F1 2019 Pre-Season Report: Toro Rosso

With Daniil Kvyat returning to the fold, we assess how Toro Rosso can expect to fare in the 2019 Formula One season.

The Scuderia Toro Rosso STR14 Honda pictured during the F1 Winter Testing at Circuit de Catalunya.   -  Getty Images

Ahead of the opening race of the 2019 Formula One season in Australia on March 17, we take a look at Toro Rosso is shaping up for the new campaign.

HOW DID THEY PERFORM IN 2018?

Toro Rosso had a settled year by its own standards, using only two drivers for the first time since 2015, but it did not deliver results as it finished ninth in the constructors' championship.

The main positive of the campaign was the performance of Pierre Gasly, who impressed with a fourth-place finish in Bahrain and a sixth-place finish in Hungary, earning promotion to Red Bull Racing for 2019.

In that sense, Toro Rosso served its purpose as a junior team, but 33 points delivered its lowest finish since 2012.

THE 2019 LINE-UP

Daniil Kvyat

One of the more surprising announcements for the new season saw Kvyat return to a Toro Rosso seat, having been dropped at the back end of the 2017 campaign and demoted from Red Bull early in the previous championship.

The Russian spent last year as a Ferrari simulator driver - a position now taken up by outgoing Toro Rosso driver Brendon Hartley - and will be glad of another chance to prove himself in F1.

Alexander Albon

In a year of so many driver changes, Albon's name has perhaps been lost among the noise for some casual fans.

The Thai-British driver finished third in Formula 2 last year but crashed on the first lap of his test debut in Barcelona last month.

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THE TO-DO LIST

- Toro Rosso still clearly sees some potential in Kvyat and returning him to the kind of form that saw him picked up by Red Bull will hold the key to whether it can improve on last year's showing.

- With Red Bull now also using Honda power, Toro Rosso can prove an even greater ally to its sister team.

HOW WILL IT FARE?

Toro Rosso has ground to make up to challenge in the midfield this season, but it enjoyed an encouraging showing in pre-season testing and should improve on its 2018 performance.

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