Toro Rosso off the pace on debut

Scuderia Toro Rosso finally showed off their first car in Formula One testing at Jerez today.

On the day former grand prix winner Gerhard Berger bought 50% of the team from Red Bull, Vitantonio Liuzzi was given the honour of driving Toro Rosso’s first car.

The team, formerly known as Minardi, have already tested this season using last year’s Red Bull car but got underway with their own creation in Spain today.

The Cosworth-powered car did not enjoy a trouble-free debut though, breaking down once on Liuzzi’s way to the 12th fastest time, ahead only of the two Midland cars.

Liuzzi said: “Finally, the new baby is out. Now I feel that we are really on course for the 2006 season.

“Everything went well and the car ran pretty reliably. Of course, with a new car there is still quite a lot to do with set-up and the engine definitely felt different.

“It makes a strange noise, has less power and the power band is in a different place to what I had been used to.”

Pedro de la Rosa set the fastest time in a modified 2005 McLaren while Giancarlo Fisichella was the quickest driver in a 2006 car. Mark Webber was third for Williams with Jenson Button for in a Honda.

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