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Speed: it has been a privilege 13 Aug 2007

Scott Speed (USA) Scuderia Toro Rosso during the drivers parade.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 6, Canadian Grand Prix, Race, Montreal, Canada, Sunday, 10 June 2007 Scott Speed (USA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR2.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, European Grand Prix, Practice Day, Nurburgring, Germany, Friday, 20 July 2007

Former Toro Rosso driver Scott Speed has revealed he is heading back to the United States, after his premature exit from Formula One racing earlier this month. Speed was replaced by German driver Sebastian Vettel following a run-in with the team’s management at July’s European Grand Prix.

“It’s been a great ride, but I’m coming home,” the American said on his website. “Over the past five years I have had the privilege of driving at the some of the most challenging and exciting racing circuits in the world. It did not always go the way I wanted but Formula One racing has been a great experience for me and I really appreciate the support from all of my fans. It has made me stronger, smarter and a better racer.”

Before his departure, Speed had endured a difficult second season with Toro Rosso, retiring from seven races and qualifying no higher than 14th. A Red Bull-backed driver since winning the company’s US driver search programme in 2003, Speed has already paid a visit to Red Bull chief Dietrich Mateschitz to explore his future options.

“I wanted to begin with those who have been the most supportive of my talents and potential,” he explained. “As such, Red Bull Austria was the natural choice. I have had a great meeting with Dietrich Mateschitz, who became very excited about the possibility of my racing back in the good ol' USA. I am coming back to America on a fact-finding tour, looking at the various racing series, and talking with some of the top American teams.”

When he joined Toro Rosso in 2006 Speed was the first American to compete in Formula One racing since Michael Andretti drove for McLaren back in 1993.