Posted on January 27, 2014


Toro Rosso have launched their first car to be powered by a Renault engine with a reveal of the STR9 in the Jerez pit lane. The new car will be driven by Jean-Eric Vergne and rookie Daniil Kvyat, who replaced Daniel Ricciardo after the Australian moved to Red Bull. The STR9 features a nose similar to that on the McLaren and Sauber and retains its traditional colours and livery. Toro Rosso’s chief designer Luca Furbatto said: “Pretty much all the systems on the car are brand-new and that’s certainly a concern from a reliability point of view as the season More…

Posted on January 24, 2014


Mercedes have given their 2014 car its first run at a cold but dry Silverstone. The Brackley-based team used one of their allocated filming days, which are allowed under testing restrictions, to give the W05 a shakedown with Nico Rosberg at the wheel. The car completed 40km on demonstration tyres. It will get its first proper run out at the first pre-season test in Jerez, which starts on Tuesday. Here is a You Tube sound clip from the team of the V6 engine in action. It sounds like an F1 engine, just one without the higher rev range. Rosberg tweeted: More…

Posted on November 3, 2013


One interesting side story of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend has been the growing influence of the local International Petroleum Investment Company on the Toro Rosso team. This was symbolised over the weekend by the presence of a rallying message to Emiratis on the rear wing endplate of Jean Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo’s cars, “Kullunna Khalifa”, which means means “We are all Khalifa” – in other words a message designed to make the people in the region buy into the Abu Dhabi event and their presence in it as participants and reminding them that the eyes of the More…

Posted on October 23, 2013


Russian driver Danill Kvyat will replace Daniel Ricciardo at Toro Rosso next season, alongside Jean-Eric Vergne after beating off competition from Felix da Costa and Carlos Sainz Jr – but who is the 19-year-old and what is his level of experience in motorsport? Well Kvyat has secured two wins in the last four races of the GP3 Championship, a support series to Formula 1, to trail championship leader Facu Regalia by just seven points heading into the doubleheader decider in Abu Dhabi next month. If the 19-year-old goes on to win the title, in his debut season, he would follow More…

Posted on October 21, 2013


Daniil Kvyat has beaten off strong opposition from Felix da Costa and Carlos Sainz Jr to land the second Toro Rosso seat for next season, replacing Daniel Ricciardo. The news that the 19 year old has a confirmed seat means that next year there will be at least one Russian on the grid, when F1 arrives in Sochi for the inaugural Russian Grand Prix. He becomes the second Russian driver to make it to F1, after Vitaly Petrov who raced in 57 Grands Prix for Renault, Lotus and Caterham. The choice is interesting; after Mark Webber announced his retirement from More…

Posted on September 21, 2013


The best funded and most prominent young driver programme in F1 is the Red Bull Junior programme, which brings drivers through from the junior categories to F1 with Toro Rosso. If they shine there they may get a chance in the Red Bull team, if a space arises. This is the pathway which has so far produced Sebastian Vettel and now Daniel Ricciardo. In Singapore Franz Tost, the team principal of Toro Rosso, spelled out what exactly he and Helmut Marko, the mentor of the Young Driver Programme are looking for and it’s quite interesting so merits some attention. Here More…

Posted on October 31, 2012


Following on from the confirmation by Sauber this morning of Nico Hulkenberg as one of its drivers for 2013, Red Bull junior team Toro Rosso has this afternoon advised that it will stick with its current young driver pairing of Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne. The pair have had a stronger second half to the season, with a double points finish in Korea. Vergne has had the stronger results with three 8th places, while Ricciardo has been in the points five times this season. Red Bull tends to give its young drivers at least a couple of seasons in the More…

Posted on September 6, 2012


James Key, who left Sauber at the start of the 2012 season, has been confirmed as the new technical director of Toro Rosso. This story has been around for a long time, we trailed it well over a month ago, (full story here) but it’s finally been confirmed today officially. The Englishman, who came up through the ranks at Jordan/Midland/Spyker/Force India has a proven track record of getting plenty of performance on a tight budget. He is credited with turning Sauber around from the team which struggled after the departure of BMW in 2009, to the team which has a More…

Posted on January 8, 2012


Helmut Marko, whose influence on the moves made by the Red Bull company in F1 is significant, has explained why the company decided to drop Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi from the Toro Rosso team. “Toro Rosso was created to give young drivers a chance,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport yesterday. “Alguersuari and Buemi had that chance for three years and after that period it’s possible to evaluate a drivers’ development. “We didn’t see in them any possibility of growth. Both are Grand Prix drivers, but for us that’s not enough. We want Grand Prix winners.” Although a tough decision, More…

Posted on January 5, 2012


Red Bull Racing has confirmed pre-Christmas rumours that Sebastien Buemi will be the test and reserve driver for the 2012 season. He will carry out simulation work at the team’s HQ in Milton Keynes and will be present at all the Grands Prix, standing in for either Sebastian Vettel or Mark Webber should either of them be injured or unavailable. It would make sense for him also to fulfil a similar role for Toro Rosso as he will be at the races, knows the team and it’s highly unlikely that both teams would find themselves a driver short at the More…

Posted on December 15, 2011


It’s not often that a piece of news in F1 genuinely causes shock, but the sacking of Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari seems to have done so, especially to the drivers themselves. After a simple statement yesterday thanking them for their efforts and wishing them well in future, team boss Franz Tost has acknowledged that the decision looks “harsh” and found it necessary to go further today and explain in more detail why the team let the two drivers go, “Sébastien has been with us for three seasons and Jaime for two and a half. Both of them worked hard More…

