Mid-season review: Toro Rosso
Toro Rosso has endured a difficult first year as a constructor in their own right, after being taken out from under the Red Bull Technology (RBT) umbrella for 2010. Up until now, the Faenza-based team has enjoyed a competitive supply of Red Bull Racing cars and upgrades, but embarked on its own design and development programme this year following the definitive banning of customer cars.
With a smaller budget and significantly less impressive resources at their disposal than they had while with RBT, the car has been understandably off the pace. While mid-season upgrades arrived on the car at almost ever race last year, they are a rarity this year as the team struggles to keep up with the relentless developments of their main rivals ahead.
While the team has been on the pace of the midfield at some races this year, it has mostly been a season of qualifying and racing in the teens for Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari. Points have been flowing in on a sporadic basis, with five points-scoring races so far this year, thanks to one eighth place, two ninth places and two tenths places. Buemi is leading the head-to-head, with seven points to three, while the Swiss is also ahead 10-2 in qualifying.
The immediate future is unlikely to see any sea-change for Toro Rosso, although the resource restriction agreement will likely bring them closer to the front runners. Nevertheless, as the aim of the team is to develop young drivers for use in the main Red Bull team down the line, scoring points or podium finishes is not its target, but rather to show the ropes to the sport's up-and-coming stars.