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Ricciardo and Vergne join Toro Rosso

2012 line-up confirmed

Posted Dec 23, 2011 by Chris White

Toro Rosso have announced Daniel Ricciardo as one of their drivers

Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo and Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne have joined Toro Rosso for the 2012 season having impressed team principal Franz Tost in recent months.

The duo replace Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari who find themselves without a drive next year. Ricciardo joins the team from HRT, having held a role as the test and reserve driver for Red Bull, while Vergne joins the team on a permanent basis having tested for Red Bull and undertaken three practice sessions for Toro Rosso in 2011. Alguersuari and Buemi didn’t exactly set the grid alight in 2011, with the pair finishing 14th and 15th respectively in the drivers’ championship.

Tost said that “You have to remember when we started back in 2005, it was done with the intention of providing a step into Formula One for the youngsters in the Red Bull junior driver programme. It is therefore part of the team’s culture to change is driver line-up to achieve this goal.”

22-year old Ricciardo had been linked to the Caterham Team, formerly known as Team Lotus, as a replacement for Jarno Trulli, but said that he was thrilled to be joining the team he’d driven for in practice and test sessions during the 2011 season. “This is a really big deal for me. To be honest, I’m still jumping around with excitement at the news and I can’t wait for testing to start.”

As for 21-year old Vergne, he gets his first drive in the premier class, and he said “I must thank Red Bull for their support so far and for believing in me and my ability. I definitely feel ready to make the move and sitting on the grid in Melbourne in March can’t come soon enough.”

Are Toro Rosso right to part with Alguersuari and Buemi? Are Ricciardo and Vergne the right men for the team? Tell us what you think here, on Twitter @ImagineF1 and on Facebook by clicking here.

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