Monday, 19 January 2015

Special Feature - Ten years of Scuderia Toro Rosso

(© Ben Johnston 2015)

The 2015 Formula One season marks a milestone for the Scuderia Toro Rosso Formula One team as this year marks their 10th anniversary in the sport.

Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz bought the Minardi Formula One team from Australian businessman Paul Stoddart and rebranded the team as Scuderia Toro Rosso ahead of their first season in Formula One.

The team was set up as a sister team to the Red Bull Racing Team and made their debut with Cosworth power in 2006, the year after Red Bull Racing made their own Formula One debut.

In their first season in the sport the Italian team finished in ninth place in the championship scoring just one point which came courtesy of Vitantonio Liuzzi, the Italian drove alongside American former IndyCar driver Scott Speed.

In 2007, Toro Rosso switched from Cosworth power to Ferrari. The team finished the season in seventh place having scored eight points. Toro Rosso once again had Liuzzi and Speed driving for them however, following the European Grand Prix Speed lost his drive and was replaced by German Sebastian Vettel, who was part of Red Bull’s young driver programme.

The German scored his first point for the team at the Chinese Grand Prix where he finished the race in fourth place having started the race from 17th place.

The 2008 season was a breakthrough season for the Italian team as they secured their first and so far only victory to date as Vettel won the Italian Grand Prix in Monza having started the race from pole position. The German finished the season in eighth place in the championship on 35 points. 

Toro Rosso had two Sebastian’s in the team in 2008 as Vettel was joined at the outfit by Sebastian Bourdais.

The Italian team finished the season in sixth place on 39 points, 29 ahead of Red Bull Racing. The 2009 season was a difficult season for the team as between them Sebastian Buemi and Sebastian Bourdais collected just eight points between them after Sebastian Vettel became the first Red Bull junior driver to make the step up to Red Bull Racing from Scuderia Toro Rosso replacing David Coulthard who retired from Formula One at the end of 2008.

Jaime Alguersuari also drove for the team. The 2010 season was his first full season in Formula One with the team driving alongside Sebastian Buemi. Scuderia Toro Rosso finished the season in 9th place on 13 points.

In 2011, the team finished the season in eighth place on 41 points, their most number of points collected since they entered the sport. Buemi and Alguersuari finished the season in 14th and 15th place respectively.

The 2012 Formula One season saw a brand new driver line up at Toro Rosso with Jean Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo joining the team. The pair scored 26 points between them during the year which led the team to ninth place in the championship finishing ahead of the Caterham F1 Team. 

In 2013 the team finished in eighth place on 33 points and ended the season ahead of the Williams Renault team.

 At the 2013 British Grand Prix, Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s Mark Webber, who had been with the team since 2007 announced that he would be retiring from Formula One at the end of the season meaning that over the course of the rest of that season the Scuderia Toro Rosso duo of Daniel Ricciardo and Jean Eric Vergne would be battling it out for the Infiniti Red Bull Racing seat alongside Sebastian Vettel.

Daniel Ricciardo won the battle and made the move up to Infiniti Red Bull Racing. GP3 driver Daniil Kvyat made the move up to Scuderia Toro Rosso as Jean Eric Vergne’s team mate in 2014 and was very impressive scoring two points on his debut at the Australian Grand Prix in Albert Park, Melbourne.

The Russian will move up to Infiniti Red Bull Racing after Sebastian Vettel confirmed that he will drive alongside Kimi Raikkonen at Scuderia Ferrari this season.

Toro Rosso finished in seventh place in the Constructors championship in 2014 and ended the year on 30 points, 20 ahead of the Lotus F1 Team. 

At the end of the season, the team confirmed that they had dropped Jean Eric Vergne who has joined Scuderia Ferrari as test and reserve driver and will also drive for Andretti Autosport in the Formula E championship.

Toro Rosso will field two brand new drivers this season with Max Verstappen, son of former Formula One driver Jos Verstappen. The Dutch driver becomes the youngest ever Formula One driver to compete in a Grand Prix event at the age of 17. 

Verstappen is joined at Toro Rosso by Carlos Sainz Jr, son of legendary World Rally and Dakar champion Carlos Sainz.

Scuderia Toro Rosso Team Principal, Franz Tost has tipped Verstappen to finish in the points on his Formula One debut in Australia, if the team produce a competitive car.

© Ben Johnston 2015

No comments:

Post a Comment