Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz say Toro Rosso has been feeding on its strong Hungary showing to prepare the forthcoming Belgian Grand Prix, but both rookies admit it will be hard to repeat the feat this weekend.
By claiming fourth at Budapest in late July, the Dutch teenager secured the best result of his short Formula One career while offering a welcome boost to his team in the Constructors' standings.
Although Verstappen expects a tougher challenge for what will be his home race, the 17-year-old hopes Toro Rosso can extend its pre-summer break momentum into the second part of the 2015 campaign.
“The Hungaroring was clearly a good track for us from a performance and point-scoring point of view,” he said.
“Spa will be much harder as it doesn't suit our car that well, but we will make sure we work hard to achieve the best result possible. The P4 in Hungary definitely gives us all extra motivation!”
Team-mate Sainz put an equally convincing performance at Budapest, though he had to retire with a broken hose clip. Despite this personal setback, the Spaniard agrees that the Faenza-based squad is raring to go and kickstart the second half of its season in similar fashion.
“You can feel that everyone in the team is encouraged to keep pushing,” said Sainz. “After Hungary, we are one step closer to our target of finishing fifth in the Championship.
“We are all working flat-out together and this is a very good sign! We will need a kind of race like the one we had in Hungary to be able to be competitive in Spa.”
Last year, both Toro Rosso rookies enjoyed very successful outings at the Belgian Grand Prix venue in their respective junior categories. Indeed, Verstappen won all three races of the FIA Formula 3 European championship round held at Spa, while Sainz sweeps the Formula Renault 3.5 Series double-header in the Ardennes en route to clinch the title.
Click here for a gallery of the biggest crashes at Spa-Francorchamps