Tost: Toro Rosso is a “rookie training school”

2012 F1 season

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Franz Tost, Toro Rosso, Monza, 2011

Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost has defended the team’s decision to drop Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi.

In a Q&A released by the team, Tost said: “Toro Rosso’s ethos has always been that of the ‘rookie training school’ and with over two seasons under your belt, you are no longer a rookie.

“In an ideal world, drivers would move from Toro Rosso to Red Bull, but there are no vacancies with our sister team right now.

“It might be seen as a harsh decision, but Formula 1 is a tough environment and Toro Rosso has always been very clear about the principles behind its driver choice.”

Here is the full Q&A with Tost, plus new Toro Rosso drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne.

Franz, when was the decision taken to appoint Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne?
Franz Tost: Our driver line-up had been under discussion for a long time as it is obviously a vital component of the team’s performance. The final decision was taken in a meeting at Red Bull headquarters in Austria on 13 December 2011.

Do the drivers have a one year agreement or is it longer than that?
FT: We do not wish to discuss our driver contracts, but let’s just say that it is their performance level in the car that is the deciding factor and if they do a good job, this will help their cause in terms of how long they stay with us.

Will Ricciardo be the number one driver in the team?
FT: No, although given that he has some actual F1 racing experience, it would be natural for him to settle into the job more quickly. However, Jean-Eric has shown he learns rapidly so I expect him to be on the pace quite soon. It will be important for the team to ensure we give them as many kilometres as possible in winter testing.

Why did you decide to replace Buemi and Alguersuari?
FT: Sebastien has been with us for three seasons and Jaime for two and a half. Both of them worked hard for the team, doing their very best and achieving some good results. However, Toro Rosso’s ethos has always been that of the "rookie training school" and with over two seasons under your belt, you are no longer a rookie. In an ideal world, drivers would move from Toro Rosso to Red Bull, but there are no vacancies with our sister team right now. It might be seen as a harsh decision, but Formula 1 is a tough environment and Toro Rosso has always been very clear about the principles behind its driver choice.

Was the decision to change drivers taken purely on the basis of needing to give new Red Bull Young drivers a chance in F1?
FT: No, because we had to be sure they were ready to make the step up. With Daniel the decision was easier, because, like I said, he has actually raced in F1 already.

Is it not frustrating to have to use young and inexperienced drivers? Without the Red Bull Young Driver programme, you could choose more experienced drivers who have already proved their ability in F1.
FT: No, it’s not frustrating, in fact quite the opposite. It is a very interesting experience for everyone in the team to work with young drivers and it means you can educate them the way you want. Everyone, from the race engineers to the communications people can try and give the new drivers good habits, which they can use for the rest of their career.

In a couple of months, testing starts again, so how important was it to decide on your driver choices now?
FT: It is always good to know who your drivers are as early as possible. For one thing, weeks of speculation are usually disruptive to the work of a team. Although we know our two new drivers quite well, it also means they can already start working with the engineers, assimilating information and even having some input into minor details regarding the new car. It also means I can be sure they are taking their winter fitness training very seriously!

Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso, Montreal, 2011

Dan, congratulations on getting a drive with Toro Rosso. How does it feel?
DR: It feels amazing! It’s nice coming into next season knowing what I’m doing and being able to focus solely on that. I am looking forward to working with a good group of people that I already spent a lot of time with this year. So there’s plenty to look forward to in 2012.

How did you find out you had the drive?
DR: I was actually at home, it was after dinner and the phone call came. It was short, sharp and to the point, but it contained all the news I wanted to hear. It was an awesome Christmas present and a big relief. I was with Mum and Dad at the time and I came out of my room and told them the news and it felt pretty special.

Since the last race of 2011 in Brazil, were you ever concerned you might not have a drive for 2012?
DR: Until something is done you are always going to be a little bit concerned, but I know everyone at Red Bull is looking after my interests and I felt I had done a good enough job this year for them to try and find me a seat for 2012. I had faith something would come through.

You’ve had a busy year, starting out driving Free Practice 1 for us and then actually racing in the last eleven Grands Prix from Silverstone onwards. What are the main lessons you learned this year?
DR: Looking back at the whole year, I did more travelling than ever before in my life and I found out it can be really tiring and can take it out of you. So I learned how important it is to be on time and to manage my time as efficiently as possible and to rest when I can. There was so much to take in this year and from the driving point of view, as a reserve driver you can see everything the job involves, but until you are actually racing, you do not realise the demands it puts on you, so that was another important lesson. I learned to get my priorities right and not waste my energy elsewhere.

