Formula One: Vettel Victory Shows Success for Scuderia Toro Rosso

Alistair HunterContributor INovember 20, 2010

Vettel posing before his first race weekend for Toro Rosso in 2007.
Vettel posing before his first race weekend for Toro Rosso in 2007.Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Toro Rosso have been consistently off the pace this season. They have not qualified in the top ten once this season, and finished in the top ten seven times this season.

Cast your mind back to 2008. Toro Rosso finished sixth in the constructors standings, with 39 points. This included a surprisingly good run of results by some driver called Sebastian Vettel, who moved to the Red Bull team in 2009, where he has consistently produced some good results.

Except the last part is a large understatement. Last week, Vettel became the youngest World Champion, over two years after he won his first race for the Italian based F1 team where he found some success.

Toro Rosso's current drivers are Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari. From their twitter pages it is clear to see that Alguersuari is also a DJ and Buemi managed to reach the high score of 21,016 in Doodle Jump for iPhone. However, could they become slightly more successful in the future?

Vettel was a lowly test driver at BMW Sauber when his pace was spotted in 2006, setting the fastest time in several practice sessions that season. The F1.06 car he drove in was probably faster than Toro Rosso's recent attempts at designing a car.

This explains why Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari have not been showing such electrifying pace in practice sessions.

To be fair, we must bear in mind that Alguersuari was fastest in third practice in the 2010 Japanese Grand Prix—but the only other driver to set a timed lap in that rain-soaked practice session was Timo Glock for slower Virgin Racing team.

In total, six drivers have raced for Toro Rosso. After racing four times for Red Bull in 2005, Vitantonio Liuzzi scored one point for Toro Rosso in 2006. This was followed by sixth place at the 2007 Chinese Grand Prix, his only points finish that season.

After the 2007 season, he participated in the Speedcar Series and A1 Grand Prix, where he finished third and 16th respectively. In 2009, he took part in five races for the Force India team, scoring no points, followed by 21 points in 2010, finishing the season in 15th place.

Scott Speed was the second driver in the 2006 Toro Rosso team, and scored no points. In 2007, his best finish was in ninth place in Monaco after qualifying 18th.

However, he was dropped by the team after the European Grand Prix.

He joined Eddie Sharp Racing in the 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series after competing in one race in 2007. He finished his first full season in third place.

He competed five times with the Red Bull Racing Team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series, before competing in 35 races with Red Bull Racing Team and NEMCO Motorsports in 2009.

With one race to go in the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, he is currently in 30th place, with two tenth place finishes in Atlanta and Daytona representing his best results this season. He is not certain to be on the Red Bull Racing Team for 2011.

Scott Speed was replaced by a young Red Bull driver called Sebastian Vettel, who finished fourth in China in 2007, before regularly scoring points in 2008, including his first victory in Monza.

Vettel moved to the main Red Bull team and finished second in the Formula One championship in 2009, before winning his first title in 2010 after Webber and Alonso took the wrong strategy in the final race of the season.

Sebastien Bourdais was an experienced racing driver before he made his first appearance in F1 with Toro Rosso. He was classified seventh in the 2007 Australian Grand Prix, and he equalled this feat in the Belgian Grand Prix later in the year. He then scored points twice in 2009, before he was fired from the team.

Bourdais then finished the season racing for Sevilla FC in Superleague Formula, and continued in the series in 2010 with Olympique Lyonnais. He also competed in the Armor All Gold Coast 600 as an International driver in the 2010 V8 Supercars series.

Sebastien Buemi has raced in Formula One for two years after replacing Vettel at the end of the 2008 season, and picked up points in four races. His best finishes in 2009 were at Australia and Brazil in seventh place. He finished the season in 16th place.

This season, he has also scored points at four races, and despite scoring two points more than in 2009, he still finished in 16th place.

Jaime Alguersuari replaced Bourdais from the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix, where he became the youngest F1 driver. His best finish was 14th in Brazil, scoring no points in that season, but retiring five times out of eight races.

In 2010, he has scored five points, with his best finishes in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi, where he finished ninth. He finished the season in 19th place, which was the worst of the drivers above with 'new teams'.

Most of these drivers probably had the ability to win. Most of them were talented drivers. Some of them possibly deserved to drive in a competitive car and challenge for victory.

Toro Rosso do not have a competitive car, and they are mainly the slowest of the established teams. Occasionally they even look under threat from a team like Lotus or Virgin. So that led me to figure out why the team exists.

Vettel's victory highlights why the team should exist. The experience that the drivers gain from driving there should prepare them for the main Red Bull team.

Toro Rosso are basically like a market for new Formula One talent, and they showcase the talented drivers that could become champions.

I'm sure I've read reports saying that both Buemi and Alguersuari want to race in Mark Webber's seat, if he exits the team. And I think that one of them should eventually have it.

Personally, I think they have the ability to become champions.