut weekend in Melbourne, Toro Rosso rookies Carlos Sainz Jr and Max Verstappen move on to Malaysia confident that they can contend for points.

Both drivers appeared on course for a top ten finish at the Australian Grand Prix, despite a sticky wheel slowing Sainz during his pit-stop, but the Spaniard was ultimately the only one to score after Verstappen succumbed to an engine problem late in the race.

While the tropical conditions associated with Kuala Lumpur will inevitably prove tough on the two STR10s this weekend, the two drivers - despite their tender years - appear to have few qualms about coping with the heat and humidity.

Related Articles

Both have been to Malaysia previously, although only the older Sainz actually has experience of competing in the conditions. The Spaniard also has good memories of his previous outings at Sepang, and is keen to get back on track to add to his ninth place from Albert Park.

"I raced there in Formula BMW, which was also my first ever race in a single-seater," Sainz recalled, "I came second, so I have memories of a really nice weekend.

"I went back a couple more times for races there, and I remember that it's very warm and humid at the time of year we will be there, which makes it tough for the drivers. I will be looking to this weekend as a really good test of my physical condition for the rest of the season. It's going to be an interesting weekend."

Team-mate Verstappen, meanwhile, barely has the car racing experience to have travelled far, but has sampled the Malaysian conditions whilst travelling the world during father Jos' first time around in the F1 fraternity.

"I've been there once before, when I my dad was racing there," Verstappen Jr confirmed, "I've watched a lot of videos of him racing at Sepang and the track looks really cool. I know it's going to be a hot and sweaty weekend, but I've done some heat training which went very well and I believe that will pay off when I actually go there."

Toro Rosso heads to Malaysia just a point adrift of sister team Red Bull Racing, with both drivers looking to build on their debut experience and exploit the improved performance of the STR10 in a race where reliability will be tested to the max.