How well do you know your new team mate, Jean-Eric Vergne?
DR: Pretty well. We were signed up as part of the Red Bull Junior team on the same day and we were team-mates back then, in the Renault 2.0 series. I spent some time with him at his house in France, going karting together. We had a pretty good relationship by the standard of racing driver team-mates. As we progressed, the rivalry got stronger between us, but the important thing is that we respect one another. We both want to beat each other more than anyone else and it’s been like that since we first raced together. It’s a good thing and means we will get the maximum out of the equipment we are given. Next year will be a proper test for both of us.

When will you be coming back to Europe?
DR: I have spoken to Laurent [Mekies, chief engineer] and we are putting together a pre-season programme now. I imagine that very early in the new year I will have to abandon the beautiful Australian summer and head for freezing Italy and get down to business, making sure I am as well prepared as possible.

It means you’ve got the best incentive to push hard on your winter training.
DR: Yes, my trainer told me I could take it easy until Christmas, but once I heard I got the drive I wanted to go out and bash myself up in the gym.

Having signed up now, does it mean you can actually have an input on the technical side of next year’s Toro Rosso car?
DR: Yes, there are some areas where we can start early. For example, there are different options for my position in the cockpit and the layout of the steering wheel and the team has already asked me about my preferences for this. It means that coming into testing I should be comfortable and feel the car is mine.

Jean-Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso, Interlagos, 2011

[Jean], we see you’re celebrating your drive by working in the simulator. Must be a good feeling knowing you will be getting the benefit of all this work yourself next year?
JEV: I think it’s a good thing to be working today, just a few hours after hearing that I have the drive with Toro Rosso next season. It helps me keep my feet on the ground, but in any case, I love the work, driving either the real car or in the simulator. It also makes a difference knowing that the work I’m doing in the simulator is now for my own benefit on track and not just for other drivers.

How did you get the news that you were a fully fledged F1 driver?
JEV: I was at home in Paris when I got the call. I was very excited and keen to tell everyone, but I did not dare phone anyone until the team told me that it had put out the official press release. Once I knew it was out there, I started calling my parents and my family of course and my trainer and others who have helped me along the way. After that, I could not make any calls because people were ringing me nonstop.

You mentioned that a lot of people have helped you with your career, so this might be a good time to thank them.
JEV: Obviously, Red Bull is top of the list and without them I would not be in Formula 1; maybe I’d still be in college. After that, I have to say that the FFSA, the French motor sport federation has been a great help, backing me ever since I was racing karts. Then I won a Federation championship called the Autosport Academy, so they got me on my way before I became part of the Red Bull programme.

Did you have any other plans in place for 2012?
JEV: I think I might have been the third driver for the team, running in Friday practice again and maybe tackling another season of World Series. But now I don’t have to think about that because my plans for next year are fixed in the best way possible.

After finishing in the silver medal position in the Renault 3.5 championship, you then had a busy time running three practice sessions with Toro Rosso and doing the Young Driver Test for Red Bull. Were they very different kinds of pressure?
JEV: It’s all the same for me, because, whenever I am behind the wheel, whatever the car, whatever the formula, I always enjoy myself and do not feel any pressure. I just try to always give my best and to be as professional as possible.

Daniel Ricciardo has been your team-mate before, so how do you think the two of you will get along together this time?
JEV: I think it’s fantastic for me to be team-mates with him. He’s a great guy and I like him as a friend. We joined the Red Bull programme together so we have known one another for a long time, working together in other series. In Formula 1, you only get one team-mate, so you have to make the best of it, working together to do as good a job as possible for the team. We have similar driving styles and we get on well and that will be a positive factor for us next year. Dan could probably have a slight edge over me at first as he has done eleven races this year, but let’s see how it develops, as we have all the winter testing ahead of us before we start racing. I know that I have a lot to learn, so I hope I can do that quickly. I am conscious it could be very tough, but I also know that in general, I learn and I adapt very quickly: certainly that was the case in every category that I have raced in so far. Formula 1 is different, tougher than all the rest, but I feel confident.

What are your plans between now and February testing?
JEV: After some time in the simulator, I will spend Christmas with my family and the rest of the time will be spent training, because it will be important to be as fit and as well prepared as possible for what will be a very long and tough season.

Having signed up now, does it mean you can actually have an input on the technical side of next year’s Toro Rosso car?
JEV: Over the past couple of months, when I have been working with the team, along with the engineers, we have already looked into things like my position in the car and other areas. Of course, in the next few weeks, I will be going to the factory in Faenza to meet with the engineers and also to try and get to know everyone in the team a bit better, even if we established a good relationship when I was with the team in the last part of this season. I’ve got quite a few questions going round in my head, so it will be good to get to Italy and discuss everything calmly before it’s time to get in the cockpit again.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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63 comments on “Tost: Toro Rosso is a “rookie training school””

  1. I will be honest and say I do not like the idea of Toro Rossa. I believe GP2 is a fair enough place to be a training school for formula 1. Having 2 rookies under one roof will not teach them enough, just like having Chandhok and Senna. Those two lacked an experienced driver to show them how its done, and if I remember correctly Klein did mention something about that when he drove for HRT.

