Jul.3 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Max Verstappen agrees with his boss that the 2015 Toro Rosso is one of the very best cars on the grid.

The STR10’s designer James Key said recently that “With a Mercedes engine we would be at the front”.

And it is not only those in the Faenza based camp who are saying it.

“Toro Rosso have a great car,” Force India’s Sergio Perez agreed at Silverstone.

Team driver Verstappen admits: “I would say we are in third place behind Mercedes.”

Actually, Toro Rosso is a lowly eighth in the current constructors’ standings, as the 17-year-old teen and his equally impressive teammate Carlos Sainz struggle with unreliable and uncompetitive Renault power.

But Spaniard Sainz said: “We use GPS at every race and can see that with a decent engine, we would be fighting with Williams and sometimes also Ferrari.

“That’s why I always praise the team. For a small team to produce a car like that is really impressive,” he added.

As for the obvious comparison with ‘big brother’ team Red Bull, Verstappen said: “Maybe they have more people at Milton Keynes, and they are better at setting up the car than us, but in general I think our car is almost as good as theirs.”

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo confirmed: “When I follow the Toro Rosso, the handling looks really good. They have done a great job.

“It looks as though James Key is really established in the team now after a few years. He has designed a really good car.”

But the Australian denied that Red Bull has suffered a decline due to its own designer, Adrian Newey, having stepped into the background.

“I’m not at the factory every day,” said Ricciardo, “but when I am there, he is always in his office in the morning. I am sure he is doing what he can to bring us back to the front.”