Date: 10th December 2012 at 11:16am
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If Toro Rosso believed that the successes of sister team Red Bull would give them breathing space they’d be wrong.

The Italian team, which was renamed Toro Rosso [‘Red Bull’ in Italian], when the energy drinks company bought the old Minardi team in 2005 acts as the teams development squad.

The drivers are always products of a younger driving programme aimed at giving young drivers a chance to gain experience in Formula One.

The golden carrot is of course Sebastian Vettel, who after previously driving for Toro Rosso moved to Red Bull and has now taken three consecutive Formula One World Drivers championships.

However while Vettel was able to win his first race whilst still at Toro Rosso, in recent years the team has struggled to compete.

When Vettel won the 2008 Italian Grand Prix, Toro Rosso went on to finish sixth in the F1 constructors championship with 39 points.

But since his departure the team have underperformed.

In 2009 a combination of Sébastien Bourdais, Sébastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari scored a total of 8 points and secured a 10th place finish in the constructors standings.

2010 Buemi and Alguersuari showed slight improvement scoring 13 points and finishing 9th.

In 2011 and the pair improved again scoring 41 points and finishing 8th.

Despite the improvement Buemi and Alguersuari failed to impress the Red Bull bosses and both were dropped in 2012 for Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Éric Vergne.

The pair had limited F1 experience, while the team failed to develop a competitive car, four eighth place finishes was the best Vergne could put together and the team would go on to take just 26 points and finished 9th in the constructors championship.

That has led to changes in the team with Technical Director Giorgio Ascanelli being replaced by former Force India and Sauber Technical Director James Key back in September and now a call from the very top has called for improvement.

‘Toro Rosso is our rookie team and its goals differ from those of Red Bull Racing,’ Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz said to AUTO, the international journal of the FIA.

‘But that’s not to say we’re happy with the development of the car. Significant improvements need to be found and are being called for.’

That kind of pressure will fall on Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Éric Vergne who will both continue with the team next season, whilst the development team behind the car will be working hard over the winter to turn around the form of 2012.

 

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