Scuderia Toro Rosso

Daniil Kvyat Pierre Gasly

Scuderia Toro Rosso

Scuderia Toro Rosso, or Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda, is a Formula 1 team that has been competing since 2006. The Italian team that took over the Minardi team is based in Faenza. They have won one race since being established at the end of 2005.

Toro Rosso is officially independent from Red Bull Racing, but it is widely known it is the development team of the Bulls. Many famous drivers like Sebastian Vettel, Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo earned their stripes at Toro Rosso. Their current drivers are Daniil Kvyat and Alexander Albon, with Franz Tost being the team principal. Tost has been team principal since Toro Rosso was established. 

Team NameScuderia Toro Rosso
BaseFaenza, Italy
Team LeaderFranz Tost
Technical LeaderJames Key

Acquiring Minardi and starting a legacy

Minardi had been competing for 20 years in F1 but had never been competitive. Owner Paul Studdart decided to sell the team to Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz after the 2005 season. The name was changed to Scuderia Toro Rosso, with ‘Toro Rosso’ being Italian for ‘Red Bull’.

The first season, with Vitantonio Liuzzi and Scott Speed manning the STR1’s, was unsuccessful. The team managed one point over the entire year.

In 2007, Speed was replaced by German super talent Sebastian Vettel after 10 rounds. Despite having just one Grand Prix under his belt at BMW, Vettel finished in fourth place in China.

Winning a race, outperforming Red Bull

2008 will probably remain the best year in Toro Rosso history forever. It was the only year where they outperformed parent team Red Bull Racing, something which isn’t meant to happen. After struggling with reliability at the start of the season, Vettel started collecting points for the team. And then came the Italian Grand Prix.

In the pouring rain, Vettel incredibly put his STR3 on pole position, and even more incredibly hung onto it to win the race. A historic win for many reasons. It was the first win for Toro Rosso and Sebastian Vettel, meaning Toro Rosso had won an F1 race before Red Bull did. Toro Rosso also became the first Italian team to get a maiden win since Maserati in 1957.

In 2008, Toro Rosso ended up above Red Bull in the constructors’ championship as well, the first and last time that happened. This was all thanks to Vettel, who had a stellar season, scoring 35 of the team’s 39 points. Needless to say, he was promoted to Red Bull afterwards.

Talent factory for Red Bull Racing

As Red Bull’s duo of Vettel and Mark Webber worked wonders at the start of this decade, there was no room for promotions. A lot of drivers came and went at Toro Rosso, but none would make the promotion until Daniel Ricciardo in 2014.

In 2012, Toro Rosso decided to adjust the strategy. They started focussing on developing young talented drivers who could potentially promote to Red Bull. Ricciardo and Jean-Éric Vergne started driving for the team in 2012.

In the two years the duo drove together for struggling Toro Rosso, Ricciardo stood out more. Halfway through 2013, it was announced that he’d be replacing the retiring Mark Webber at Red Bull in 2014.

Daniil Kvyat came in at Toro Rosso, and the Russian would replace the departing Vettel at Red Bull a year later. Vergne left the team as well.

Making and breaking drivers

2015 saw a new duo; Carlos Sainz Jr., and the youngest F1 driver in history, Max Verstappen. The pair were both extremely talented and often battled each other, with tensions going high. The mercurial Verstappen made the step up to Red Bull halfway through 2016, demoting Kvyat back to Toro Rosso.

A year later, Sainz left the team as well for Renault, and soon after Kvyat was axed. Brendon Hartley and Pierre Gasly came in to finish 2017, and when Toro Rosso struck a deal with Honda to power them from 2018 onwards, the duo stuck around.

Performance picked up, with Gasly brilliantly finishing fourth in Bahrain and Hartley qualifying in sixth in Japan, Honda’s home race. Despite the pick-up in performance, Hartley was axed as well, and Gasly got promoted to Red Bull for the departed Ricciardo.

2019 will feature Daniil Kvyat in his third stint at the team, and rookie Alexander Albon. The team is thought to be well-equipped to compete in midfield.

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