Ricciardo and Vergne to drive for Toro Rosso

2012 F1 season

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. Ritvik Vinodkumar (@ritvik-vinodkumar) said on 15th December 2011, 9:15

    Another unexpected News!!
    I’m really waiting for Force India’s driver line up now and i cant help but feel there might be another surprising news over there.

  2. Michael counsell said on 15th December 2011, 10:43

    I thought alguesuari put in some great drives and im shocked to see him go. Hopefully he can stay on the grid next season.

  3. nackavich (@nackavich) said on 15th December 2011, 12:44

    As an Australian, I’m pretty excited to see how Ricciardo will perform in a more competitive car. Also, we know Toro Rosso is just a feeder team and they’ll always be looking for the new Vettel, so I never expected Buemi or Alguersuari to be there much longer. And to be honest, they didn’t really perform at the level needed to progress to a more competitive team. Sure they had some great drives and good results, and were fairly evenly matched, but I never thought they’d get better drives than say Renault or Force India.

  4. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 16th December 2011, 2:41

    That’s a shock. I feel bad for both Buemi & Jaime, as for the latter I was expecting him to be in RBR given Webber decides to quit in 2012.I am not taking away anything from Ricciardo and Vergne but I don’t think having two Rookie drivers for a competitive mid-field battle is a good idea. But all the best to these two young guns.

  5. Butch27 (@butch27) said on 16th December 2011, 17:30

    Bad news for me, imho both drivers are pretty good, especially Jaime.

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