Date: 1st April 2013 at 9:42am
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With all the excitement at the front end of the grid, it’s sometimes easy to forget or not notice the developments that teams further down the pecking order are making.

For example, take the Toro Rosso team as an example. The sister team of Red Bull exists as a development team for their up and coming young drivers.

But in recent years the team has struggled to be competitive, not exactly the launching pad that Red Bull would like to offer the likes of Jean-Éric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo or Sébastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari before them.

Over the past four seasons, the team haven’t finished any higher than seventh place, with Buemi claiming two seventh place finishes in 2009, while Alguersuari also took two seventh place finishes in 2011.

Last season Ricciardo finished in a seasons best ninth on four occasions, while Vergne finished eighth, also on four occasions.

It’s hardly the consistent form that saw Sebastian Vettel take one sixth, three fifths, one fourth and a race win while he was in the team in 2008.

The team received an ultimatum over the winter to improve their form and while they still couldn’t better an eighth place finish in Malaysia, Vergne believes the team showed some real promise in the last race.

‘What I do think is that the pace of the car is encouraging. I had the fourth fastest time in Malaysia,’ he told Toro Rosso’s website as quoted by Sky Sports.

‘Yes, it was set on fresh options and light tanks but it’s the same for everyone at that stage, so the performance is definitely in the car.

‘I think we don’t necessarily maximise the performance on Fridays or in qualifying, so that’s where the improvements need to come. However, the race pace is good and that’s encouraging as we go forwards.’