Eddie Jordan reveals dream Red Bull return to end ‘destructive’ F1 talent ‘bottleneck’

Oliver Harden
Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel field questions at the 2016 Spanish GP post-race press conference with a prominent Red Bull badge alongside them

Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel are the most successful products of Red Bull's junior scheme

Former team owner Eddie Jordan has urged Red Bull’s B-team to return to their Scuderia Toro Rosso identity and focus on unearthing new talent to end F1’s “destructive bottleneck.”

Red Bull have enjoyed a two-team presence on the grid since 2006 after the energy drinks giant took over the previous Minardi outfit, rebranding the Faenza-based squad as Toro Rosso.

Multiple World Champions Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen both made their F1 debuts with Toro Rosso before achieving title success with Red Bull Racing, with grand prix winners Daniel Ricciardo, Carlos Sainz and Pierre Gasly – as well as Williams star Alex Albon – coming through Red Bull’s driver academy.

Eddie Jordan keen for Red Bull to bring back Toro Rosso philosophy

After being rebranded as AlphaTauri in 2020, the team have had another name change ahead of the new season with the new-look RB squad aiming for a much-improved campaign in 2024.

Red Bull’s talent pool has ran dry over recent years, with Honda-backed Yuki Tsunoda the last driver to make a full-time F1 debut with the junior team in 2021.

With no rookies on the grid for the first time in F1 history this year, Jordan has been yearning for a return to the Toro Rosso era – arguing the discovery of new talent is one of the most gratifying aspects of running a team.

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Appearing on the Formula For Success podcast alongside former Red Bull driver David Coulthard, he said: “I just wish it was still Toro Rosso, because I’ll never forget when they won that grand prix at Monza with Vettel [in 2008].

“It put them on a different level.

“Just reflect on the great drivers that have come from there. Toro Rosso, for me, was the greatest kindergarten power – alongside Jordan in many respects – for giving young drivers their chance and letting them fly: grow their wings, learn to fly and move on to the next level.

“That’s what I enjoyed.

“I remember talking to [former Toro Rosso team principal] Franz Tost who used to work for Jordan – and I have the height of respect for this guy – and he used to tell me what enjoyment he used to get seeing these young drivers coming up through the ranks and then moving on to the full Red Bull team.

“We obviously saw what happened with Max, we saw what happened with Vettel – you just add the number of World Championships those two alone have won. They came from that team.

“I think it’s disturbing that there are no rookies.

“It’s also disturbing that there isn’t more than 10 teams, because I think with more than 10 teams you would have an ability, perhaps, to have a young girl potentially in Formula 1, which would be brilliant – amazing, in fact.

“That’s what I would dearly, dearly love to see and then there’s these up and coming kids that deserve a chance.”

Turning to Coulthard, whose teenage son Dayton is a keen kart racer, Jordan added: “You’re spending fortunes of your money on Dayton to do karting.

“And the bottleneck that is currently now in Formula 1 – no matter how talented he is – is destructive.

“It’s giving you no chance to give you a return on your money invested.”

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