Toro Rosso enjoyed its most successful season since 2008, when it also finished sixth in the constructors’ championship.
Team principal Franz Tost was optimistic from the start.
SOUNDBITE; (English) FRANZ TOST
TORO ROSSO TEAM PRINCIPAL
“I am feeling quite good because I think we have the ingredients together for a successful season. The car, I expect, will be competitive.”
Despite it being conceived around a 2018 Red Bull gearbox and rear end, which incorporated the longer Renault engine, the STR14 performed well on tracks as disparate as Monaco and Monza.
Daniil Kvyat returned to the Toro Rosso fold after a year as a Ferrari development driver. He was joined for the first part of the season by Alex Albon, then by Pierre Gasly after the Frenchman was dropped by the Red Bull senior team.
On the design side, Jody Eggington took over as Technical Director after James Key’s defection to McLaren.
The team achieved a podium for the first time since Sebastian Vettel won the 2008 Italian GP. And not just one! Kvyat took advantage of a late change to slicks to come home third in the mixed conditions race at Hockenheim.
Not to be outdone, Gasly went one better with second place in the season’s penultimate race at Interlagos, famously out-dragging Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes across the line on the last lap.
With Max Verstappen winning for the senior team, that gave Honda it’s first 1-2 finish in F1 since 1991.
Gasly finished the year 7th, on 95 points, scoring 63 of those with Red Bull and 32 with Toro Rosso.
Kvyat, meanwhile, finished 13th in the championship, with 37 points, scoring in 10 of the season’s 21 races.
The team retains the same line-up next year, but will be able to optimise the design around the smaller, and increasingly potent, Honda engine.
The Toro Rosso name, however, disappears. The team will be rebranded Alpha Tauri, in deference to Red Bull’s 2016 expansion into the fashion industry.