Racing Bulls stable

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Racing Bulls stable

1. Racing Bulls in brief

Racing Bulls, formerly known as Scuderia AlphaTauri, is a Formula 1 team based in Faenza (Italy) and developed by Red Bull since 2006, first under the name Scuderia Toro Rosso. The Italian outfit is considered Red Bull Racing's Junior Team, through which all its young drivers initially pass, before potentially being promoted to its parent team. If Toro Rosso has already experienced the joys of a pole position and a victory, thanks to Sebastian Vettel during the 2008 Italian Grand Prix, it also experienced success in 2020, under its name AlphaTauri, with Pierre Gasly at Monza too. Since 2024, it has been called Racing Bulls (RB).

Racing Bulls

Racing Bulls. © Antonin Vincent / DPPI

Today under the direction of Franz Tost, the Italian team has seen the French driver since 2017 (with a stint at Red Bull Racing at the start of 2019), and the young Japanese, Yuki Tsunoda.

2. The history of Racing Bulls / Scuderia AlphaTauri / Scuderia Toro Rosso

In 2005, Dietrich Mateschitz, the boss of the Red Bull group, seized the opportunity to buy Minardi, which he renamed Scuderia Toro Rosso the following season. The energy drinks group now has two teams within Formula 1, and is developing a program for young drivers at its sister team, Toro Rosso.

The Italian team began its first season with Vitantonio Liuzzi and Scott Speed ​​in the seat, and managed to score its first point in F1 during the United States Grand Prix in Indianapolis.

Vitantonio Liuzzi at Toro Rosso in 2006 / © GILLES LEVENT / DPPI

If Red Bull Racing has been powered by Renault since its beginnings in the category, Toro Rosso is equipped with a power unit supplied by Ferrari. The British engineer, Adrian Newey, who had just arrived in the team, managed to modify the chassis of the Italian single-seater to include the transalpine engines. Despite the hesitations at the start of the season from Gerhard Berger, team director and 50% owner of Toro Rosso, Scott Speed ​​is retained. But the poor results of the American driver led the team to part ways with him during the season, and to induct a certain Sebastian Vettel.

In 2008, the German teamed up with the French driver, Sébastien Bourdais, for what promised to be the year of revelation, both for Toro Rosso and for Vettel. The future quadruple world champion achieved the first pole position of his career and that of his team at Monza, before winning the next day, during this Italian Grand Prix. The German driver continues to score points, and interferes, despite himself, in the title race in Brazil, pitting Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton against each other. He then found himself in front of the Briton in the final laps, until then deprived of the title, before overtaking a losing Timo Glock in the last corner of the very last round of the season. Toro Rosso is having its best season so far in motorsport's elite, with a sixth place finish in the constructors' race.

Sebastian Vettel (Toro Rosso) revealed himself at the 2008 Italian GP © GILLES LEVENT / DPPI

If Vettel has left for Red Bull Racing, as the Austrian team's program requires, the Italian team has secured the services of another, Sébastien, Buemi this time. The single-seater developed that year, however, was not up to par with its predecessor, and the Franco-Swiss duo was unable to build on the good results of 2008. Bourdais was dismissed during the season, Toro Rosso finished tenth. and last place in the championship.

The Buemi-Alguesuari duo replaces the two friends in 2010, but they are preparing to experience two rather mixed seasons, where points opportunities will be rarer than in the past. Despite everything, the team climbed two places at the end of the 2011 season, and found itself eighth among the constructors. In 2012, Toro Rosso made a clean sweep of the past and invested in two new in-house drivers: the Australian Daniel Ricciardo, and the French driver Jean-Eric Vergne. The two drivers regularly score points, but fail to do better than the previous duo. Toro Rosso returned to ninth place among the constructors, but set off again to attack the championship with Vergne and Ricciardo within the team.

Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo teamed up at Toro Rosso for two seasons © JEAN MICHEL LE MEUR / DPPI

If the French driver finished ahead of his teammate during the previous season, Daniel Ricciardo will take the upper hand in 2013, thanks to a rather profitable consistency. The Australian driver even learned during the season of his tenure with Red Bull Racing for 2014, replacing Mark Webber who had retired. At the end of the championship, Toro Rosso returned to eighth place in the standings, and secured the services of Daniil Kvyat, another driver from the Austrian fold, who had just won the GP3 Series title. Despite a less successful balance sheet than the previous year, Toro Rosso climbed a new position and finished seventh. Despite the outrageous domination of Jean-Eric Vergne in his duel between him and Kvyat, it was the latter who was chosen in 2015 to replace Sebastian Vettel, who had left for Ferrari.

As is often the case, Toro Rosso renews its entire team and inducts two new drivers from the Austrian team: the Spaniard Carlos Sainz Jr, son of the world rally champion, and a certain Max Verstappen, barely seventeen years old. . The surprise start of the Dutchman is surprising, this is only his third season in single-seaters. But very quickly, Verstappen stood out and regularly entered the points, twice taking fourth place in a Grand Prix (Hungary and United States). At the end of the season, Max Verstappen scored 49 of the 67 points for his team, which retained its seventh place in the championship.

