Tost: Red Bull junior scheme vindicated
3 September 2013 – Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost says Red Bull's decision to sign Daniel Ricciardo as the replacement for Mark Webber fully justifies its young driver programme.
Currently contesting his second season for Toro Rosso, Ricciardo will make the step up to race alongside fellow junior team graduate Sebastian Vettel next year, with Red Bull opting against a more experienced name such as Lotus' Kimi Räikkönen.
"Congratulations to Daniel, although we would have liked to keep him, because he is a talented driver who has done a great job with Toro Rosso," began Tost. "At the same time, we are very pleased to see him make this move, which means he will follow in the footsteps of Sebastian Vettel. When [Red Bull owner] Dietrich Mateschitz acquired the team that became Toro Rosso, his stated aim was that it should be the final step in the training of young drivers, with the eventual goal of graduating to the 'senior' team.
"Daniel's move thus vindicates the work of the Red Bull Young Driver Programme and also proves that we at Toro Rosso have given him a good racing education. Daniel already knows his new team and I am sure he will soon feel at home there next year.
António Félix da Costa, another in the Red Bull junior pool, has long been mooted as a Toro Rosso candidate, but Tost insists there is no rush to make a decision.
"As to who will replace Daniel in 2014," he said, "we will now look at all our options and make a decision at a later date, as there is no immediate need to rush."