Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda, commonly known as Toro Rosso, is an Italian Formula One racing team.
Toro Rosso which got established in 2006 is a squad in which young drivers from Red Bull’s prodigious talent pool could cut their teeth in Grand Prix racing. The Italian racing team is currently competing as Scuderia Toro Rosso, owned by the beverage company Red Bull and Red Bull Racing.
20-year-old Minardi, despite having a good fan base was ready to dismantle itself considering their poor performances in 2005 to another Italian base, to maintain their traditional roots. That is how Red Bull was able to buy their second team amongst 41 other approaches to buy the team. Taking control of the team on November 1st, 2005, the team was renamed to Squadra Toro Rosso, though many Minardi fans were upset with this.
The Positive Start
The team used Minardi's contracted supply of rev limited and air restricted Cosworth 3.0l V10 engines, signing in Vitantonio Liuzzi and Scott Speed for the 2006 season, ended as a positive season with Liuzzi scoring maiden points. Though 2007 season didn’t start off well for the team with 13 retirements in first 10 races, it leads to the inclusion of Sebastian Vettel who was then former BMW Sauber’s reserve driver. Improvements lead to best result to date in China, Vettel and Liuzzi taking an eight-point haul.
After a faltering start, 2008 season was a great boost for the team with Vettel taking team’s maiden pole and victory at the Italian GP and few consistent points towards the end of the season to beat parent team Red Bull Racing for the 6th place in constructor’s standings.
With Vettel moving to Red Bull Racing replacing the retired David Coulthard, Sebastien Buemi and Sebastien Bourdais led the team's assault for the 2009 season. Despite a major car upgrade during mid-season, nothing prevented the team from finishing last at standings.
Retaining Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari for two seasons, Toro Rosso re-emphasized that they are there to groom tomorrow’s champions, despite their ordinary scores to finish at 9th and 8th places in 2010 and 2011 seasons. Their altogether new driver lineup comprising Ricciardo and Vergne was promising enough to be retained for the 2013 season as well, where they both went on to bag a handful of top 10 finishes. Their performances earned them a move up with signing from Red Bull. In 2014 the Kvyat-Vergne combo helped the team finish at 7th place at standings. Following year, despite boasting the youngest driver line-up in F1 racing history, Red Bull’s ‘B team’, with Verstappen and Sainz, weren’t able to finish higher than their previous best of 7th place. From 2015 for three consecutive three years, the team has been finishing the season at 7th place consistently, despite running a 2015-spec Ferrari power unit for a long period of time until they switched to a Renault power unit.
Today the ethos of nurturing talent still holds true, though the Italian squad is not anymore just a ‘B team’ but a constructor in their own right providing the platform for rising stars.
The current drivers for the team are Pierre Gasly and 2017 World Endurance Champion Brendon Hartley. The most successful driver for the team has been none other the four time world champion Sebastian Vettel who gave the team their one and only win at Monza, Italy back in 2008. Since 2010, the team has competed entirely independently of their sister team. They have reached a highest of 6th in the constructors' championships, which they achieved in 2008 with drivers Sebastien Bourdais and Sebastian Vettel.
Team Chief: Franz Tost
Technical Chief: James Key
Founder: Dietrich Mateschitz