Max Verstappen began his F1 career at Toro Rosso at the age of 17 / © Florent Gooden / DPPI

If Sainz and Verstappen keep their seats in 2016, Kvyat's difficult start to the season with Red Bull pushes the Austrian team to promote the young Dutchman within it, while the Russian driver goes the opposite direction. Carlos Sainz is the more consistent of the two drivers, and allows his team to maintain its championship position for the third consecutive season. The 2017 financial year is starting on the same basis as the previous one, with points scored at almost every Grand Prix.

If Toro Rosso is fifth in the championship for a while, the more difficult second part of the season for its two drivers will cause it to fall back to seventh place again. With four Grands Prix remaining, Carlos Sainz was announced on the side of Renault, while Daniil Kvyat, in distress, was sacked after the United States Grand Prix. Toro Rosso leaves with two new drivers to conclude the exercise, Brandon Hartley and above all, Pierre Gasly.

It is also this same duo which begins the 2018 season with the Italian team. As the reliability of Renault engines is often lacking, the Red Bull group convinces Honda to power its four single-seaters for the next three years. For his first full season in Formula 1, Pierre Gasly showed impressive maturity and regularly dominated his teammate on the track.

At the heart of the summer, his good results allowed him to be established at Red Bull from 2019, Toro Rosso formalizing the return of Daniil Kvyat in response. However, the Italian team regressed over the course of the season, finishing ninth among manufacturers, a first since 2012. Brandon Hartley was not retained at the end of the championship, Alexander Albon was promoted.

Daniil Kvyat's return is punctuated by a surprise podium finish for the latter at the end of a rainy German Grand Prix. The first in almost eleven years for Toro Rosso. For his part, Alexander Albon seduces with his consistency, and even sees himself, during the summer break, promoted to Red Bull in place of a struggling Pierre Gasly, who is going the opposite way.

Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso) remembered everyone fondly at the 2019 German GP / © Florent Gooden / DPPI

The return of the French driver, despite his great disappointment, allowed the Italian team to end the season with a bang, with the Normand's second place during the Brazilian Grand Prix, at the cost of a memorable battle with Lewis Hamilton, in the last lap of the race.

Pierre Gasly (Toro Rosso) takes a superb 2nd place at the 2019 Brazilian GP / © Antonin Vincent / DPPI

For its last year under the Toro Rosso name, the Italian team finished sixth in the championship, its best result since 2008. The Italian team is now called Scuderia AlphaTauri, which is none other than a brand of ready-to-wear clothing. Austrian group. It was at the heart of this first season that Pierre Gasly won his prestigious victory at Monza, the second for the Faenza-based team and the first for a French driver since Oliver Panis' success in Monaco in 1996. As in 2008 with Vettel, Gasly climbed to the highest step of the podium at Monza, a few kilometers from the AlphaTauri base camp. At the end of the championship, where the Italian team reached the 100 points mark for the first time (107), Japanese driver Yuki Tsunoda was announced as the starter in place of Daniil Kvyat, under the leadership of the engine manufacturer Honda.

Historic victory for Pierre Gasly and AlphaTauri at Monza in 2020 / © Antonin Vincent / DPPI

The team starts again in 2021 on the same basis as the previous season, with an imperial Pierre Gasly in qualifying in particular. The Norman even won a new podium for AlphaTauri, in Baku, the third of his career in the space of three seasons. Thanks to the interesting performances of Yuki Tsunoda in the second half of the season, the Italian team equaled its best result in the championship, with a sixth place.

The revolution that Formula 1 is experiencing in 2022, however, does not seem to benefit AlphaTauri, which marks a halt in its progress, like Pierre Gasly in difficulty and regularly in competition with his teammate, Yuki Tsunoda. Initially renewed for 2023, the Frenchman is finally preparing to set sail for the team Alpine, Red Bull having agreed to release him a year before the end of his contract. His Japanese teammate is extended for a 3rd season. In 2023, Tsunoda will team up with Dutchman Nyck de Vries, who wowed during his stint at the 2022 Italian GP with Williams.

3. Official Racing Bulls drivers

In 2024, Yuki Tsunoda will compete in his fourth season with the newly named Racing Bulls team. He plays alongside Daniel Ricciardo.

Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda

Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda will share the bill in 2024. © Red Bull

4. AUTOhebdo's opinion on Racing Bulls

Long in the shadow of Red Bull, Scuderia AlphaTauri proclaims its independence in many respects and seems to take off with the seasons. As evidenced by Pierre Gasly's victory during the 2020 Italian Grand Prix, the Italian team is capable of aiming for the top of the table when everything aligns. But since the departure of Pierre Gasly, the Faenza team has experienced more difficulties, and only occasionally fights for points.

The new regulations have certainly not helped the team to continue its momentum from the end of the 2010s, and it seems to suffer much more than its counterpart Red Bull. But that's the whole problem with this team, which will never really be able to fight for victory, at least as long as it remains under Austrian control. Since 2024, Racing Bulls has returned to what it originally was: a team that serves as support for Red Bull and training for the drivers.