Ten seasons in Formula 1, 185 Grands Prix and over 93,000 kilometres covered on the race tracks of the world. That’s definitely a long long way. In fact, it’s a distance equivalent to driving around the circumference of the globe about two and a half times. For our Scuderia, the first decade has just ended and we’ve blown out the ten candles.
(RBR2 and STR1 Launch, Bahrain 2006)
It all began back in 2005, when Dietrich Mateschitz took over the Minardi team to turn it into Scuderia Toro Rosso. The aim was to fill the two cockpits with the brightest talents from the Red Bull Junior Driver Programme. Time has really flown by, as we pointed out over the course of this season, with our #10SeasonsTimeFlies on social media. In that time, the team has grown considerably, taken on some big challenges and achieved a great deal.
(Mr. Dietrich Mateschitz and Sebastian Vettel, 2008)
Since 2006 we have witnessed important milestones in the history of Formula 1. We saw the sun set on a generation of drivers that had brought the Nineties to life and the ascent of those who are now considered veterans of the sport. Today, we live in the age of the talent of the future! Of course, as in all sports, there have been highs and lows, but throughout the decade the team has evolved and developed: the facilities are bigger, there are more staff and we have a higher level of technology. Scuderia Toro Rosso has evolved and is in good shape, thanks also to the technical support of Red Bull Technology and thanks to the help of our partners such as Cepsa, Nova Chemicals and Sapinda.
(Monza 2008, Singapore 2015)
No fewer than eleven racing drivers have slipped into the cockpits of our ten cars, each one making an important contribution: if we had to pick out just one, it would have to be Sebastian Vettel, who flew our colours on the topmost step of the podium in Monza in 2008. He then went on to take four consecutive Drivers’ titles with our friends at Red Bull Racing. We made our debut in Bahrain in 2006, with the STR1 powered by a V10 engine. We then lived through the era of the normally aspirated V8 moving on to today and the hybrid power unit based around a V6 turbo.
(Our ten cars in action, throughout the decade)
(Our ten cars on display in Milan, September 2015. Event organised with Red Bull Italy)
Generations of engines and cars, generations of drivers: our mission has always been clear, partly because one man, Franz Tost has always been at the helm. Our talented youngsters have put on a show and they tend to head up the record categories for their age group. Vettel’s win in Italy in a Toro Rosso makes him the youngest ever driver to win a Grand Prix, to start from pole, to finish on the podium and to have led a race – in this last category, he is followed by another of our alumni, Sebastien Buemi. This year, at the age of 17, Max Verstappen became the youngest ever driver to race in F1 and, given age limit rules introduced this year, he will likely remain so for ever. Our Dutchman is also the youngest ever driver to score points, while others also feature in the top ten: Daniil Kvyat, Jaime Alguersuari, Sebastien Buemi and Carlos Sainz.
Our current drivers, now ex-rookies, formed the youngest ever pairing the sport has ever seen and they brought our first decade to a close in spectacular style this season, doing far better than expected. They both have famous motor sport fathers, but they proved to be worth a lot more than just their surnames. Carlos made an immediate impact, scoring points on his debut. In the second part of the season, Max did incredibly well, finishing in the top ten on six occasions in a row in his debut year, just as did Lewis Hamilton (2007), Kimi Raikkonen (2001), Jacques Villeneuve (1996) and Jackie Stewart (1965).
Finally, a word about our tenth car: the STR10 designed by the staff under the leadership of James Key. We thank everyone who has worked so hard over the past decade and this season just gone, both at the track and in our facilities in Faenza and Bicester. In a way, we are all on board a hybrid STR which represents us all and is already heading down yet another straight, ending in yet another corner as we tackle yet another challenge! Yes indeed, time flies and 2016 is just around the corner!