This weekend’s race in Shanghai is going to be a truly special event. Sunday’s Chinese GP is the one thousandth in the history of Formula 1 and Scuderia Toro Rosso is also celebrating an important milestone, having taken part in a quarter of these races.
When we take to the track at the Shanghai International Circuit, we will be celebrating our 250th Grand Prix, participating in motor racing’s blue riband category. The very first of those thousand Formula 1 championship races took place on 13th May 1950 at Silverstone circuit. It was won by a fellow Italian, Nino Farina.
56 years then went by before Scuderia Toro Rosso appeared on the grid, having taken over the Minardi F1 Team. We will never forget the excitement of our first race, the 2006 Bahrain Grand Prix. From then on, our main role was to bring on talented youngsters from the Red Bull Junior Driver Programme. Over the years, 14 drivers have worn our colours: Vitantonio Liuzzi, Scott Speed, Sebastian Vettel, Sebastien Bourdais, Jaime Alguersuari, Sébastien Buemi, Daniel Ricciardo, Jean-Eric Vergne, Daniil Kvyat, Max Verstappen, Carlos Sainz, Pierre Gasly, Brendon Hartley and Alexander Albon.
To date, Vitantonio Liuzzi is the only Italian to have driven for our team. He took part in 35 races and he had the honour of scoring Scuderia Toro Rosso’s first points, when he finished eighth in the 2006 United States Grand Prix. The following year, Vitantonio and a very young Sebastian Vettel recorded our first ever double points finish, in the 2007 Chinese GP. In 2008 came our finest moment to date, when Sebastian secured our first pole position and went on to convert it into a victory at our home race, the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.
As a team, we have played a significant role in introducing the current crop of new talent into Formula 1. Among the most recent additions were Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen. The Spaniard holds the record for the most points scored by a Toro Rosso driver, with 112 from 56 GP starts.
Thanks to his time with Scuderia Toro Rosso, Verstappen has beaten all the records in terms of precociousness. Apart from being the youngest ever driver to race in F1, he also became the youngest to score points, which he did in his second ever race, the 2015 Malaysian GP, at the age of 17 years, 5 months and 29 days. This record was previously held by another of our drivers, Daniil Kvyat. The Russian scored points in the 2014 Australian GP, aged 19 years and 10 months.
The record book shows that, to date, we have scored a total of 418 points, the most recent two coming courtesy of Alex Albon in the recent Bahrain GP. Our sixth place in the 2008 Constructors’ Championship is currently our best ever finish in the classification. But as the saying goes, the best is yet to come!