Posted on December 14, 2011


Toro Rosso, the Red Bull junior team which exists to develop young drivers for the energy drinks brand, has unveiled its driver line up for 2012 and it’s all change with Daniel Ricciardo and Jean Eric Vergne replacing Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari. The programme is overseen by Dr Helmut Marko and he has made a tough decision here, clearing out Buemi and Alguersuari and bringing in new blood. The decision is something of a shock, given that Alguersuari, who is still only 21, had appeared to be getting a lot stronger in the second half of the season and More…

Posted on November 3, 2011


The performance of the Toro Rosso cars at the weekend underlined how much progress the team has made in the second half of the season. But where is the boost coming from and is there a back story to it? Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastian Buemi both qualified in the top ten in India and Alguersuari raced strongly to another points finish. In the last five races the team has scored 29 points, while rivals Sauber in the same period have scored six and Force India 19. Since Suzuka in particular the Toro Rosso has been making huge strides. In Singapore More…

Posted on September 23, 2011


Jean Eric Vergne is a name that is coming up increasingly frequently in F1 circles at the moment. The Frenchman is another of the Red Bull young drivers coming into the F1 orbit and this weekend he’ll be doing a job behind the scenes for them. Speaking to L’Equipe he revealed that this weekend he will be “in the Red Bull simulator at Milton Keynes supporting Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber for the Singapore GP.” Teams send all the data from the track in real time back to their factory bases and after the debriefs the engineers at the factory More…

Posted on September 9, 2011


The new sponsors are very much in evidence on the Toro Rosso, with Spanish oil brand Cepsa on the rear wing, joining Falcon Bank and Nova Chemicals, other new sponsors which joined the team earlier this season. All three are owned by Aabar, the Abu Dhabi investment vehicle which is also a shareholder in Daimler and in the Mercedes F1 team. Its chairman Khadem Abdulla Al Qubaisi has been a regular recently at the side of Toro Rosso boss Franz Tost in the paddock and pit lane, promoting speculation that the team was being taken over. However this is not More…

Posted on June 28, 2011

The Strategy Report

The European Grand Prix at Valencia was the least exciting race of the season so far from the point of view of spectacle. But from a race strategy point of view it was quite interesting. It was less frantic than some of the races we have experienced so far this year and, surprisingly, there was no safety car. As a result the teams had some time to consider their options during the race. Many had planned to do the race on a two-stop strategy, which on paper was eight seconds faster than a three-stop, assuming you had a trouble-free run More…

Posted on June 23, 2011


Toro Rosso driver Jaime Alguersuari was speaking today about his season so far and batting away questions about whether he is likely to be moved aside in order for Daniel Ricciardo to be given a chance to do a race weekend, or maybe a series of them. “I think it is interesting as he (Ricciardo) gets to try different things on the car and at the end, still this year, I did not find the best way to improve the car, the performance, and am just still learning about the set-up, about the tyres, about so many things on the More…

Posted on January 3, 2011


Toro Rosso, 0 wins, 0 poles, 9th in Constructors’ Championship Probably the least talked about team in F1, I have to admit I’ve always found Toro Rosso a bit of an enigma. Why does Red Bull persist with owning a second team now that the rules prohibit the kind of chassis data exchange which used to make it a low overhead business and now that the main Red Bull team is competing at the highest level? Is there any scope for the team to grow and if so in what ways? It has been for sale at various stages along More…

Posted on November 26, 2010


Fresh from his impressive test performance at Yas Marina Circuit last week, Red Bull protege Daniel Ricciardo has been given a testing role with Toro Rosso, which will see him running in Friday practice at all 20 rounds of next year’s F1 world championship. This is a logical but nevertheless interesting move by the Red Bull management. First it sends out a signal that the Red Bull conveyor belt of talent is in full swing, having just produced its first world champion in Sebastian Vettel. Second it justifies the existence of Toro Rosso as it is the proving ground of More…

Posted on July 18, 2009


A few readers have commented this week about the fact that Toro Rosso has one of the worst records in the field for dropping drivers. So far in their short history they have dropped Scott Speed, Tonio Liuzzi and now Sebastien Bourdais. I’ve never quite got my head around Toro Rosso. It was once  Minardi and was bought up by Red Bull  boss Dietrich Mateschitz to fulfil several functions; to help out F1 by keeping another team on the grid, an extra non-manufacturer voice  politically, an extra branding opportunity, but mainly as a place to give young drivers from the More…

Posted on February 6, 2009


Sebastien Bourdais has been given the nod by Toro Rosso for next season, alongside Sebastien Buemi. That’s three Sebastien’s in two seasons for that team, they seem to have a production line. I liked the look of Bourdais at the start and end of last season, but he fell away in the middle when Toro Rosso got the new car in Monaco and once it got the power boost of the latest spec engines from Ferrari around Silverstone time, Vettel was able to do far more with it. Towards the end of the year, however, Bourdais got his act together More…

Posted on September 18, 2008


Sebastien Vettel’s win in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza was a fairytale for Toro Rosso, but something of a headache for their competitors. Toro Rosso is a customer team, probably the purest example of the breed. They get a car from Red Bull Technologies, which is essentially the same as the Red Bull, except for the Ferrari engine and its installation equipment. Their win is not good news  for the teams who manufacture their own car, like Williams and there have been some murmurs that the old battles may be opened up again in light of Vettel’s win. It’s More…

Posted on September 15, 2008


Sebastien Vettel wins the Italian Grand Prix at historic Monza, in an Italian car, which isn’t a Ferrari and he does so from pole position, driving away from a McLaren. He’s the youngest ever winner by a year and everyone in F1 is happy for him. The story will go down in history as something very special. It is like James Hunt winning at Zandvoort for the tiny Hesketh team. The Toro Rosso team has Minardi DNA still running through its veins. Most of the guys who toiled for Paul Stoddard and Giancarlo Minardi are still there among the 168 More…



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