Daniel Ricciardo, Toro Rosso, Sepang, 2011

Ricciardo and Vergne to drive for Toro Rosso

2012 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Daniel Ricciardo, Toro Rosso, Sepang, 2011
Daniel Ricciardo, Toro Rosso, Sepang, 2011

Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne will drive for Toro Rosso in 2012, the team has confirmed.

The promotion of the two Red Bull Development Drivers leaves Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi without drives for next year.

Team principal Franz Tost said: “I must also thank Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari for all their hard work over the past three seasons.

“They have delivered some excellent performances which have helped the team move forward and develop. We wish them well for the future.

“However, one has to remember that when Scuderia Toro Rosso was established in 2005, it was done so with the intention of providing a first step into Formula 1 for the youngsters in the Red Bull Junior Driver programme. It is therefore part of the team?s culture to change its driver line-up from time to time in order to achieve this goal.”

Ricciardo drove for Toro Rosso during Friday practice earlier this year before joining HRT for the second half of the season. He said: “To be honest, I am still jumping up and down with excitement at the news.

“In the second half of 2011 I learned a lot from the people I worked with, racing in eleven Grands Prix and I want to thank them for the opportunity they gave me. I have to say that joining Scuderia Toro Rosso was always my real goal, so a big thank you to Red Bull for giving me this fantastic opportunity and now I can?t wait to get to work once testing begins.”

Vergne drove in Friday practice sessions for Toro Rosso at the end of the season. He will make his F1 race debut with the team next year.

He said: “First of all, I must thank Red Bull for all their support so far and for believing I am ready to take on the ultimate challenge of racing in Formula 1. Christmas has come early for me this year!

“Having driven for them a few times this year and also testing for Red Bull Racing in Abu Dhabi, I definitely feel ready to make the move, even if I know there is a big difference between testing and actually racing.

“I enjoyed working with the guys at Toro Rosso this year and I can?t wait to be part of the team for real. Sitting on the grid in Melbourne next March cannot come soon enough.”

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270 comments on “Ricciardo and Vergne to drive for Toro Rosso”

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  1. What a nightmare this is.


    1. Done with this team

      1. Done with this team

        They don’t even know you exist!

    2. What makes you support Buemi? Great avatar, by the way!

      1. Thank you sir?

        Why? Because from what I’ve seen of him growing as a driver throughout his years at STR, his intelligence as a person, his ability to overtake and his very good (There are bad, good, very good, great, and nando-level drivers) pace, I think he deserved the drive. If his car hadnt failed him 3/4 of the last races, STR would have taken 7th in the constructor’s and Buemi could have kept his seat – provided STR actually cares about the constructor’s.

  2. Good move by the team. Both Buemi and Alguersuari have had their fair chance, particularly Buemi. It’s definitely time to give other young drivers their opportunity.

    1. I Love The Pope
      14th December 2011, 19:34

      …and also fail to do anything in a midfield car. Only Vettel could win it, and that was because he’s Vettel. These two “latest/greatest” will do no better than the last two.

  3. A bit of a shock and it’s a shame for Jaime and Sebastien, but I guess it’s the right thing for do. They’re looking for the next big talent to pair up with Sebastian when Mark retires. The two had three years at the team and apparently Red Bull thought they weren’t that great. Fair enough.

  4. Feeling very sorry for Alguersuari. I thought he had a great finish to the season and bagged a couple of impressive 7th positions. Hopefully this won’t be the last we see of him. Buemi never struck me as anything more than average, so I’m not as upset about him leaving.

    Looking to next season, I’m very excited to be able to see what Ricciardo will do in a far more competitive car.

    1. I Love The Pope
      14th December 2011, 19:34

      *looking for the next person for Vettel to beat

  5. stephenhiggins53
    14th December 2011, 19:34

    Methinks Red Bull have a backlog of drivers. Could they force Webber to retire if this is the way to go ??

    Stutil looks in at Williams, Renault-Lotus is now a no-go for Senna and Petrov, and even HRT have gone for two has-beens.

    Short of Red Bull buying a stake in HRT and using them as a THIRD team, the’re really no other way for young drivers to get in it seems, not including the limited testing milage available.

    Maybe in two years when Schumacher and Webber head for the beach, that frees up another two seats, but what do these guys do in the meantime apart for IndyCar or ALMS / GT racing ??

