Toro Rosso enjoyed their most successful year, with two podium finishes and sixth in the Constructors’ Championship. Here are all the facts and statistics from their 2019 season.
Toro Rosso will become Alpha Tauri in 2020 – but before the name vacated the sport, the team enjoyed their most successful season. For the second time in their history, they finished sixth in the championship, scoring a record 85 points.
It was another year of changing line-ups for the team, who welcomed back Daniil Kvyat at the start of the season, and welcomed back Pierre Gasly after the summer break, as rookie Alex Albon was sent to the senior team.
For the first time since 2008, Toro Rosso finished on the podium and, for the first time ever, they took two podium finishes in a year. Those two podium finishes came thanks to Daniil Kvyat, who finished third in Germany, and Pierre Gasly, who stormed home to second in Brazil. Both were a result of some good fortune, but ultimately the team were in the right place when it mattered.
In their second year with Honda power, Toro Rosso proved to have a reliable machine and completed the third most laps of any team over the season. Their only DNF this year through mechanical failure was an oil leak for Kvyat in Italy. Kvyat retired with collision damage in China and Azerbaijan, as did Albon in Canada. Along with McLaren, Toro Rosso were regularly the most improved team since 2018, lapping over a second faster than they did in the previous season at most circuits.
While their name changes for 2020, their driver line-up will remain unchanged – at least for the start of the season. Will Alpha Tauri continue with the progress that Toro Rosso made in 2019?
A STATISTIC FOR EVERY GRAND PRIX
Australia: In qualifying for the 2019 Australian Grand Prix, Toro Rosso’s best potential lap time was over two seconds faster than their best potential lap in 2018.
Bahrain: At the 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix, both Daniil Kvyat and Alex Albon finished in the top ten, marking the first time that Toro Rosso have scored with both cars at the event.
China: The Chinese Grand Prix marked Toro Rosso’s 250th Grand Prix. With the event being the 1000th F1 race, that means the team appeared in exactly one quarter of F1’s first 1000 races – exactly the same percentage as Jordan.
Azerbaijan: At the 2019 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Toro Rosso failed to score in Baku for the first time since 2016. In qualifying, the team had one car appear in Q3 and one car eliminated in Q2 – just as they did in 2016.
Spain: Qualifying in ninth place for the 2019 event, Daniil Kvyat recorded Toro Rosso’s first Q3 appearance at the Spanish Grand Prix since 2016. In fourteen years, it was only their fourth appearance in the final part of qualifying at Catalunya.
Monaco: Daniil Kvyat finished seventh and Alex Albon eighth at the 2019 Monaco Grand Prix, making this the first time that both Toro Rosso cars have finished in the top ten in Monaco. It was also their biggest ever points haul at the track.
Canada: While Daniil Kvyat scored Toro Rosso’s first points in Montreal since 2016 at the 2019 Canadian Grand Prix, Alex Albon recorded the team’s fourth retirement in the last three years at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
France: Along with Racing Point, Toro Rosso remain the only current teams to have failed to score at Circuit Paul Ricard. On the plus side, both cars finished the event in 2019, unlike in 2018.
Austria: For the first time in the team’s history, both Toro Rosso cars reached the end of the Austrian Grand Prix. They had previously recorded 6 DNFs in five years at the Red Bull Ring, but both cars finished in 2019 – albeit outside of the points.
Britain: With Alex Albon finishing in twelfth place at the 2019 British Grand Prix, Toro Rosso became the team to have had the most twelfth place finishes in F1 history. It was their 45th twelfth place finish, overtaking Williams’ tally.
Germany: Daniil Kvyat finished in third place for Toro Rosso at the 2019 German Grand Prix, scoring the team’s first podium since Sebastian Vettel won the 2008 Italian Grand Prix. It was also the first time two Honda-powered cars have finished on the podium since Gerhard Berger and Ayrton Senna finished second and third for McLaren at the 1992 Portuguese Grand Prix. Toro Rosso became the sixteenth different team to finish on the podium at Hockenheim
Hungary: In 2019, for the first time since 2012, Toro Rosso failed to get either of their cars into Q3 at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Belgium: At the 2019 Belgian Grand Prix, Toro Rosso equalled the Benetton team’s number of Grand Prix appearances. Benetton made 260 race starts between the 1986 Brazilian Grand Prix and the 2001 Japanese Grand Prix, after which they became Renault.
Italy: Daniil Kvyat recorded Toro Rosso’s third retirement in four years at Monza at the 2019 Italian Grand Prix. With Pierre Gasly finishing eleventh, it was the sixth consecutive season where the team have failed to score at the circuit.
Singapore: Pierre Gasly’s eighth place in the Singapore Grand Prix ensured that 2019 was the fifth season in the last six years that Toro Rosso have scored at the Marina Bay Circuit. Meanwhile, Daniil Kvyat’s fifteenth place ensured that his crash in 2017 remains their only retirement from the event in the last six years.
Russia: With both cars failing to score at the 2019 Russian Grand Prix, Toro Rosso continue to hold the title as the active team to have scored the least points at Sochi Autodrom. They have only ever scored two points at the circuit, with two tenth place finishes, in 2015 and 2017.
Japan: With Pierre Gasly finishing eighth for Toro Rosso, 2019 marked the first Japanese Grand Prix in which two Honda-powered cars have scored since 2004.
Mexico: Before 2019, Toro Rosso had appeared in Q3 in Mexico on two previous occasions, most recently in 2016. 2019 saw both Toro Rosso cars qualify in the top ten for the first time at the circuit.
United States: At the 2019 United States Grand Prix, Toro Rosso failed to score at the Circuit of the Americas for the first time since 2013.
Brazil: Pierre Gasly’s podium finish at the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix marked the first time that Toro Rosso have finished on the podium twice in a season, with Daniil Kvyat having previously finished third at the German Grand Prix. Toro Rosso have finished in a different position on the podium in all of their three top three finishes. This was their best result since Sebastian Vettel’s win at the 2008 Italian Grand Prix. Toro Rosso have now had the same number of podiums as Kuzma (who only competed at Indianapolis 500 in the 1950s), Penske, Toleman, Lola and Prost. They became the eighteenth different team to finish on the podium at Interlagos. With Kvyat finishing tenth along with Gasly’s podium finish, this was the first time that Toro Rosso have finished the Brazilian Grand Prix with both cars in the top ten.
Abu Dhabi: Daniil Kvyat finished in ninth position for Toro Rosso at the 2019 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. It marked the first time the team have scored a point at the event since Daniel Ricciardo finished tenth in 2012.
Nicky Haldenby is a freelance writer from Scarborough, England. After graduating from the University of Hull in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. Now in its fourth season, the blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics. Nicky also writes at F1Destinations, and sister site GPDestinations, where he shares regular race previews and articles focussed around the latest in Formula 1 calendar and venue news. In 2017 and 2018, he wrote for Badger GP. Nicky can also be heard regularly as a guest on various Formula 1 radio shows and podcasts.