    1. STR should also have objectives in the standings to reach. They were close to beating Sauber, and to an extent Force India, and if their two drivers are good, why change them? If there are no vacancies at RBR, keep them until there are. Why should STR change drivers more frequently than any other team? Red Bull have too many young drivers, and they can’t all drive the Toro Rosso sooner or later. When you find a potential candidate to race at Red Bull, keep him and put experience under his belt.

      1. @Fixy

        When you find a potential candidate to race at Red Bull, keep him and put experience under his belt.

        That is exactly what they are doing.
        Vettel needed one and a half season before he was off to RB, they need something like that.
        After 3 and two and a half years at TR neither of their drivers had shown that they were worthy of a seat in a championship winning team, so they get thrown out to test new talent and make sure they have the experience required if a seat at RB opens up a few years.
        There is the risk that neither of their new drivers makes the cut either, but it is a risk they need to take.

        1. @mads
          so the question for doing all this do they need to run a seperate f1 team?,
          is gp2 and other series are not enough to identify talent according to them?. just to hand pick so called “best driver” they need an another f1 team.

          1. @Raveendhana
            Why would it?
            We have seen GP2 champions that have been on top of the game in GP2 and then come to F1 and then come crashing down.
            You can’t take a driver from GP2 into a championship winning team, that is just too risky.
            They need the drivers to gain experience within F1, so a sister team which they can collaborate with, evaluate the talent and then source them into the big team without risking other teams getting their hands on them first.
            I think it is a very sensible solution if they want top tier drivers in their top team.
            It is expensive, but it is a good way to secure their talent from their driver program.

          2. @mads F1 cars are not comparitive though. You can’t look at a Torro Rosso driver and say “Yes, he is faster than Webber”. Then there is the fact that driving a slow F1 car is almost always more difficult than driving a fast one. You take a GP2 champion that is used to running at the front put him in a slow and difficult F1 car and he will struggle. Put him in straight into a fast car and he will most probably impress just like Hamilton did as a rookie. There is not a huge difference between GP2 and F1.

          3. @The Last Pope
            If he struggles in a midfielder then they aren’t front running material.
            Hamilton is good at the front, but put him in a slow midfielder and he will still trash everything that surrounds him.
            Put Vettel in a midfielder and.. he won a race in one of those, though better then the current TR.
            Put Webber in one and he will stick it on the front row.
            Put Alonso in one and he will end the season with 30 times as many points as his team mate could ever dream about.
            That is what makes a world champion (well not Webber, but he got close enough.)
            If they have the talent to drive at the front of F1 they also have the talent to impress in a midfielder.
            Also GP2 driver that comes straight into F1 makes a lot more mistakes then when they have a few years under their belt.
            Maldonardo was GP2 champion when he started in F1 and the first thing I saw him do was nose dive straight into the barrier one time after the other.
            If a team wants to win the constructors championship they can’t risk that.
            They NEED to have a proven talent in a F1 car, as the difference between the cars might not be huge but there is a lot more strategy to it, they need to be physically much more fit as F1 races are twice the distance with a lot higher G-loads, and the competition in GP2 is not as high as in F1, so even if they destroy the GP2 grid it is no guarantee that they are any better then average in the F1 grid.

          4. Comparing GP2 to F1 is like comparing Kindergarden to University…. GP2 shows the talent but so are other open wheel racing categories, having talent is one thing but proving your talents in actual F1 racing is another kettle of fish. 2/3 years is long enough to show what it takes in F1 and neither Buemi or Alguersuari did that hence they are goners… I must admit you need heaps of luck and good timing to make it in F1, that’s why Vettel is a waste and over-rated schmuck….

        2. @mads I think Alguersuari (although I prefer Buemi) is was a potential candidate for RB, and I read somewhere Marko told Jaime to win a race for STR in order to be promoted (maybe he was joking – he can’t seriously win). Both had a good season, and as I said they should find the balance between testing rookies to promote to RB and experienced (but young) drivers to challenge the midfield in the standings. I think Buemi and Alguersuari did exactly this. STR now will have little experienced drivers and will initially struggle: although they have talent, they need some time to prove themselves.

      2. I can see most people saying they don’t like this, and I agree.

        However, This is the last, or one of the last services the team can provide to Red Bull, without this benefit, Red Bull would have no reason to keep paying to the team.

    2. I don’t like the idea of Toro Rosso for a different reason. Not because it’s a “rookie training school”, but because it’s a second Red Bull. Plain and simple. Ferrari wants to have 3 cars on the grid, well, Red Bull has four. Even if both constructions are different, this situation gives them an advantage.