    Perhaps Di Mentezemolo’s idea of three car teams isn’t such a bad idea … after all … it’s not as if we have dearth of talented drivers … no 21st Century Jean-Denis Deletrazes or Goivanni Lavvagi’s anyway …

  6. Wow was not expecting that!!!Stupid from toro rosso!!!!I think Williams and may be even Catheram might end up beating them!!!!!

  7. Dropping Alguersuari is just utterly stupid. They throw him in at 19 he continues to improve season on season despite the car not been great & then they kick him to the kerb as he begins to consistently put the car in the top 10/12 as the car actually improves?

    The same thing will happen to one if not both of Ricciardo and Vergne in a season or twos time as well.

  8. This is an interview from Alguersuari after finding out about the news of the hiring of Vergne and Riccardo: (Interview in spanish)

    “I am very surprised by the decision. Just a week ago after winning the Challenge das Estrelas in Florianópolis talked with Helmut Marko and Franz Tost and they told me they had plans for me in 2012,” said Spanish.

    Alguersuari added that he sensed that the conversation would continue in 2012: “They did it with enthusiasm and showed me much confidence, was also asked me on Monday in Madrid, in a wonderful act of CEPSA crowded where I did insist on our project 2012 in F1. ”

    “So after talking with Franz Tost and Helmut Marko this morning, I thought of three things: First, I will not judge the situation because if I thought that would make me crazy debut in 2009 with 19 years and three months without have done a mile in F1 ever before, today’s news seemed to be a major misunderstanding in the best moment of my sporting life, why not judge the decision, because Red Bull gave me everything since I was 15, I formed with them, and I’ve done a complete driver in F1 at 21 years, “he said.

    The Spaniard continued: “Secondly, I am not a victim because for seven years I have enjoyed the privilege of being the best team in the world and the best means, they brought me here, they won the British F3 International Series at 18 years and they have achieved the best results from a pilot of 21 years in Formula 1in 2011. at the end of March will perform 22 years, with 46 GP played. they have taken a decision which I respect, but I am left with a enviable level sports training and emotional “

    1. Thanks for posting this!
      Glad to see from the transcript he’s taking it so well. Quite the mature response, and he’s right, he is only 21 and has shown a lot of talent. Even if he isn’t on the grid next year I believe we haven’t seen the last of this driver.

  9. As an Australian all I can say is “**** yeah!”

    As an international F1 viewer I am very surprised. I thought maybe Buemi was gone but not Alguesuari!

  10. Aussie aussie aussie oi oi oi. You can expect to hearthat chant around F1 paddocks now our boy Dan the man has picked up the STR gig. At least he and the frenchman know if they don’t perform above and beyond what the car is capable of they are out.

  11. WOW! All season we’ve been wondering if STR would drop Buemi OR Alguersuari, and then they go drop Buemi AND Alguersuari!

  12. All I hope is that Algersuari (not so much Buemi from my opinion) is not tainted by being dropped, as we’ve seen with other drivers who have seemingly been booted from the Red Bull programme.

    The guy is only 21, and has improved year on year in my view, and I think he has a lot more to give. I’ll be surprised if either of the two rookies will be able to do much better with a mediocre or worse car.

    14th December 2011, 20:31

    Terrible decision, i hope this blows up in the face of toro rosso.

    1. That’s quite a find! Surprised no one posted that earlier.

      Marko just creeps me out in that picture. Really.

      1. @Journeyer Someone did I think, in the comments to one of the round ups just after the GP. There are a whole series of them in the article.

    2. whoa! if that’s legit, that’s crazy!
      doesn’t make sense for a contract to be signed openly in the paddock though.. i’m questioning it a little bit

  14. annoyed at the decision, hopefuly jaime will stay in f1 maybe with hrt to make a spanish national team then move up the grid again the next year

    1. That’s quite a possibility now (the HRT part).

  15. WOW!!!! Thats a shocker! Expected one of them to be dropped but not both because of their experience…..wow, wow and wow again!!!!

  16. I’m actually not surprised. I liked Buemi but neither he nor Alg were the next big things. It’s not great as continuity tends to be best to develop a car but then again they may as well take a risk.

  17. Terribly sad for Jaime and Sebastian. I can’t understand this decision. Having two rookies it’s very strange. I hope both guys find a seat somewhere, specially Jaime.

  18. This move confirms that Toro Rosso is working for RedBull rather themselves.
    Its not that Vergne and Ricciardo arent talented but having 2 almost inexperient drivers into F1 really puts in perspective what Toro Rosso role is. This type of move can be seen as tradition, if you consider that Buemi and Alguersuari got their seats in similar conditions.

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