Tonio was born in Puglia, Italy in 1980, although he lives in Abruzzo and he reached the top formula having been a star in the world of karting, in which the talented youngster won many races and titles, the icing on the cake being the world title in 2001, before making the switch to single-seaters. He worked his way through the junior formulae, from Formula Renault to Formula 3, before winning the International Formula 3000 title in 2004. That led to him driving for Red Bull Racing in the 2005 San Marino Grand Prix, getting off to a strong start, finishing eighth to score his very first point.
He made his Scuderia Toro Rosso debut in 2006, when he was teamed up with Scott Speed. Tonio brought our team its first point, driving the STR1 in the United States GP. The following year, he finished sixth in China in the STR2, which was his career best Formula 1 result, although he went on to race with Force India and HRT up to 2011. After that, he drove in various categories such as WEC, the Superstars Series, Super GT and Formula E.
His 80 F1 races took place between 2005 and 2011, which means Tonio’s time was spent entirely powered by normally aspirated engines, which were always so popular with Formula 1 fans. Today, however, our former driver is tackling the new challenge of sim racing, which can be just as challenging and competitive as the real thing. In this Sunday’s race, his team-mate will be a real child of the digital age, the 22 year old YouTuber from Bologna, Italy, Andrea Pirillo, who loves cars, motorcycles and gaming. Two generations, two diametrically opposed backgrounds but the same passion and, on this occasion, the same team.
Make sure you catch the race live, from 19:00 CET on Sunday 10 May, here on our site.