      This team can serve not only as a testing ground for new drivers, but also for new engineering ideas. It’s not a surprise that Red Bull leads the way when it comes to the car development.


      neither of their drivers had shown that they were worthy of a seat in a championship winning team

      It’s hard to judge Buemi or Alguersuari against anyone else. I think were doing a good job, they just landed in the wrong team at the wrong time.

      Vettel’s 2008 season was impressive, but let’s not forget that he wasn’t really a rookie. He was coming from an established F1 team, from the days of unlimited testing, unlike Bourdais, Buemi or Alguersuari. Saying that “they were not worthy” is a bit harsh.

      1. Although I think the same regarding drivers, It’s not like Toro Rosso are two test vehicles for Red Bull, not anymore. Toro Rosso and Red Bull are two different cars since 2010 with regulations strictly forbidding any technical dependency between the teams.

        1. I’m not saying that one team can develop solutions for the other, but they still can communicate simple messages, like: “this idea doesn’t work, don’t waste your time pursuing it” or “our data indicates it’s promising”. It’s impossible to stop this kind of communication and even without giving away any technical details they can aid each other, saving huge amounts of money in the process.

          1. Still very unlikely. What might work at TR may not work in RB and vice versa. Since 2010 those two cars are as much apart as any other two cars on the grid. Even more, their possibilities of cooperation are lesser than those between teams sharing engine supplier, like Ferrari and Sauber. TR cannot be treated as 3rd and 4th car of RB from the technical point of view.

          2. TR cannot be treated as 3rd and 4th car of RB from the technical point of view.

            I didn’t say anything of the sort. I tried to make it clear, by saying “both constructions are different” or “without giving away any technical details”. Some directions of development can be assessed as successful or not. This can be easily communicated without breaking any rules. Not everything is car-specific. After all different F1 teams do copy each other.

            The two teams are technically independent, but they still are owned by Red Bull. I’m sure they follow the rules, but why would they be overzealous? I think it’s very unlikely that they ceased all communication.

      2. Buemi started testing for Red Bull in 2007-2008 (before the 2009 testing ban), so he did have opportunities to test like SV did.

        1. True, Buemi was a test driver in 2008, but 2007? It was a single Jarez test. Sure, Vettel did better against Bourdais, but at the time Bourdais was a rookie (his first F1 test with the Arrows hardly counts).

          My point/question is: who can we really measure Buemi or Alguersuari against? Maybe they are both brilliant drivers with a dog of a car.

      3. @MaroonJack

        Vettel’s 2008 season was impressive, but let’s not forget that he wasn’t really a rookie. He was coming from an established F1 team, from the days of unlimited testing, unlike Bourdais, Buemi or Alguersuari. Saying that “they were not worthy” is a bit harsh.

        Testing ban or not Vettel has left every single team mate he has faced in F1 (bar his brief stay at BMW…) trailing behind him.
        Algersuari and Buemi hasn’t shown anything like that. They have been all right, but they just don’t seem quick enough or on the track.
        Red Bull needs something like Webber, and Webber was famous as the one lap specialist, and look what Vettel is making him look like.
        Neither of the former TR drivers produced anything like that, consistently enough to show that they are as good as Webber was or is.
        They are good drivers and probably deserve a seat somewhere, but not in a team where they need to defend a constructors world championship title. I don’t think they could do it.

        1. I agree about Vettel. He is brilliant and it’s easy to see. It’s not so easy with Buemi or Alguersuari. In fact it may be impossible, as we can only compare them against each other. We simply don’t know if they are “worthy”.

          1. I agree about Vettel. He is brilliant and it’s easy to see. It’s not so easy with Buemi or Alguersuari. In fact it may be impossible, as we can only compare them against each other. We simply don’t know if they are “worthy”

            but ToroRosso/RedBull probably do.
            they got the data, they know the strategies employed.
            and with a legend like Ascanelli (who worked with Senna, Schumacher, Vettel, ..), they certainly have a fairly accurate picture of their drivers’ potential speed.

          2. Vettel is not brilliant!!! he just got lucky and good timing in his career, there are thousands of drivers more talented and better race drivers then Vettel the schmuck!!! Did you ever see Vettel win a race from the mid-field or the back?? The great drivers like Senna, Prost, Mansell, Hakkinen, Jones….etc can use their race craft and come thru the field to win, unlike Vettel starts from pole and cruises in the faster car to a win, but win behind crashes into other drivers including his team-mate…

          3. @Speed-Racer – you clearly aren’t being serious. When youset the fastest time on Saturday and start on pole 37% of the time like Vettel, of course you won’t screw up in qualifying and start from the back.

    3. The ultimate boss is the one who pay, because Red Bull is paying, they can afford such approach, otherwise, no one would be willing to sponsor an Academy in the middle of F1.

