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Anyone for Toro Rosso?

I begin to wonder what the Toro Rosso bosses think they are playing at. To keep contracted drivers in suspense while they try out everyone else who looks as if he could hold a steering wheel has to be bad policy at the least. It was just this kind of dithering that led to Alonso leaving Renault for McLaren.


Scott Speed in the Toro Rosso STR – 01

Of course, I realize that Sebastien Bourdais, the most recent to have a test with the team, is not really in the frame; he has stated repeatedly that he will drive for Newman/Haas in Champ Cars next year. But what purpose is served by letting STR’s existing drivers wait until the last moment to find out whether their contracts will be honored? If nothing else, it shows that the team does not have full confidence in their choice of drivers.

That has to have an effect on Scott Speed and Vitantonio Liuzzi. To know that their bosses are looking for someone better must erode their confidence and does nothing for relationships within the team. I can understand Spyker’s delay in filling their second seat – Tiago Monteiro did not exactly set the world alight in 2006, after all. But Toro Rosso’s indecision looks completely unnecessary.

Both Liuzzi and Speed showed great promise this season. It is hard to evaluate them without a known-quantity driver alongside but they seemed to get the best out of a car that was not expected to perform as well as it did. Since there are no obvious budding Michael Schumachers out there, the best option for the Scuderia would be to confirm their drivers and get down to preparation for next year.

I don’t think that Gerhard Berger is the problem. He has hinted often enough that there will be no surprises in the driver line-up. It seems to be Dietrich Mateschitz, Red Bull and Toro Rosso boss, who is being slow to make up his mind. I guess when you’re one of the richest people in the world, you don’t give a schitz how a couple of lowly F1 drivers feel.

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