Honda F1 website

DECEMBER 12, 2006

Scuderia Toro Rosso: new ideas on how to motivate drivers

Bringing in Sebastien Bourdais for a test and telling pressmen that the drivers are not guaranteed for 2007 is a great way for Scuderia Toro Rosso to motivate its current incumbents to want to stay for the future. Tonio Liuzzi has had an F1 career that has been mangled from the start by Red Bull with a half-baked car sharing deal in 2005 and then a sideways nudge into the old Minardi team to make way for an Austrian who was then dropped for failing to deliver.

This was hardly inspired management and the hiring of a non-Red Bull driver for the main team will not have helped matters since then.

Scott Speed on the other hand was much trumpeted as an American in F1, part of a great strategy to sell energy drinks to the kids in America. That strategy now seems to have been forgotten since Red Bull discovered NASCAR and with the announcement that John Edwards has gone back to the US to race Atlantics next year Speed is the only survivor of the original Red Bull strategy. It seems that Red Bull no longer wants to have an American angle.

This is understandable but the idea that the Austrian drinks company's second team could have a pay-driver is more than bizarre given the amount of money that the company has poured into F1.