Toro Rosso is hopeful that 'two or three' major upgrades it has planned for its car will allow it to keep up the strong pace it has shown in the opening two races of the Formula 1 season.
The Faenza-based outfit is currently sixth in the constructors' championship, and has shown good promise with its STR11 following a winter switch to using a 2015 Ferrari engine.
Although it is mindful that a lack of potential updates to the engine could mean it loses ground against its rivals in the power stakes, team principal Franz Tost thinks there is enough scope in improving the chassis that it can hold its ground against the opposition – because its package is far from perfect at the moment.
"Of course, we simply ran out of time to optimise everything," Tost told Motorsport.com. "The team around [technical director] James Key is already working on updates.
"I'm quite convinced that during the season we will make some other steps forward with the car, which is necessary because as you know we are with the 2015 engine out there and that means we must be concentrated to improve the performance of the car.
"I hope with two or three major upgrades we can achieve this."
One of the issues relating to its late engine switch from Renault was that its car was not designed originally with the Ferrari power unit in mind – which means there have been compromises in terms of packaging and weight distribution.
It is these issues which are believed to have impacted on the higher degradation levels that the team has suffered in the early races.
Speaking about this, Tost said: "We know that we can improve the car, and we are working on this. But I think every team will say something similar.
"They will come up with new modifications which will improve the performance of the car, so I think it's the combination of everything a little bit. Of the car itself, of the experience of the drivers, the tyres and so on."
Driver rivalry no problem
Tost also said that he had no problem with the extreme competitiveness between Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz, despite the problems it caused with the radio row in Australia.
"Of course both of them are fighting on the limit, but this is okay," he said. "This is F1, and this is what we want to see.
"So far both are doing a good job. I expect some good entertainment also for the rest of the season."