Verstappen looking for one second gain from Toro Rosso

© WRI2

Max Verstappen is showing no lack of confidence or expectation when it comes to Toro Rosso's 2016 contender, predicting the team's new car will enjoy a gain of about a second a lap over last season's STR10.

Last year, junior bulls Verstappen and Carlos Sainz, who were both in their debut Formula 1 seasons, were often seen snapping at the heels of Red Bull Racing's senior drivers which attested not only to their outright talent but also to the very good performance level of the James Key-penned STR10 chassis.

Speaking to Dutch media Ziggo Sport, Verstappen is expecting a further boost in performance from Toro Rosso's new Ferrari-powered machine.

"It seems that we are eight tenths to one second faster than last year," Max said.

"That’s a lot. It looks positive for us. We probably will make a bigger step than the teams that are simply switching to a new 2016 engine."

Toro Rosso have enjoyed Ferrari power in the past, with Sebastian Vettel achieving his first Grand Prix victory - and the single win for Toro Rosso - at Monza in 2008.

With the team in overdrive regarding preparations for this season, the Faenza-based squad have yet to announce when their new car shall be launched.

A pit-lane presentation at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona when pre-season testing gets underway on February 22 appears to be the most reasonable prospect.

Feature: How to fuel success in F1

F1i exclusive: Tost "more than positive" about Toro Rosso drivers

Key dates for the 2016 F1 season

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter