Traditionally regarded as the feeder team for its big Red Bull sister team, Scuderia Toro Rosso has seen many outstanding drivers graduate from its humble base in Faenza in Italy.
Formed back in 2005 when Australian businessman Paul Stoddart sold his remaining stake in the Minardi team to Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz, the team famously won its first and only grand prix to date when the great Sebastian Vettel mastered the wet conditions to win the 2008 Italian Grand Prix from pole position.
Vettel is not the only star pupil from the outstanding Red Bull driver development program to have taken a seat at Toro Rosso, Daniel Ricciardo, Max Verstappen and recently the impressive Carlos Sainz and Pierre Gasly impressing enough to be snapped up by ‘bigger’ teams on the grid.
With Honda power for a second season and Daniil Kvyat returning for a third sting with the team in 2019, Toro Rosso will be hoping for a more competitive showing after a disappointing 2018 by their standards.
STRENGTHS: With a year of Honda power already under their belts and development of the 2019 challenger starting early, STR can expect a stronger showing than in 2018. The experience of the returning Daniil Kvyat brings more stability.
WEAKNESSES: Forever in the shadow of Red Bull, Toro Rosso will always be something of a test bed for its big brother be it engine development or driver development. Escaping as a competitive force in its own right has proven a tall order. New driver Alex Albon an unknown quantity in F1.