Toro Rosso in a driver dilemma?


World Champion
I was going to put this in the Vettel's next team-mate thread, but it turned out to be quite a bit of a post and didn't want to divert the topic away, and ruin Il_leone's debate over Vettel ;)

Anyway, my friend and I were having a discussion over Raikkonen and Ricciardo going to Red Bull. I said that I think Ricciardo will go to Red Bull. Then my friend raised an interesting point, she asked if my main man Moose would replace Ricciardo. As Buemi's manager, I said to her, no that would be a downgrade and a confidence killer for the lad, and that Felix da Costa is most likely to get the seat.

So that point is covered.

Which brings me to my next point, it's no secret that Jean-Eric Vergne is looking to sign for other teams, and this could possibly leave Toro Rosso needing two drivers.

Both Felix da Costa and Carlos Sainz Jr. where at the young drivers test, and the former is most likely to replace Ricciardo if that happened, while the latter is a bit young being 18 years of age, so who would get the other seat?

Buemi would be an option, but it would be bit of a downgrade for him, I doubt Alguersuari will go back even if he claims he's got a deal, do Red Bull have anyone else in their driver programme that looks to be F1 material, or will they have to do the unthinkable and hire externally?

In my opinion, I wouldn't be surprised if Carlos Sainz Jr. got the seat, after all, he was at the Young Driver Test, but this could lead to another problem, two new drivers once again, no benchmark, they could be inseperable as it has been seen by the last two line ups Toro Rosso have had.
JEV should stay on at TR. He's still got untapped potential and he's been a bit unlucky recently. He could find his way and put a nice string of results together I believe.

As for the other seat, I think da Costa is right in line for that one.
I don't think they care if the driver is a bit young, they'll throw them in, caring not a jot for the drivers' development.

Maybe they'll have to learn that being successful once with significant support from BMW does not a system make.
The bigger problem Torro Rosso have is the under performace of its junior drivers in the junior cateogries.

For all the fuss around Felix Da Costa and his GP3 performances he has not risen to the top of the pile in Renault 3.5 and currently sits 4th with no wins and no shot at the championship having been out classed by Magnuesen, Vandoorne and even Will Stevens. When you think JEV was in a whisker of winning that series and Alguersauri and Vettel did it doesn't look great.

Sainz JR has done even worse and has sunk to middle of the pack in GP3 and is even starting to be out paced by fellow Red Bull youth driver Danial Kyvat.

Red Bull have to hope they get Kimiband convince JEV and Ricciardo to stay at Toro Rosso or they'll be forced to throw in drivers I don't think are ready.
Red Bull have to hope they get Kimi and convince JEV and Ricciardo to stay at Toro Rosso or they'll be forced to throw in drivers I don't think are ready.

That's clearly the ideal scenario for Red Bull. The countless articles about Ricciardo's "tryout" last week were pretty funny. So what if he flattered? Are they going to tell Kimi, no thanks, we've got our driver.... Not a chance. Ricciardo is just their best fall-back plan.

Everybody at TR would be better off if they just stayed put.
Try telling Helmut Marko that who 's been plotting to get rid of Mark Webber for 4 years and now has an opportunity to promote one of his charges finally

People questioned TR for dropping Buemi and Algarsuari after 3 seasons and the response was they had their chance and could not cut it

Problem is they are all compared to Vettel who drove a TR under much different circumstances
I don't know if Torro Rosso know what they are supposed to do with their drivers let alone any one else. After Vettel who got a break with the team, as Il_leone points out above, under different circumstances, the next batch of drivers coming through the scheme have had nowhere to go.

I believe there would have been far less pressure on those drivers who end up there if they had retained the Minardi name (but with Red Bull sponsorship of course). This may have reduced the expectation on all those who get a seat at TR, that they are automatically in the frame for a drive at the mother team.

For all the wranglings over Mark Webber, he and Vettel have formed a racing partnership that has landed numerous race victories and pots and pans for the RBR trophy cabinet hence there was no great rush to get rid of Mark and Seb obviously isn't going anywhere.

If / When Kimi ends up at RBR next season it will further highlight the truth that TR isn't an automatic and direct path into a Red Bull seat. The best advice for the drivers there is to maximise what they've got and use it as a shop window for the whole grid and not to pin their hopes on being lifted off the subs bench.

With Sauber signing a 17 year old with a view to throwing him into a car next year at the age of 18, I don't think "a bit young" is a block on anyone becoming a driver these days.
Last edited:
I believe I'm right in saying that Liuzzi is the only Red Bull/Toro Rosso driver that has ever found a race seat at a non-Red Bull owned team after leaving Red Bull/Toro Rosso. The only way to leave the Red Bull nest is to get dumped or retire it seems.
JEV needs to find back up plans because if neither driver gets promoted it is seen as humiliation and simply not good enough after grooming them to do so like Heidfeld with Mclaren

Would Helmut Marko be made redundant for something he planned for 4 years and it did not happen ?

Franz Tost apparently is a hard man to impress but seriously what is he expecting out of TR these days

I should add someone mentioned Klein - he actually started in F1 with Jaguar because Red Bull sponsored him
Top Bottom