If you are a driver, in anyway affiliated with Red Bull, then today has been an odd day. Sebastian Vettel is most likely moving to Ferrari thus ending his fifteen year affiliation with the energy drinks company. The four-time champion will be replaced by Toro Rosso rookie Daniil Kvyat who will partner an on-form Daniel Ricciardo at the Austrian outfit next year.
This news leaves Jean-Eric Vergne, currently in his third season with Toro Rosso, without a confirmed drive. There is now a space available in the second seat alongside 2015 rookie Max Verstappen but with 2014 Formula Renault 3.5 champion elect Carlos Sainz Jr. in the mix, this is far from guaranteed.
In the tables below, you will see an outline of Toro Rosso’s statistics between 2012 and 2014. The first two tables compare Ricciardo and Vergne, showing that the Frenchman narrowly bettered Ricciardo during his rookie season. However, the tides changed as current Red Bull driver Ricciardo out-scored the Frenchman by seven points the following the year with a best race finish of seventh.
The tables also show that Ricciardo was the most consistent during their time as team mates, scoring more top ten finishes and fewer retirements than Vergne in both 2012 and 2013. The Australian’s only retirement in 2012 came at the Monaco Grand Prix when a steering fault ended his race on lap 65. He was unable to finish the 2013 event in the Principality.
Last year, Vergne endured a twelve race draught without points which ran from his retirement at Silverstone right through to his eighth place finish at Albert Park in March this year. Only including his time at Toro Rosso, Ricciardo has suffered a ten race spell without points from Malaysia to Spa. Ricciardo had half a season at a now-defunct HRT before making his Scuderia Toro Rosso debut in front of his home crowd at the 2012 Australian Grand Prix. These statistics, and those of his time at Red Bull, are not included.
The third and final table depicts the current seasons of Vergne and his new team mate, Formula 1 rookie Kvyat. It shows that the Russian scored points at his first attempt and has suffered one less retirement that Vergne with four. However, he is lower in the championship standings than his experienced driver partner trailing by eleven points.
Kvyat, now 20, was 19 when he made his début after emerging victorious from the 2013 GP3 season with Arden International while Vergne was 22. The Frenchman’s last title – the British F3 championship – was won back in 2010.
It is important to note that the 2014 season is still in progress.
|2012||STR debut||Top 10 finishes||Retirements||Non-Classified Finishes||Championship Position||Points||Best Finish|
|2013||STR debut||Top 10 finishes||Retirements||Non-Classified Finishes||Championship Position||Points||Best Finish|
Ricciardo scored 30 points from his 39 races with Toro Rosso whereas Vergne achieved 29 points from his 30 races and two years alongside the Australian.
|2014||STR debut||Top 10 finishes||Retirements||Non-Classified Finishes||Championship Position||Points||Best Finish|
Kvyat has secured 8 points from 14 races however his team mate has scored 19 points during his 2014 campaign. The 2014 season is still progress. Any data from this year includes the Singapore Grand Prix but not the Japanese event, where the driver announcements were made.
*The drivers’ initials are listed alphabetically. This order is not intended to reflect any bias. No conclusion has been drawn from the data – instead you are invited to form your own opinion based on the evidence shown above.