Formula1, Motorsport

Could ‘youth energy’ be a blessing in disguise for Toro Rosso?

The brand new Formula One season is not too far away from us and the excitement is already building up significantly. Massive changes have took place over the off-season, with several big moves happening within the teams as well. Sebastian Vettel left Red Bull Racing; a place where he won four World Championship title to join Ferrari while Fernando Alonso made the move over McLaren-Honda.

But while the punters will evidently go out and hype about the big teams, Scuderia Toro Rosso will be the team to watch this season, simply because they’ve gone with an approach that’s fresh. Yes, they are a feeder team for Red Bull Racing, but this time around, that could potentially be a blessing in disguise.

Their roster for 2015 is made up of two fresh talents. One is 20 year-old Carlos Sainz Jr and the other one is Max Verstappen, who is merely 17 years old! Just a year ago, he was competing in the Formula 3 before joining Red Bull Racing’s Junior Team in August 2014. Six days later, he was being integrated into the Toro Rosso set-up; a remarkable rise in prominence.

But as far as Toro Rosso’s technical director James Key is concerned, he doesn’t think their age would a major stumbling block in them doing well over the next nine months.

“It’s not really about age, it’s about competence and we’ve got two very competent guys here,” he told ESPN.

“Danny Kvyat was a good example last year – he had about three days of winter testing and he scored points at the first race. That’s what can be done if we prepare well and that’s out plan.

“Clearly it’s always good to have a bit of continuity from one year to another but it’s not often you can afford to do that – I don’t envisage it being much of a problem. On the plus side we are getting good feedback already and some very clear directions on what the drivers would like to do but they are also very open to suggestion as well.”

Keys makes an interesting point as well when he claimed that both the drivers are extremely open to suggestion. We’ve seen big names drivers clash amongst themselves despite being in the same team and we’ve also seen drivers disagree and disobey team instructions. But considering that Max and Carlos are young, flexibility on the race track will probably be easier with them.

Experience will always be a crucial factor when it comes to doing well throughout the season, but Toro Rosso’s roster has got nothing to lose. And as depicted by both men at the unveiling ceremony for the brand new STR10 car, excitement is already building up across the paddock, particularly with Max.

“With two days in the 2014 car at the Abu Dhabi test and the Friday mornings I did last season, combined with time spent in the simulator, I feel well prepared and I’m really up for this challenge, which is very exciting,” he told Formula One’s official website.

“Six days on track here in Spain and then it will be time to head for Australia and my first Grand Prix, something I have been looking forward to ever since I started karting.”

While the attention will be on the big guns, keep an eye on Toro Rosso. Like it or not, they probably have two of the best young talents in the sport and should they hit the ground running at the Australian GP, these youngsters could give the rest a real run for their money.

Or they could falter and disappoint big time, you’ll never know. But that’s the amazing thing about Formula One, you just never know what to expect. Ask Bernie Ecclestone and he’ll tell you all about it.

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