Debate: Scott Speed heading out of Toro Rosso?

Scott Speed, Toro Rosso-Ferrari, Barcelona, 2007Scott Speed is under pressure. The season started poorly for him when team boss Gerhard Berger waited until the 11th hour before confirming him alongside Vitantonio Liuzzi.

This week his Toro Rosso team are testing three times Champ Car champion Sebastien Bourdais for the second time. Rumours link BMW protege Sebastian Vettel with Speed’s seat – and suggest he could take it before the year is out.

Speed is conspicuously high profile as F1′s first American driver since Michael Andretti in 1993. But while Liuzzi has been linked with a move up to the lead Red Bull squad, Speed universally gets a bad press.

Liuzzi has beaten him 3-1 in qualifying so far. Their respective race performances are hard to compare given the car’s poor reliability to date.

Will Speed make it to the end of the year as a Toro Rosso driver? Does he deserve to? Should he keep his seat simply on the grounds that the team haven’t given him a reliable enough car to judge him with yet?

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8 comments on Debate: Scott Speed heading out of Toro Rosso?

  1. As the only Speed supporter in the world (apparently), I have to answer this. It’s a rumour only and was squelched by Franz Tost yesterday – see this Autosport report. Bourdais looks almost certain to get a drive with TR next year but, for the moment, both Speed and Liuzzi are probably safe. As Tost says, it would be foolish to change drivers before the car has been sorted to the extent where it becomes drivable. Judging by Scott’s practice times in Barcelona (and his very brief race), it may be reaching that point.

    Liuzzi is the blue-eyed boy in the Red Bull camp for some reason but, if you analyse the performances of the TR drivers last year, you will find that Speed was both quicker and finished higher than his Italian teammate in the second half of the year. Presumably this means he learns quicker and there is no reason why that process should not continue.

    If Scott gets a decent chance, he could surprise everyone this year and Bourdais might have to take Liuzzi’s seat (and Liuzzi will probably go to Red Bull, although why they should want him in such circumstances, I don’t know).

  2. Journeyer said on 17th May 2007, 12:23

    I think Liuzzi is underrated. After all, he has passed a lot of people in his racing days, notably Schumi – twice! In Australia last year and San Marino in 2005.

    I picked this up from an article by David Tremayne of GrandPrix.com. He has a lot more to say about Tonio and Timo Glock, too. You can take a look at the article:

    http://www.grandprixplus.com

  3. Yes, I read that too, Journeyer. Let’s just say I think both Liuzzi and Speed are underrated.

  4. I can’t say that I’ve been overly impressed by wither Speed or Liuzzi – or with Toro Rosso’s reliability, for that matter. Both drivers should stay until the end of the season, but let’s just say I’m not particularly upset at the idea that Bourdais may get a seat at the expense of either Speed or Liuzzi.

  5. Number 38 said on 17th May 2007, 16:50

    Speed, Speed, Speed …… we all know that Mateschitz seated him to improve Red Bull sales in the USA but has anyone seen a Red Bull display at a Wal-Mart super center……usually a dozen grossly over-priced cans with dusty tops. Once a month they move the same six cans to a new location on the shelving. Where does Red Bull make their money? Who drinks that stuff? Concerning Scot Speed, he might be a good driver someday, in another car, maybe in another series but today he’s just a foul mouthed, immature KID and we’ve got too many of those in F1. Someday maybe but I don’t pay a ticket price to see “kids in training”. And now comes news Williams and Mclaren are courting 14 years olds. For years I’ve chided Bernie Ecclestone for screwing up F1, and MadMax Mosley as he can’t seem to leave the rule book alone for more than an hour but now I have to focus on some team principals, and not just Williams and Mclaren, I could write for hours about some strange mismanagement among the lot, but right now I’m off to record my two pence worth about Honda’s environmental guru who has just quit! CHEERS !!!

  6. I know a few people that drink Red Bull but they don’t watch Formula 1 or the other sports they sponsor…

    Oddly, I like a lot of stuff Red Bull sponsor but won’t drink the stuff.

    I fear that Scott Speed will be ousted from Formula 1 before we get to see his true potential, but while it’s not his fault, I think he could have a better attitude about his team’s failures.

    Liuzzi is an adequate, though mediocre, driver, but the fact is, Red Bull/Toro Rosso are underperforming as a team. We see this in gearbox failures, gas flaps that don’t stay down, CV joints that catch fire, cars that get clipped out early from being mired in the back of the pack, and I suppose it just goes with the territory.

  7. Nathan Jones said on 18th May 2007, 8:27

    i think liuzzi is overrated!
    he has made some stupid errors!
    one that quickly comes to mind was at suzuka last year when he spun at the right hand curve exiting the chicane!

  8. Paul Goldman said on 14th July 2007, 0:33

    Bourdais belongs at STR. Speed belongs at Toyota. And Ralph belongs with his wife in DTM. Toyota and Speed are a perfect fit. The USA is Toyota’s biggest market. The duel series of both NASCAR and F! and the crossover marketing possibilites are endless. With £30,000,000 they save per year on Schumaker they could promote the hell out of themselves in the States. Toyota and Speed, the perfect marriage.

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