      That’s bad for both Buemi and Jaime, I guess they could find places for them if Toro Rosso signaled their position earlier, just saying.

  2. If Red Bull want a ‘Rookie training school’ then buy a GP2 team, Running an F1 team like that is wrong.

    Like we have seen with Jaime Alguersuari, They put him in the car with no testing (Not even ant Friday running) at age 19 & almost certainly moved him into F1 before he was ready. He’s then put under more pressure than its really ideal considering his age/experience, He shows improvement year on year & at the point when he looks like he’s really got F1 figured out & was showing massive improvement they throw him to one side.

    If STR had retained Jaime I’d have marked him out as someone to really watch for 2012 & if he finds a ride elsewhere I still think he will prove just how good he is & how good he will become as he gains more experience.

  3. I really dislike Franz Tost.

    I think there should be a rule that says one of a team’s drivers needs at least 2 years expeirence (maybe 1 year for an exepional rookie year). This would make it far more difficult to run a team as a Rookie farm for a big team.

    1. I somehow get the feeling this wasn’t Tost’s idea, and that he wanted to keep his drivers, but that the decision was forced on him by the sister team. Only a few weeks ago, Ricciardo said that the feeling was both drivers would be retained.

      Obviously, now that the decision has been made to hire Ricciardo and Vergne instead, Tost has to tag the company line.

  4. Foghorn Leghorn
    15th December 2011, 16:07

    Toro Rosso is not interested in winning championships – their goal is something else.

    Not really something many outside of Tost and RBR can get behind. Why bother cheering for them? They admit they are nothing but a minor league team with no real interest in winning. They are like a more-reliable version of Andrea Moda.

    1. Scuderia Toro Rosso is only interested in supplying drivers to the big sister team RBR, they even admited it. They in a sense are not a proper team because their agenda is not to win anything or make money but to nuture the talents from their Red Bull Young Driver Programme and maybe find a future champion. This programme is run by Darko Marko, whom has an invested self interest in the programme. He is playing god with young talents and is primarly funded by Red Bull. If the programme don’t work then the big man will shut it down and poor Marko has nowhere to stamp his authority over young boys, so the sooner we rid of this dude the better it is for F1 and the young talented drivers coming thru.

      1. And this is after the axed semi-experienced drivers to let new rookies in?

        Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like this.

        But Jaimi and Seb are no longer rookies.

  5. Jack van den Berg-Hider
    15th December 2011, 16:11

    I am really angry with how Toro Rosso is run. There is one comment in that interview from Tost where he mentions that depending on how well they do they will be with the team for a longer period of time.

    Jaime over the 2011 did a very good job considering his age and experience, he should at least get one of those seats for next year. He gets booted out for two drivers who I feel are overrated by Red Bull.

    Neither of them are going to be like Vettel, they have never exceeded like him in the lower formulae.

    Red Bull should if they want a ‘Rookie Training School’ buy a GP2 team and run them there. The machinery is close to that of the Formula One car, and they race on most of the tracks including next year some of the flyaway races.

    I think it is such a bad thing to boot two young drivers whom have been on the Red Bull programme for much of their racing career into the abyss and put in two rookies who are the same age, but without the experience. I am sure this team will do badly next year.

  6. I understand the rationale for the driver change, but what bothers me is the fact that it seems neither Alguersuari nor Buemi were given any inkling that this was a possibility. I know F1 is a harsh business and all, but it seems unnecessarily cruel for Tost and Marko to be going along acting as though they each still had a future with the team right up until the moment they were told “Hit the road, nice knowing you, good luck, guys!”

    1. Well, tell me a boss that tells an employee he is gonna get fired.

      If any Toro Rosso gave them an oportunity it was in their hands to show they are good enough drivers to made Red Bull kick out Webber. (After all if Red Bull was sure they were good enough, they just have to stop signinup Webber for this year).

      Remember one thing, not many drivers have the oportunity of running in the mayor motosport categories, Red Bull have been backing both Buemi and Alguersuari for almost 6 years, wich means they have invested money, they have helping them and educated them.

      And now they have made an administrative and strategy choice. Being mad at Toro Rosso for changing their driver line up is like being mad at Barcelona because they didn ´t use Saviola or at Milan for letting go Kaká, in the end they are only watching after their own good.

      They are an entreprise not a charity program.

      1. I’m not mad at them for changing their driver lineup. I just don’t see why it was necessary to be talking to both drivers, even just a few days earlier, as though they had some future with the team!

        1. In my last work I was going to curse one week before I was fired, so believe me I really didn´t see that one coming…

          And Tost himself said, the decision was reached yesterday and not by him, but by Austria (Matestizch, Marko).

