Toro Rosso frustrated, encouraged by first 2017 F1 test running

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Scuderia Toro Rosso technical chief James Key says the team was both encouraged and frustrated by its performance in the first Formula 1 pre-season test in Barcelona this week.

Toro Rosso launched its 2017 car, the STR12, last Sunday, with a design similar to that of defending champion team Mercedes and a striking new livery catching the attention of the F1 paddock.

The team had hoped to put the new car through its paces over the four-day test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, only for issues to limit the running of drivers Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz Jr. Kvyat was able to complete just a single lap on the final day of the test due to an engine issue on his car.

Toro Rosso managed a total of just 183 laps in Barcelona, less than any other team, leaving Key frustrated.

“The week has been both encouraging but also frustrating with the missed running time,” he said.

“However we will now plan our recovery for next week and hope to make up for lost ground.”

Team boss Franz Tost echoed Key’s sentiments, saying: “We arrived in Barcelona at the start of the week with a wonderful new livery and we were quite excited to start the new season. We were hoping to have completed many more laps than what we’ve actually done during this first pre-season test.

“Unfortunately, we couldn’t complete our program because of some reliability issues. Therefore, we are missing some data, especially regarding the softer tires.

“Having said that, when the car has been out on track we’ve got a very promising feedback, so we just need to keep working hard with our partner to sort out all the reliability issues.

“Both Carlos and Daniil have got to grips quickly with the STR12 and are gaining confidence rapidly. Their impressions has also been generally quite positive.

“All in all, it’s been a bit of a bumpy ride to begin with, but we are confident that we will get everything under control next week during the second test in order to be ready for the first race of the season in Australia.”

Toro Rosso will resume running in Barcelona on Tuesday with the start of the second pre-season test.