Toro Rosso confirm Ricciardo and Vergne

14 December, 2011

Jean Eric Vergne with Daniel Ricciardo

Dec.14 (Press Release) Scuderia Toro Rosso will have a completely new driver line-up for the 2012 Formula 1 season, made up of Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne. It will be the first time since the team’s 2006 debut that it will begin the year with an all new line-up. Both drivers have come through the Red Bull Junior Driver programme and the decision to promote Daniel and Jean-Eric to Scuderia Toro Rosso was taken by the team in conjunction with Red Bull.

Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi with Red Bull motorsport consultant Helmut Marko

Franz Tost: “I am pleased that we have been able to reach an early decision on our drivers for next year, because it means we can all give our full attention to 2012, without any distractions. Over the past year, both Daniel and Jean-Eric have proved their worth and I expect them to make a significant contribution to the team’s performance next year. Daniel has the benefit of having actually raced in Grands Prix for much of this year, while Jean-Eric proved he could adapt quickly to the demands of driving a Formula 1 car. As they have both worked with the team and its engineers very recently, this should allow us to get up to speed right from the start of winter testing in a couple of months time. 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.”

Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo did enough with HRT to justify progress to the Toro Roso race seat

Twenty two year old Ricciardo, from Perth, Australia has already experienced life in F1, firstly by driving for Toro Rosso during Friday’s first free practice session at Grands Prix in the early part of 2011, before driving full time for Hispania Racing in the second half of the year. In 2008 he won the Formula Renault 2.0 Championship and the following year, he won the British Formula 3 series. In 2010, Dan finished runner up in the Renault 3.5 series, combining his racing with reserve driver duties for both Red Bull F1 teams.

Daniel Ricciardo: “This is a really big deal for me and something I have wanted ever since I was driving for Toro Rosso on Friday mornings at the races in the first part of last season. 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.”

Jean-Eric Vergne

Jean-Eric Vergne on Friday duty for Toro Rosso in Brazil

Frenchman Vergne has already worked with Scuderia Toro Rosso, most recently, driving in Free Practice 1 at three of the last four Grands Prix of the 2011 season. The twenty one year old Frenchman followed in his new team-mate’s footsteps, winning the 2010 British Formula 3 Championship and coming second in this year’s Renault 3.5 series.

Jean-Eric Vergne: “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.”


  • kaka007

    wth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!…………….didn’t c it comin………..anyway a big blunder i think

  • Stewy33

    I said weeks ago Jean-Eric Vergne would be lucky to get a Toro Rosso drive and he still is. As for Daniel Ricciardo he adapted and learned fairly quickly in his HRT F111 and out paced Liuzzi towards the end of the season as he gained pace and confidence finding the limit of his car.

    For Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastian Buemi don’t hang your heads guys, the bar was set extremely high and you got to show your talent. Likely we will see one of you back on the grid next year, and maybe the other as a 3rd driver on a team.

  • Twiinz

    Wow! I thought for sure that Jaime was safe. I hope he can get a ride. He is way to talented to be sent packing. Maybe Williams or Caterham will give him a shot.

  • Stewy33

    My gut feeling is Jaime Alguersuari is going to HRT.

  • Sennauno

    surprising….thought they were keeping their seats. Alguerwasabi was a little on the too outspoken side though….was a little bit rich having a go at Webber a few weeks back

    Oh well he’s got a lot of spare time to spin some crappy tunes now lol

  • shivam

    williams is waiting for force india decision whether sutil is in force india or not!!! And force india is going with nico hulkenberg and paul di resta (unofficial news) with binachi as reserve!!! Sutil to williams definatly!!! No chance for jaime and buemi

  • kaka007

    @sennaunno
    it was not alguersari who had a go at webber, it was vergne……………

  • ?

    Don’t worries,relax….Vergne, if he’s that bad, he presumably is, he’ll lose his seat to Jaime, maybe at the Hungaroring? And then go to race at Indycar?

  • Sennauno

    @kaka007

    so did Alguersuari…spanish media website

    2013 Red Bull seat is a little far fetched now..

  • Psych

    Why are people so down on Vergne? He’s an incredible talent. He’s great at setting cars up, he’s a reactive driver (a rare breed these days) and he lead the Young Drivers Tests all three days. There’s nothing to back that argument up.

  • Jansy Debusschere

    We still think Jaime Alguersuari is an amazing talent. He has proven to be a young-growing-driver who learned a lot and evolved into a great pilot. Now finally he is ready to score points for the Red Bull family, they drop him out of the team … still we have no hard feelings toward the Red Bull policy which want to give chances to young drivers but we still think Jaime was the best replacement for Webber. Unfortunatelly Webber signed for 2012 and so Jaime became too experienced to drive a Toro Rosso but had no seat in the big league … If they had only let him drive for one more year as first driver in Toro Rosso, they could fill the gap Webber will leave in 2013. We are thankfull for the opportunity Red Bull gave to Jaime but now it’s time to move on and hopefully, some team principals will see the talent in Jaime like we do … we’ll keep on supporting him !

    Greetings to all of you who are or have been supporting him,

    The Jaime Alguersuari Fan Club Belgium
    (follow more news at our facebook site)

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