Being the sister team to the Red Bull team does itself bring enormous pressure. However inconsistent racing and only a handful of points at the end of the Championship has put Toro Rosso in the line of fire.
They are not classified as a ‘new team’, though I do feel that this term is no longer applicable to Caterham or Marussia, but they are not at the same level as the mid field teams. This somewhat precarious position has caused many to doubt their future success.
Indeed Dietrich Mateschitz himself has warned the failing team that improvements must be made if they are to retain their privileged position in Formula 1. His concern is understandable; Toro Rosso acts as a training ground for future Red Bull drivers – racers that are expected to emulate the success of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel.
However it is important to note that the aims of the two teams differ enormously. Red Bull aim for Championships and thus far have succeeded. Toro Rosso instead act as an experience for drivers chosen to be on the Red Bull Young Drivers Programme. Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne are not going to win the Championship at Toro Rosso, I can promise that. However in 2008, Sebastian Vettel won the Monza Grand Prix in a car not massively different to the present day Toro Rosso.
At the very least we should be seeing greater results from the team and their two drivers. They have a new Technical Director in James Key – perhaps this will help? At present Daniel Ricciardo’s future looks more certain; race fans have seen him as the star of the pairing. In a year that could all change – you should never rule out a Formula 1 driver.
2013 will be the make or break year for these two drivers and quite possibly the team. This is their second outfut; Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari were dropped and now face uncertain futures. I spoke recently about Robin Frijns (Sauber Reserve Driver) who turned down the opportunity to race for the team; he argued that their standards were too high and the team too ruthless. Given the sacking of two solid drivers, I would have to agree.
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