Toro Rosso's technical director Giorgio Ascanelli says his team is aiming to finish in eighth place in this year's championship. The Italian squad unveiled its new car for the 2011 season on Tuesday at Valencia, and Ascanelli admitted the team is determined to improve on its 2010 performance.
"My expectations are to do a decent year and we have to have the target to be eighth and as I said, we are good to be ninth but we have to do better. And, at the end of the year, we have to bring back an eighth place," said Ascanelli.
He believes the team, which built its first car last year, is now much better prepared to deliver a strong challenger.
"Last year we didn't have a wind tunnel, the CFD was not mature in order to define the car," he added. "Therefore, we did not change very much apart from those elements linked to the change of regulation between 2009 and 2010.
"This year the tools which design the car in its performance aspect, which are again the wind tunnel and CFD, are more mature, which means that although we are still learning how to make the best of them, I think we have started using them properly. For this year, we have to aim for eighth place, because that is our target and I didn't think that was possible if we had gone with some sort of conventional car.
"It's an ambitious way, if it doesn't work that will be my responsibility and I am going to take it, but I think it's not like me, not like Franz, not like anyone in Toro Rosso to sit here and accept what our position is. We will try to do better and we will try to fulfill our mission which is at the end of 2011, we want to have a 2012 which is better than 2011."
Team boss Franz Tost is also optimistic that Toro Rosso will enjoy a competitive season, despite the team still working to build its infrastructure.
"It's the sixth season of Toro Rosso in Formula 1 and the past five years have shown a good history for the team, as we had to build everything up almost from zero," he said. "We are quite confident that we have a good future and can have a good year in 2011. We are still building up our infrastructure.
"In a Formula 1 team, there is always movement, so you have to keep an eye on every department trying to improve performance. We brought in new people for example in the aerodynamic department in Bicester [UK], where we are currently running two shifts in our wind tunnel.
"Here in Faenza, especially on the production side we have increased the number of employees which makes me quite confident that in 2011 we will have a successful season."