          Everyone knew that Ascanelli had said that both drivers weren´t going to improeve at Toro Rosso anymore. So I don´t see a reason why everybody is so surprise, specially them… we already saw pictures of Vergne signing with a very smiling Marko.

          Riccardo is very highly regarded for the mechanical team at Red Bull, so if any it was kind of spected that both of them will be out.

          1. Sorry for that @celeste, most contracts I know of have about a month, and often a 2 month period stipulated for such things!

            We could hope Tost already told his two drivers that things were looking shaky, but even then, the dislike for me comes from the ‘mothership’, ie. Marko.

            It is the set-up of this team that makes these things constantly happen like this, leaving drivers without a chance to react, and that in a sport that works in seasons is bad.

            Sure it happens with other teams (look at FI), but that is no excuse, Red Bull should be able to be a better employer.

            Maybe I’d like them better if I could stand their beverage?

      2. Darko Marko is playing god with the young Red Bull drivers career, and he is getting his rocks off it i tell you. He knows the programme is funded by Red Bull and he has the authority to hire & fire the unperforming drivers. But people don’t get is that if all the young talented drivers coming thru were to make it, where the hell is he going put them all?? the last time I check RBR has only 2 seats available and Vettel is garantee one for life and Webber on a year to year basis. So for Marko to get his programme funding he has to fire the drivers despite their performances to bring in the young guns. I f he doesn’t the young drivers in waiting will find another avenue into F1 and the big Boss will see this as a failure and cut the funding and shut down the programme. then poor Marko loses his programme and authority of young boys and the old fella needs to find another way to get his rocks off

  7. If they are rookie training team that wont allow anyone to stay past 2 years then tell your drivers this so they can look for a new seat else where. dont leave until few days before new year.

    totally unprofessional behaviour, its hard to take tost seriously.

  8. I guess this is nice place to post the image of Webber Xmas card

    Merry Xmas to the boys of RBR JR PROGRAM…

  9. Wow, what a horrible admission by this team.

    I think the picture of Mr. Tost that was selected for this article is equally horrible as I find it extremely difficult to read while looking at the smirk on his face.

    How long before Mclaren and Ferrari come to the realization that in order to skirt the RRA you need a second team. I have no doubts that if Toro Rosso is unconcerned about being competitive so that it can run drivers to the benefit Red Bull, that they would be doing other things to benefit Red bull as well.

  10. Tost, you’re a rookie training school.

    Could have at least given your boys some notice.

  11. if toro rosso gonna do whatever redbull says every season, then there is no point in setting goals every season. they just can design a b-spec car or a car just for name sake and continue their “training program”.

    what is the point of setting goals or racing every season?, its very pathetic.

  12. I guess will be good to remeber this interview from Tost:

    Q: Regarding drivers, are you able to ‘fish’ from the Red Bull talent pool at will?
    FT: Well, Red Bull are choosing the drivers from their pool. But that was always the intention and the reason for this team to exist. Red Bull bought this team with the intention to give youngsters a chance to prove themselves and eventually rise to a seat with Red Bull Racing.

    Q: When looking back at your career, you are no stranger to helping develop young drivers. One of them was Ralf Schumacher…
    FT: Indeed, I like to work with young drivers, but I have studied sport science so partly I am just working in my formal training. My ideal scenario would be to work with one already successful youngster from the Red Bull talent pool and one very young guy…

    Q: Is there a certain timeframe for how long that self-discovery can or should take?
    FT: Maximum three years. Or let’s put it this way: if you are not sure after three years whether he’s going to make it, I would bluntly say forget him, period. Three years – why? Because this is the time a driver needs today in Formula One to develop from a rookie into a calculable factor in the team. There is no testing anymore, so a driver who has made it into F1 faces a completely new world. At best he knows all the European tracks from GP2, but Formula One is so different to anything he’s ever experienced. There is the technical aspect, the significantly larger team, the many new overseas tracks, the interaction with the media, the marketing side. All of that you don’t learn overnight. And then he has to come to terms with the fact of being nowhere on the grid. Most of these youngsters have been hugely successful in lower series, believing that the front row is their rightful place. Finding out that a Formula One life can be so different is something that is hard to swallow.


    1. So… the team is still pointless on the grid. I’d think Bernie wouldn’t be real happy with teams taking spots on the grid with no intention of being any good and just a new step between GP2 and F1. This while he turns down bids to get a team in year after year… This seems to be nothing more than the lamest most disgusting way to get around the RRA. I no stomach to watch a team out there with no intention of winning. At least the slowest teams dream of winning…

      1. Yeah, but everybody is racing their arms to heaven and saying they are acting wrong!!! We all had knew from the beggining what was Toro Rosso objective and because of that they hired Tost and Ascanelli to race their drivers. Ferrari is doing the same with Perez at Sauber, and Mercedes with Di Resta… so I don´t get why people is mad!?!?!?!

