McLaren's are terrible for reliability

Half-time record: Toro Rosso looking for reliability

( - "There was definitely more in it," is the half-time conclusion for Toro Rosso. The small group around team boss Franz Tost can be more than satisfied with the performance, but the points yield is less than what was expected in Faenza. With 31 points it is currently only in seventh place in the constructors' standings, but the view is still upwards.


Attention: Max Verstappen is on everyone's lips this year, Zoom

With Max Verstappen's fourth place in Budapest, Toro Rosso has rivaled the Lotus and Force India ahead of him. Only eight points separate the team from fifth place, which they had been considering before the season. "At the beginning of the year I thought that we could aim for a top 5 position after seeing the figures from the wind tunnel and the results of the test drives," explains team boss Franz Tost and remains optimistic.

"I think we can still do it, especially after our strong result in Budapest, because we are only eight points away from the team in fifth place." In order for this to be successful, the team has to get a grip on the biggest weak point: No, it is not the drivers who have convinced despite their rookie existence. The problem with Toro Rosso is clearly reliability.

Tost: "Our reliability is terrible"

Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz did not see the checkered flag nine times in ten races and are only outbid by the chronically troubled McLaren-Honda team. "We have a really good chassis, we have two highly talented, young but mature drivers, but our reliability is really terrible," said Franz Tost. "With this high rate you cannot expect to achieve your goals - and that is fifth place among the designers"


A common picture in 2015: A Toro Rosso with a defect is standing at the edge of the trackZoom

In the second half of the season, the young bulls have to get this deficit under control if they don't want to go to seventh place. "2016 is too late for that. We need immediate solutions and don't want to wait long," says Tost, who knows that points are only awarded if you also reach the checkered flag. And if Toro Rosso saw them, then in most cases there were also points.

The second main problem is shared with sister team Red Bull: engine partner Renault is a real Achilles heel with its ailing drive system and causes a great handicap. On tracks like Monaco or Budapest, where engine performance is not important, you drove the strongest races, but on tracks with many straights you broke down. And you often have to make a compromise when it comes to the setup in order not to be completely without a chance in the race when it comes to overtaking.

STR10 on par with Mercedes?

But enough of the bad: Toro Rosso has also surprised many positively this season. The STR10, penned by acclaimed engineer James Key, is a strong car with a lot of potential. Without the power deficit, the cops might even be a candidate for the podium, according to the pilots' statements. Franz Tost also thinks that the car of the 2015 season is one of the best: "It's true that the aerodynamics work very well, and in some fast corners it has been shown that the car is almost as good and sometimes even on par with Mercedes . "

The drivers are also valuable assets in the team. With Max Verstappen you have a real rough diamond in the team who has already aroused the desires of the competition. Although the Dutchman is often still on the move impetuously, as his accident with Romain Grosjean in Monaco showed, strong qualifications and fourth place for Hungary have proven that you can be mature enough for Formula 1 even at 17.

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Teammate Carlos Sainz, however, is often - wrongly - in the shadow of his teammate. In terms of points he is behind Verstappen with nine to 22 points, but if he had failed three times in a row with a technical problem, then he would have collected a similar number of points. Nevertheless, the Spaniard says: "It was a positive first half of the season in which I learned a lot."

"To be honest, I get the impression that I'm a very different driver now than I was in Australia. I've developed and Toro Rosso has done a good job. They have given us a very competitive car. So it's been going very well so far. " He also doesn't see that he is often slowed down by the lack of Renault performance: "I want to think positively. I can't ask for more and rant about the engine. The car is very good, I have very good people around me . In the first year you can't have everything at once, "he says of 'auto motor und sport'.

Praise for Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz

Franz Tost has definitely been more than satisfied with his drivers so far: "Both drivers have done a fantastic job. They really have a positive attitude, and Formula 1 is their life, which is confirmed by the fact that they are in constant contact with their engineers and work on their fitness a lot. They always ask questions and have a strong work ethic. Formula 1 is their passion and that's the best path to success. I would say they are one of the most competitive couples here at Toro Rosso.


It's not up to the drivers that Toro Rosso is only seventhZoom

With so much praise, more points are finally needed in the second half of the season, because the ingredients for success are actually there: the drivers are good, the car is good, with James Key you have one of the most sought-after technicians in the industry and you have the working environment has also developed positively thanks to an improved infrastructure: "We have improved enormously under the technical leadership and have a strong team in all areas," emphasizes Tost.

The targeted fifth place is not far off in the second half of the season, but the competition has also gotten better: Force India has improved with the new B version, and Lotus has become more consistent. But Tost is not afraid: "In Budapest we saw what is possible on a track where engine power is not decisive." Spa and Monza after the summer break, however, will not suit the team, "unless there is a thunderstorm during the race," laughs Tost. "Tracks like Singapore and Abu Dhabi will be better for us, but we'll see. We'll keep pushing the gas to achieve our goals."