In what was the team’s final season under the moniker of Scuderia Toro Rosso, the former perennial backmarkers when they were called Minardi had it’s first podium in Formula 1 since Sebastian Vettel took victory for the team in the 2008 Italian Grand Prix, with the Faenza based team finishing sixth in the constructor’s championship, it’s highest since 2008.
After a sluggish but productive start to the season which saw rookie Alexander Albon bag points in China after crashing his car in Free Practice 3, Toro Rosso hit their stride in Germany with Daniil Kvyat scoring his first podium since 2016, with third place after running second for most of the race, whilst Albon scored his first top-six finish of his F1 career.
Albon was promoted to Red Bull Racing for the Belgium Grand Prix whilst former Toro Rosso driver Pierre Gasly was moved back to Toro Rosso in a move that shocked many in the Formula 1 paddock.
Gasly rose to the challenge of trying to save his season with the Frenchman scoring an emotional second place in Brazil beating Lewis Hamilton in a drag race to the finish line.
High Point – Gasly beats the champ in Brazil
It had been a rough season for Gasly after being dropped from Red Bull in the summer break, the Frenchman returned to Toro Rosso with the mission of salvaging his Formula 1 career.
Gasly proved his detractors wrong by being consistently in the points from his first race back for the team in Belgium, but the high point was a supreme drive to second place in Brazil.
The Frenchman’s podium wasn’t a fluke either as he was up in the top six from the start of the race and third as the safety car came in after both Ferrari’s hit each other.
That became second after Hamilton hit Albon with two laps to go, with Gasly out dragging the Mercedes to the line to snatch his best finish in Formula 1 to date.
Low Point – Nil points in France
France was a low point of the season for Toro Rosso as neither driver could get close to the points as the STR14 failed to handle the heat at Paul Ricard.
Toro Rosso wasn’t helped with the fact the Honda Engine struggled with power down the Mistral Straight causing them to be a sitting duck as the rest of the midfield powered by.
France was the start of a two-race slump which saw the team fail to score a single point until Silverstone.
2020 Qualifying and Race Results
|Race||Kvyat Qualifying||Albon Qualifying||Kvyat Race||Albon Race|
(Started from the pits)
|Race||Kvyat Qualifying||Gasly Qualifying||Kvyat Race||Gasly Race|
|United Arab Emirates||13||11||9||18|
What to look out for in 2020 – A new name A new beginning
2020 will be the dawn of a new era for Toro Rosso with the team’s name changing to Scuderia AlphaTauri where the Faenza based team will hope to kick on from 2019 and try to break into the top 5 of the constructor’s championship for the first time in the team’s existence.
There might be trouble ahead for Franz Tost as a possible power struggle for the role of number one driver may see Kvyat and Gasly clash on and off the track as they squabble to be number one and to possibly be in a Red Bull for 2021.