At the 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix, Pierre Gasly becomes the second driver to have started 75 races with the Red Bull junior team. But who has made the most starts with Toro Rosso and AlphaTauri since Red Bull entered a second team into F1 in 2006?
Daniil Kvyat, 89 races
Of the fifteen drivers who’ve raced at the Red Bull junior team, no one has started more races at the team than Daniil Kvyat. Fresh from winning the GP3 championship, the Russian driver made his Formula 1 debut with Toro Rosso at the 2014 Australian Grand Prix. Scoring points on his first appearance, Kvyat impressed throughout the year.
When Sebastian Vettel left Red Bull for Ferrari, Kvyat was called upon to fill the vacant seat for 2015. He went on to score his maiden podium finish at the 2015 Hungarian Grand Prix. A further podium followed at the 2016 Chinese Grand Prix but, following an uninspiring performance for Kvyat at his home race, Max Verstappen was promoted to Red Bull after only four races of the 2016 season.
Kvyat returned to Toro Rosso for the rest of the 2016 season. He remained at the team for 2017, but was replaced by Pierre Gasly ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix following a run of poor form. He made one further appearance in 2017 at the United States Grand Prix, but then spent the rest of the season and the entirety of 2018 on the sidelines.
Following a season as Ferrari’s test and reserve driver, Kvyat’s services were called upon once again by Toro Rosso in 2019. He impressed against rookie team-mate Alex Albon and went on to record a podium finish at the German Grand Prix – the team’s first top three finish in over ten years. Kvyat continued at the team through the 2020 season but was dropped at the end of the year in favour of Yuki Tsunoda.
Pierre Gasly, 74 races
Pierre Gasly will make his 75th appearance with the Red Bull junior team at the 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix. Gasly’s time at the team follows a similar route to his former team-mate Kvyat. Gasly made his debut with Toro Rosso at the 2017 Malaysian Grand Prix and raced with the team until the end of the 2018 season. He made the step up to Red Bull at the start of 2019 but was demoted back to the junior team after only twelve races.
Since his return to Toro Rosso, Gasly has excelled at the team. Under their new AlphaTauri branding, Gasly took the team’s second victory at the 2020 Italian Grand Prix and secured further podium finishes at the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix and the 2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Jean-Eric Vergne, 58 races
Toro Rosso opted for a completely new driver line-up for 2012, brining in Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne. The Frenchman recorded four points finishes in the highly competitive season, including three eighth place finishes in the second half of the year.
He remained at he team alongside Ricciardo in 2013, recording the best result of his career with sixth place in the Canadian Grand Prix. That would be his last points finish until the following year. Partnered with Daniil Kvyat in 2014, Vergne scored points much more regularly. However, with Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz waiting in the wings, Vergne’s contract was not renewed for 2014. Vergne has gone on to have success in Formula E, where he became the series’ first ever back-to-back champion.
Carlos Sainz, 56 races
While most of the media attention was on his younger team-mate Max Verstappen ahead of their debuts at the 2015 Australian Grand Prix, Carlos Sainz recorded the better result over the race weekend. The Spaniard scored points on his debut with a ninth place finish in the first of 56 appearances with Toro Rosso.
Sainz enjoyed almost three successful seasons with the team, recording a best result of fourth on his final race finish with the outfit at the 2017 Singapore Grand Prix. He made his final appearance with Toro Rosso at the 2017 Japanese Grand Prix before moving to Renault in place of Jolyon Palmer for the next race at Circuit of The Americas.
Sebastien Buemi, 55 races
Fifth on the list of most starts with the team is Sebastien Buemi. The Swiss driver’s F1 career is perhaps best remembered for his bizarre accident in Free Practice for the 2010 Chinese Grand Prix, a result of both front wheels flying off the car on the main straight.
Buemi contested in three seasons with Toro Rosso. He scored points on his debut at the 2009 Australian Grand Prix, finishing in seventh place. That would turn out to be the best result of his career, though he also finished seventh at the Brazilian Grand Prix later that year. Overall, his final season in 2011 was his most successful. He scored fifteen points and finished fifteenth in the standings.
The full list of drivers who’ve raced at Toro Rosso and AlphaTauri
Below is a list of every driver who has raced at Toro Rosso and AlphaTauri since the Red Bull junior team first raced in F1 in 2006. Table last updated ahead of the 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix.
|Daniil Kvyat||89||3rd (2019 German Grand Prix)|
|Pierre Gasly||74||1st (2020 Italian Grand Prix)|
|Jean-Eric Vergne||58||6th (2013 Canadian Grand Prix, 2014 Singapore Grand Prix)|
|Carlos Sainz||56||4th (2017 Singapore Grand Prix)|
|Sebastien Buemi||55||7th (2009 Australian Grand Prix, 2009 Brazilian Grand Prix)|
|Jaime Alguersuari||46||7th (2011 Italian Grand Prix, 2011 South Korean Grand Prix)|
|Daniel Ricciardo||39||7th (2013 Chinese Grand Prix, 2013 Italian Grand Prix)|
|Vitantonio Liuzzi||35||6th (2007 Chinese Grand Prix)|
|Scott Speed||28||9th (2006 Australian Grand Prix, 2007 Monaco Grand Prix)|
|Sebastien Bourdais||27||7th (2008 Australian Grand Prix, 2008 Belgian Grand Prix)|
|Brendon Hartley||25||9th (2018 United States Grand Prix)|
|Sebastian Vettel||25||1st (2008 Italian Grand Prix)|
|Max Verstappen||23||4th (2015 Hungarian Grand Prix, 2015 United States Grand Prix)|
|Yuki Tsunoda||21||4th (2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix)|
|Alex Albon||12||6th (2019 German Grand Prix)|
After graduating in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky Haldenby, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. 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 Motorsport Guides and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast. His work has appeared on WTF1, BadgerGP, motorsport.com, Sky Sports F1 and BBC Radio 5 Live. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast.