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Toro Rosso has explained why it choose to oust both Jaime Alguersuari and Sébastien Buemi when selecting its drivers for the 2012 F1 season. In a meeting at Red Bull’s Austrian headquarters on Tuesday, it was decided that Daniel Ricciardo and newcomer Jean-Éric Vergne would step up to the team next year.
Australia’s Ricciardo and France’s Vergne are the respective British Formula 3 Champions of 2009 and 2010, as well as being runners-up in the two latest World Series by Renault seasons. Each a Red Bull Junior driver, the former joins Toro Rosso with 11 HRT races behind him, whereas the latter will be making an F1 debut.
“Our driver line-up had been under discussion for a long time, as it is obviously a vital component of the team’s performance,” explains Team Principal Franz Tost, who added that the drivers’ performances will decide how long they remain in the team.
When asked to explain the double removal of Alguersuari and Buemi, who have both received widespread praise for their latest achievements, Tost continued:
“Sébastien has been with us for three seasons and Jaime for two and a half. Both of them worked hard for the team, doing their very best and achieving some good results. However, Scuderia Toro Rosso’s ethos has always been that of the ‘rookie training school’ and, with over two seasons under your belt, you are no longer a rookie.
“In an ideal world, drivers would move from Scuderia Toro Rosso to Red Bull Racing, but there are no vacancies with our sister team right now. It might be seen as a harsh decision, but Formula 1 is a tough environment and Toro Rosso has always been very clear about the principles behind its driver choice.”
Toro Rosso entered F1 in 2006 after Red Bull bought out the Minardi team.
Top: Ousted drivers Buemi and Alguersuari with Helmut Marko, Red Bull Racing team advisor and head of the company's Young Driver programme
Scuderia Toro Rosso
|Scuderia Toro Rosso|
|13 Jun||Vergne: Canada gives us a shot of confidence|
|9 Jun||Vergne secures personal best result|
|8 Jun||Räikkönen, Ricciardo lose two grid places|
|8 Apr||Shanghai memories: Buemi's crash, 2010|
|22 Jan||Red Bull retains Buemi as reserve driver|
|7 Jan||'Buemi to continue as Red Bull reserve'|
|15 May||Tost: Drivers need to perform exceptionally|
|5 Feb||Toro Rosso eyes Renault engines for '14|
|4 Feb||Toro Rosso targets sixth in 2013 standings|
|26 May||Video: Grosjean collides with Ricciardo|
|26 May||Grosjean gets 10-place grid penalty|
|23 May||Ricciardo: I am ready for Red Bull seat|
|17 Feb||Alguersuari: F1 has become an auction|
|1 Jan||'Buemi misses out on Force India seat'|
|28 Nov '12||Alguersuari remains hopeful over F1 seat|
|29 May||Vergne: Maybe Pérez wanted to crash|
|26 May||Vergne wants more in coming races|
|1 May||Marko 'not worried' about 2014 line-up|
|19 Jun||Indian GP organisers shun race rumours|
|More Sébastien Buemi photos|
|More Franz Tost photos|
|More Daniel Ricciardo photos|
|More Jaime Alguersuari photos|
|More Jean-Eric Vergne photos|