Sebastian Vettel replaces Scott Speed at Toro Rosso

Sebastian Vettel, Scott Speed, 2007 | GEPA / Mathias KniepeisssSebastian Vettel has replaced Scott Speed at Toro Rosso team with immediate effect, following his release by the BMW team.

BMW said: “The current testing rules mean that he barely gets a chance to drive for us. Now he has been offered the opportunity to get inside a Toro Rosso cockpit.

Scott Speed’s future at Toro Rosso was in doubt following a confrontation between the American and team boss Franz Tost at the European Grand Prix.

Full statement from BMW:

The BMW Sauber F1 Team is allowing Sebastian Vettel to take the step into a Formula One cockpit. The 20-year-old from Heppenheim is being released to move to Scuderia Toro Rosso with immediate effect.

BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen explains: “As our test and reserve driver Sebastian has carried out sterling work for us. When he stood in for Robert Kubica in the USA Grand Prix he made history by becoming the youngest debutant to earn a world championship point. However, the current testing rules mean that he barely gets a chance to drive for us. Now he has been offered the opportunity to get inside a Toro Rosso cockpit. We have sponsored and coached Sebastian over a number of years. To place obstacles in his career path now would go against our concept of talent promotion.”

Theissen continues: “BMW and Red Bull have a longstanding partnership in supporting Sebastian. Toro Rosso is the sister team of Red Bull Racing, and in that context it makes sense for us to release him. In a sponsoring partnership the main thing is to use the best opportunities that present themselves to a young driver at any given time.”

Taking over the role of reserve driver for the BMW Sauber F1 Team will be Timo Glock, who is currently a test driver. The 25-year-old from Brensbach-Wersau is championship leader in the GP2 Series and would forgo a GP2 race should he have to step into the breach for the BMW Sauber F1 Team.

Photo: GEPA / Mathias Kniepeisss

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16 comments on Sebastian Vettel replaces Scott Speed at Toro Rosso

  1. AndyJ said on 31st July 2007, 12:12

    Another link between F1 & America disappears….. Whether this is a good thing or bad, I’m not sure.

  2. Christopher said on 31st July 2007, 13:13

    Excellent! Hopefully we’ll see Vettel live up to his amazing performance in the US.

  3. Christopher said on 31st July 2007, 13:15

    Ah, of course he’ll now be in a Toro Rosso rather than the BMW, so that’ll be another big challenge for him. All the best to him anyway!

  4. Yeah, good luck to the guy. He’s gonna need it…

  5. Number 38 said on 31st July 2007, 14:45

    I’m backing Clive on this one…..he and I are older and wiser than many know, the problems at Toro Rosso are far greater than Scot Speed.
    “good luck to the guy. He’s gonna need it……..”

  6. The theme of what is written in the post seems to be, what is the point of having a test driver if you never get to use him for more than an hour a week? They seem to be nothing more than injury replacements that barely get to practice.

    I wonder if Scott Speed is going to end up trying to shop himself into touring cars or something like that; considering that I think he lives in Austria now.

    The shock to me is that as I’m writing this, STR’s option to take on Bourdais will expire. Maybe Bourdais should get into GP2?

    I agree with the folks saying that we’ll know just how good or bad STR are soon.

  7. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 31st July 2007, 20:28

    Exactly Chunter and that is why BMW’s press release was a dead give away. They never explicitly said he was going to be Toro Rosso’s race driver. But how would they have been ‘standing in the way of his career’ by preventing him from becoming test driver at a lesser team?

    It’s going to be interesting to see how he and Liuzzi fare against each other. Any predictions?

  8. Reputation says Vettel will murder Liuzzi. But let’s not forget that Tonio was once F1’s golden boy too and that he’s the one with experience of the car and racing in F1. I’ll say this: if Vettel can jump into Scott’s seat and comprehensively outperform Liuzzi then, yes, he’s something special. If he doesn’t, then Tost’s tantrums all begin to look a bit silly, don’t they?

  9. I think Vettel is a special talent, but we shouldn’t expect too much out of him at STR – a driver can only do so much with a bad car. Remember Alonso spent his entire first season at Minardi without scoring a point.

  10. Wesley said on 31st July 2007, 23:43

    I am glad to see Vettel get a seat but,not at STR.I think it is a waste of talent,I predict he will put Tonio to shame.
    In reference to what Chunter said about Bourdois,I read at he is entertaining the thought of NASCAR.( if that’s true there is another waste of talent )

  11. I am seriously unimpressed (to say the least) about the antics of STR and particularly Franz Tost. Vettel doesn’t stand a chance, and neither does anyone else unlucky enough to get a race seat there before the management problems are sorted out. And that stands even if Vettel is the next Michael Schumacher.

  12. Number 38 said on 2nd August 2007, 16:13

    Sebastian Vettel ….. over-hyped
    in my opinion. Scored a point in his first race, big deal he got one of the best cars available. Timo Glock, Christian Klien and others could have done the same.
    Perhaps even Scot Speed in the BMW !!! That lemon …. Toro Rosso …. will put him in his place.

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