F1 2016 Team Preview: Toro Rosso

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Having lived in the shadow of Red Bull as the ‘B’ team for many years, last year Toro Rosso arguably had its strongest season since Sebastian Vettel raced for it in 2008.

Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jr. may have forged the youngest driver pairing in the history of Formula 1, but both proved themselves to be more than capable of racing at the highest level. At just 18 years old, Verstappen’s debut campaign was of particular note.

Change is on the horizon for 2016 with Ferrari joining as a power unit supplier. Can Toro Rosso upset its parent team this year? Or will it be another season of subservience in the midfield?

TEAM: Scuderia Toro Rosso
ENGINE: Ferrari
CAR: Toro Rosso STR11

2015 STATS

Races: 19
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 67
Laps Led: 0
Drivers’ Championship Positions: 12th (Max Verstappen); 15th (Carlos Sainz Jr.)
Constructors’ Championship Position: 7th

2016 LINE-UP

33. Max Verstappen (NED)
55. Carlos Sainz Jr. (ESP)

2015 TEAM RECAP

Despite the struggles with its Renault power unit and the relative inexperience of Verstappen and Sainz, Toro Rosso enjoyed a hugely successful season in 2015. The team may have failed to hit Franz Tost’s pre-season target of fifth in the constructors’ championship, but it was a firm part of the midfield throughout the year. Highlights came in Hungary and the USA where Verstappen finished fourth, taking advantage of two crazy races, while Sainz was impressive throughout the year, even if his final points haul was dampened by some bad luck. 2015 was the best season for Toro Rosso since Vettel’s breakout year with the team in 2008 – a tough act to follow.

2016 OUTLOOK

After making a late switch to the 2015-spec Ferrari power unit for 2016, even making it to the first test was a big achievement for Toro Rosso. That both Sainz and Verstappen were able to lay down some serious mileage with good pace is a very positive sign for the season ahead. Although there will be no updates to the Ferrari engine throughout the season, if the team can pick up some big results early on, then it could yet be another breakthrough year. Verstappen will be aiming to build on his incredible debut campaign, while for Sainz, 2016 is about proving he is just as capable as his junior teammate. A big year awaits all at Toro Rosso.

Santino Ferrucci will drive No. 14 for AJ Foyt Racing full time in 2023 IndyCar season

Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt
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Santino Ferrucci will return to full-time racing in the NTT IndyCar Series next season, joining AJ Foyt Racing.

Ferrucci had made eight IndyCar starts with three teams since his last full-time season in 2020 while also racing part time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year.

He will drive the storied No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet for four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt’s team, which will field the car from its Waller, Texas headquarters.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be back in the INDYCAR Series full time,” Ferrucci said in a team release. “Being a part-time driver over the last two years has been hard for me, personally. I’m a race car driver, and I want to compete. Working with different teams has been exciting, and I’m proud that no matter which car I’ve raced, I’ve always shown speed and consistency. I couldn’t be more excited to join AJ Foyt Racing in the 14 Chevy. I can’t wait to make the best of it.”

Ferrucci, 24, had finished a career-best fourth in IndyCar four times, including the 104th Indy 500 in 2020. He was the 2019 Indy 500 rookie of the year with a sixth.

In nine Xfinity starts since 2021, Ferrucci has a career-best finish of 13th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I am thrilled to welcome Santino to the team,” Larry Foyt said in a release. “He’s shown a knack for getting toward the front of the field, and I think he is a racer who moves forward on race day. A.J. sees the fire in him and has enjoyed their meetings together. I think Santino’s experience will help his rookie teammate as well, so he is a great addition to our roster.”

Ferrucci will be teamed at AJ Foyt Racing with Benjamin Pedersen, who finished fifth in the 2022 Indy Lights standings. The team has yet to specify the number for Pedersen’s entry, which will be fielded out of its Indianapolis race shop.

Foyt’s two full-time drivers last season were Dalton Kellett and Kyle Kirkwood, who is moving to Andretti Autosport.