        Toro Rosso is arguably the only team choosing drivers on talent and nor money right now, and everyone is mad at them because they fired two drivers that they don´t see with a “winning” future…
        Petrov was treated the same by Reabult, but now everyone is oh so in shock for this news…

        Senna, Petrov, Hulckenberg weren´t giving that much time and resource as the Toro Rosso guys and I don´t see anyone that mad….

        Why is people mad? They give the guys a chance and time to adjust and show their worth… They haven´t ask them for money, they have being paying them (Petrov wasn´t even paid by Renault), they supported their careers for almost 7 years, they have more chances now than before they were giving a chance in F1 to get another seat… seriosuly, I bet they are millions of driver that will wish to be treated that “bad” for Red Bull and Toro Rosso.

        1. Sauber, and other teams that have connections to the larger four, still want to win though. Just because they know they’re not up to par, and therefore get newer less proven (or older already proven ineffective), doesn’t mean they’re not pursuing a championship. That’s the difference. Petrov was let go because Renault didn’t think he would win with them, not because Renault thought he wouldn’t be able to win for another team.

          And I understand that people are being pretty harsh towards STR for the abruptness of this decision, but just because Tost says that they plan on being a development team and that he thinks three years is the max for their drivers, doesn’t mean you get to write off letting someone go out of the blue. If it was your plan to let them go after this year, you could have sent a reminder any time before now and they wouldn’t come off as pretentious cold [expletive]’s.

          None of this is made any clearer when STR talk as though they expect their drivers to show winning pace, and in the same breath describe their organization as one with no intent on winning.

          And no, it is anything but conclusive that these two drivers are better off now. If they hadn’t been picked up by the Red Bull system, it doesn’t mean they wouldn’t have made it into F1. There are more than two teams, and more than enough ways to get into the sport and show you’re worth. And heaven forbid, with a team that actually wants to win races.

          1. Toro Rosso wants to win. And they did so back in 2008. And yes they were a school back them too.

            If the oportunity comes to win a race they will do with the driver that they have at the moment. The fact that they are “school” doesn´t said that they don´t want to win.

            Again I don´t know a lot of enterprises that send you a note and a “sorry/ goodbye” basket when they fired you, and they weren´t fired, their contracts just ended and thats it.

            Do you really think that any team would have picked them up?
            (I´m not counting drivers taht drive in different series at the same time)
            GP2 has 26 drivers
            GP3 has 30 drivers
            Formula 3 (counthing almost all it series) 191
            Reanult 3.5 36
            Reanult 2.0 50 (lest said this are too young yet)
            Reanult Eurocup 21

            You have almost 360 drivers in the feeders series and only 24 seats. And back in 2009 when Buemi and Alguersuari made it to F1 there were only 20 seats.

            So their chances to get a F1 drive was only 5.5%. Now back on 2008 Buemi highest position was 2nd on GP2, and Alguersuari was 1st on British FP3; Buemi was 20, Alguersuari 19… would you had given them a seat in 2009?

  13. It’s sad that there are teams that have tried to get into F1 and have been rejected when there’s Toro Rosso here making no rush to grow and push forward as a team through the grid. With a decent car they were looking good for 2012.

  14. “Toro Rosso’s ethos has always been that of the ‘rookie training school’ and with over two seasons under your belt, you are no longer a rookie.

    “In an ideal world, drivers would move from Toro Rosso to Red Bull, but there are no vacancies with our sister team right now.”

    That sounds pretty short sighted and stupid. I don’t know if he really believes this or it’s what he’s been told to say, but it doesn’t seem very well thought out. If Toro Rosso is nothing but a feeder for RBR, they might as well close shop for a few years. RBR obviously aren’t inclined to drop Webber (although I’d argue with his pace being so consistently far off from that of his teammate there’s certainly a case to be made for giving someone new a shot) and Vettel should be there for a long while to come, so what purpose does STR hold? Why didn’t Tost come out and say “Last year, along with the next few for the foreseeable future, was/are just for me and my friends to have fun and get paid tons of money for it. We don’t really hope to achieve anything, as our only goal has been rendered moot.” Why would an upcoming driver want a job at Toro Rosso now? I’d rather take a pay cut and run over to any other team where at least I have a shot to drive for a job, not just a place holder for no more than two years. “Come to Toro Rosso. Where we guarantee you’ll be looking for another job soon.”

    1. @kimithechamp
      exactly u said right, cant understand what toro rosso trying to do.

    2. Toro Rosso’s raison d’être is probably as simple as finding a new Alonso/Hamilton/Vettel; “rookie training school” is just a nice spin on this harsh reality.

      Two seasons were enough to realize neither Alguersuari nor Buemi is going to set the world on fire, so they discard them for a new batch.

