STR hope to benefit from using old car

Toro Rosso's team manager Massimo Rivola is hopeful the Italian squad will benefit from using last year's car at the start of the 2008 season

The team are still working on the new STR3, which is unlikely to be ready before the fifth round of the championship in Turkey, and so they will be racing last year's STR2B in the first Grands Prix of the season.

Rivola hopes the experience from last year and the improved reliability of the old car will be a benefit for Toro Rosso early on.

"The testing we've done so far indicated we are around the middle part of the grid," Rivola told Autosprint.

"This means two things, the first very positive and the second one needs to be verified: first of all we are already almost ready for the first race in Melbourne, but at the same time we must consider that our rivals will further improve in the meantime and this must keep up on our toes.

"In any case our philosophy is to keep on developing the 2007 car which still has margins and which must reach an excellent level of reliability.

"We must get to the first race in 2008 without those sorts of risks and ready to take advantage of possible problems from our rivals which may open really interesting possibilities. We absolutely must get to the chequered flag."

Toro Rosso will have Sebastian Vettel and Sebastien Bourdais as their drivers for 2008, and Rivola admits he is pleased with their line-up.

"Bourdais has settled down nicely while Vettel has showed again to have a very good feeling and goes very quickly on the single lap too," he said.

"The STR2B is coming up nicely and we can say that, since the 2007 Malaysian GP, Giorgio Ascanelli has really brought something new and positive in the working methods.

"From the Turkish GP we'll have the new car and a new chapter will begin."

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