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Sunday, November 28, 2010

2010 eval: Scuderia Toro Rosso

VALENCIA, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 01: Sebastien Buemi (top) of Switzerland and Jaime Alguersuari of Spain unveil the new Scuderia Toro Rosso STR5 at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit on February 1, 2010 in Valencia, Spain. (Photo by Ker Robertson/Getty Images)


Synopsis: A quiet year for STR as the team made the transition to building its own car as per the Concorde Agreement. Equally quiet behind the wheel, as for once there was no turmoil regarding drivers.

Points: 13

Highlight: Sébastien Buemi finished in the top 10 four times, while teammate Jaime Alguersuari did so on three occasions.

Apr. 04, 2010 - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - F1 GP of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur 02.- 04. April 2010.Jaime Alguersuari (ESP), Scuderia Toro Rosso - Vitaly Petrov (RUS), Renault F1 Team ..Hasan Bratic;Koblenzerstr.3;56412 Nentershausen;Tel.:0172-2733357;.hb-press-agency@t-online.de;http://www.uptodate-bildagentur.de;.Veroeffentlichung gem. AGB - Stand 09.2006; Foto ist Honorarpflichtig zzgl. 7% Ust.;Hasan Bratic,Koblenzerstr.3,Postfach 1117,56412 Nentershausen; Steuer-Nr.: 30 807 6032 6;Finanzamt Montabaur; Nassauische Sparkasse Nentershausen; Konto 828017896, BLZ 510 500 15;SWIFT-BIC: NASS DE 55;IBAN: DE69 5105 0015 0828 0178 96; Belegexemplar erforderlich.


Lowlight: After collecting 39 points and a race win in 2008 (with now champion Sebastian Vettel behind the wheel), the last two seasons have likely been more sobering than Franz Tost would have liked.

Drivers:

Mar. 11, 2010 - Sakhir, BAHRAIN - epa02075196 Scuderia Toro Rosso teammates Swiss Formula One driver Spanish Formula One driver Jaime Alguersuari (L) and Sebastien Buemi (R) walk on paddock at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, Bahrain, 11 March 2010. The Formula One Grand Prix of Bahrain will take place on 14 March 2010.


  • Sébastien Buemi turned in four points-paying performances as opposed to five retirements. He had the better of his teammate through most of the season, though Alguersuari seems to have more of a buzz about him. In short, Buemi has done well, but not well enough to increase interest in him.
  • Jaime Alguersuari got his first full season under his belt after replacing Sébastien Bourdais last year. His 2010 got off to a strong start when he delivered top 10s in Malaysia and Spain, echoing his strong 2009 STR debut. But the young Spaniard would not see points again until the finale in Abu Dhabi. Alguersuari’s reputation received a boost in Australia, where he raced Michael Schumacher wheel-to-wheel and credited the seven-times world champion for “showing him the way” to drive in F1.

MONTREAL - JUNE 11: Mark Webber (L) of Australia and Red Bull Racing is seen with Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso reserve driver Daniel Ricciardo (R) of Australia during practice for the Canadian Formula One Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve June 11, 2010 in Montreal, Canada. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)


A look ahead: Why does this team exist? When Dietrich Mateschitz bought Minardi from Paul Stoddart, the idea was to use the team as a training ground for Red Bull’s young drivers. But with car sharing out the window, Mateschitz’s investment in Faenza has increased greatly, bringing into question the value of owning the team. Indeed, STR has been on the block since 2008, according to rumors, yet there has been no sale, despite the interest of several teams to take F1’s open entry. Why? Whatever the reason, STR remains in Red Bull hands, and both Buemi and Alguersuari have been confirmed for 2011. Neither look likely to replace Mark Webber at Red Bull, but keep an eye on reserve Daniel Ricciardo, who will drive every Friday at the expense of one of the established drivers. Given this team’s history, I’d bet the farm Ricciardo will be promoted to a race seat before the end of the 2011 season, and he is the first since Vettel to show the promise of great things in this sport. Don't miss the top stories of the day, subscribe to the SpeedRead Web newspaper now! -- Email SpeedRead -- Learn more about author C.D. Six

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