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What is it like to work at…Torro Rosso F1 team?

Work at Torro Rosso F1 Team

Torro Rosso is in many ways an oddity on the Formula 1 grid. At first glance, the team appears to be only a poor relation of the hugely well funded Red Bull works team, playing second fiddle to its illustrious cousin. On the surface it appears to be primarily just a kindergarten for developing Red Bull’s junior drivers. Look a little deeper however and you will see that this is a team which is fiercely independent and with total control over its own technical direction. It may be the second team but on more than one occasion it has thoroughly embarrassed the supposedly senior team and its more experienced drivers.

Torro Rosso is very much a solid fixture on the F1 grid with its own unique culture and identity, making it very different to work at compared to the mighty Red Bull.

Scuderia Torro Rosso

The ever popular Minardi team was a back of the grid fixture for almost 2 decades and although it never showed signs of becoming a powerhouse in Formula 1 its never say die attitude and occasional giant killing antics endeared it to a great number of racing fans across the world. Responsible for introducing Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber to the Formula 1 grid (amongst others) this energetic little team eventually fell on sufficiently hard times that it was put up for sale late in 2005. Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz swooped in to buy it and create a second Red Bull team, having already recently acquired the faltering Jaguar F1 Team. In deference to its Italian heritage, Mateschitz renamed Minardi as Scuderia Torro Rosso (STR), which is Italian for Team Red Bull.

Mateschitz had hoped to take advantage of the slightly unclear rules surrounding customer cars at that time and for the next few seasons Torro Rosso cars bore more than a striking resemblance to recent Red Bull machinery. That loophole was soon closed however and since then Torro Rosso has rebuilt its technical facilities and workforce to produce its own series of solid midfield cars and in the process they have allowed Red Bull junior drivers to demonstrate and hone their skills in the hope of graduating to the senior squad. Sebastien Vettel famously won the 2008 Italian Grand Prix from pole position for Torro Rosso, in the process giving us all a hint of the dominance that would follow once he strapped himself into a truly competitive car. Both Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat have since followed by proving their worth at Torro Rosso.

Where is it ?

Despite its Austrian ownership and an allegiance to the UK based Red Bull senior team, STR has kept its Italian roots and maintains its base in Faenza, a small town with a population of around 60,000. Faenza is located just a few kilometres from the now disused Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari circuit at Imola and around 100km southeast of Ferrari’s base at Maranello. Faenza is well within Italy’s own “motorsport valley” also being the home of the Moto GP team Gresini.

Faenza is a small but characterful Italian town with nearby vineyards, cheese making and cured meats to give the full gastronomic experience which this region is famous for. The bicycle is extremely popular and given its small scale the town centre is best navigated on two wheels. The wider region is also popular for outdoor pursuits of all kinds giving STR employees the opportunity for a healthy lifestyle to rival Sauber, albeit in a slightly warmer climate.


Image courtesy of www.scuderiatororosso.com

Torro Rosso has recently completed a new factory in Faenza which means that the team is now better equipped than the majority of its midfield rivals and is well prepared for the next phase of its development. The team’s wind tunnel and aerodynamic research however is still carried out some 1500km away in the small English town of Bicester, near Oxford. This is an unusual arrangement and logistically difficult but the split site operation appears to work and depending on your role within the team you might find yourself flying back and forwards between Italy and the UK. Many of the aerodynamics team, particularly those who operate the tunnel itself are based almost exclusively in the UK and so have a very different and separate work life to their Italian based colleagues.

What is it like to work there?

Despite being an Italian/Austrian team, the spoken working language of Torro Rosso is officially English. As with Sauber, integrating with the local language and culture is all part of working at Torro Rosso and if you want to combine your working life with a cultural learning experience then this is an ideal opportunity.

I have not worked at Torro Rosso personally but from what I know it has a good and ambitious working atmosphere and is funded well enough to allow the team to grow and to try to push itself further up the grid. The owners are unlikely to allow STR to grow beyond the performance of the senior team as budget and resource will always favour Red Bull in Milton Keynes. A world championship trophy is therefore not a very realistic prospect at Faenza but that should not in any way put you off working there.

As a newcomer or inexperienced person within the sport your learning environment is often completely unrelated to the competitiveness of the your team and teams such as Torro Rosso allow you to learn, absorb and grow in a less intense and results dependent situation. The Italian temperament and passion is always evident, nearly everybody in Formula 1 is a racer at heart but the intensity and pressure of working at Torro Rosso is likely to be very different to that witnessed at its neighbour Ferrari. The politics at Ferrari are notorious but Torro Rosso appears to maintain that plucky and ambitious atmosphere that so endeared racing fans to its predecessor Minardi and the cooperative small team culture allows it to punch well above its weight. This is often just as satisfying as winning.

Red Bull’s commitment to F1 has wavered a little bit over the past 2 years as it has been comprehensively beaten by the Mercedes team and Ferrari but if the expected engine supply reshuffle goes ahead then I would expect that they will return to competitiveness and Dietrich Mateschitz will once again fall in love with all things Formula 1. The existence of the second Red Bull team is always potentially an unnecessary luxury for Mateschitz but there is no doubt that they can afford it so I would be as sure as is possible that job security at Torro Rosso is good. There are several more fragile teams on the grid at the moment that is for certain.

How do I get a job there?

Torro Rosso have a comprehensive recruitment section on their website with current vacancies and information about the team and also the places where they are based.

www.scuderiatororosso.com

and Autosport of course :

http://motorsport-jobs.autosport.com

I do not often see adverts for Torro Rosso outside of these channels but its worth looking.

Where do I find out more ?

Web : www.scuderiatororosso.com
Twitter : @ToroRossoSpy
Facebook : www.facebook.com/tororosso
LinkedIn : https://www.linkedin.com/company/scuderia-toro-rosso

Other resources

The senior race engineer at Torro Rosso, Xevi Pujolar, is a prolific twitter user and tweets about happenings during a race weekend and what is happening in the team. I would recommend that you follow him at :
@xevipujolar

You can see who works at Torro Rosso either by going to the LinkedIn page above and finding the employee list or by clicking here

It’s useful for seeing what type of roles there are and also checking out people’s career histories prior to Torro Rosso.

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