      Callous as this attitude may seem to be, ALG and BUE were still lucky in as much as they at least got a look-in, as opposed to countless others.

      Those who come after them (Vergne and Ricciardo for now) will obviously be acutely aware of how the land lies with Toro Rosso, but no one would throw away an opportunity like this.

  15. maybe Marco don’t want any Toro Rosso youngsters to be promoted to Red Bull yet when vettel still on his high run.

    Maybe that’s why he keep Webber and messing up with Toro Rosso youngsters.

  16. The most notable part of this to me is the totally honest admission that STR is a training school for RBR. I’m new to F1 in general (die hard for only the last two season), so I’m not sure if STR has ever said this so clearly in the past. And it brings up a big question that I’ve not seen answered:

    What doesn’t Ferrari and McLaren do the same?

    Does RBR have that much more in resources than those teams?

    Obviously this situation is considered “legal” under the current Concorde Agreement and I would think they could afford it. We know that Ferrari wants another car. But since they can’t under the current rules, why not take advantage of the “Training School loophole” and establish another team?

    Just speculating, but I’d like to see if this admission by STR is a catalyst for discussions over RBR’s advantage due to this and ways to “join them” or try to remove this loophole in the next Concorde Agreement negotiations.

    1. Foghorn Leghorn
      15th December 2011, 20:52

      I suppose McLaren and Ferrari don’t really need a “B-squad” since their reputations and finances allow them to poach whatever drivers they want.

      But, to your point, I think if RBR is going to keep winning championships and is allowed a “B-squad,” then Ferrari and McLaren should get to have third cars.

      1. Hamilton came from an internal McLaren driver program. I would think it would be to their advantage to expand that program to a sister team.

        Anyway, my point is only that I’m surprised by the current situation and will continue to be surprised if it doesn’t change. It would seem to me the other two rich teams would do the same thing or lobby to have the rules changed to create more separation between RBR and STR.

  17. Surely the lower formulas should be training schools. If you’re team’s purpose is to provide your sister team with new drivers, then your team should either set its priorities right, or leave Formula One.

  18. Why didn’t they just stagger this over the course of a year? They could have replaced one of their drivers with a rookie for 2012 and then given the other established driver another year to prove himself. If he doesn’t, then replace him. I don’t see how two rookies are going to give you that critical feedback you need especially when other proven drivers are having a hard time interpreting the new tires.

  19. Foghorn Leghorn
    15th December 2011, 20:50

    If RBR gets to keep two extra cars on the grid, then by all means Ferrari should get a third. Heck, everyone else should too.

  20. This is the problem with Toro Rosso: by their very nature, they cannot compete with the other teams. Even Virgin and Hispania can (theoretically) race everyone else. But Toro Rosso cannot, because as soon as one of their drivers starts showing promise, they get swallowed up by Red Bull. If Red Bull want to evaluate their young drivers, then they should establish a GP2 or Formula Renault 3.5 team.

    1. Also, I’m hearing reports that Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi had no idea that they were out of a job. According to Adam Cooper, Buemi was even in the team’s simulator when he was told he would not race in 2012. This is another problem with Toro Rosso – they clearly do not respect their drivers enough to tell them what they are doing. And I strongly suspect that they deliberately left the decision until late in order to stop other teams from picking Alguersuari and Buemi up. Because heaven forbid if they started being competitive for another team.

      1. i agree, by openly admitting they are not in the sport to race and purposely wrecking 2 drivers future for no apparent reason i dont think they should be allowed in F1.

  21. I agree with what they did but not with HOW they went about doing it. To offer someone a chance to drive in Formula 1 and then immediately take it away so suddenly is wrong. I know STR is trying to find the next Vettel but I think GP2 is appropriate enough for that. Incredibly unfair to both Buemi and Alguersuari.

    1. What’s unfair is the way Toro Rosso left the decision so late without telling either driver. Both deserve the chance to race in Formula 1, and if they knew that they might be without a seat, then they could start talking to other teams. But they had no idea that they were being dropped, and no opportunity to line up a seat. They deserve to race, but unless one of them can secure the second Williams seat – maybe Alguersuari; his sponsor Cepsa is owned by a company in the Middle East, and Williams has ties there – then they’re going to have to look elsewhere.

  22. After having time to calm down and think about this situation more, I can respect Toro Rosso’s decision. I feel mean towards Buemi and Alguersuari for saying that though. The thing is, they are a development team (which I don’t mind) so does that imply they had done ‘developing’ their 2011 line-up? How do you know when you’ve hit the ceiling when the car isn’t capable of much more. I think that given Buemi’s and Alguersuari’s age and experience they did the best job they could do.

    But let’s stay positive. I’m looking forward to seeing Ricciardo race. He did a good job at HRT so hopefully he will fair up ok at STR.

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