Daniel Ricciardo, Jean-Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso, Silverstone, 2012

Ricciardo and Vergne to stay at Toro Rosso in 2013

2013 F1 season

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Daniel Ricciardo, Jean-Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso, Silverstone, 2012Toro Rosso have confirmed Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne will remain as their drivers in 2013.

Team principal Franz Tost said: “Both drivers have done a good job this season.

“Daniel joined us with a few Grands Prix under his belt and so his feedback and experience was particularly useful while Jean-Eric got up to speed, often having to deal with tracks he had never seen before.

“Since the summer break, both drivers have scored more points and everyone in the team has been impressed with their maturity in terms of working with the engineers and their racecraft on track. We will be doing our best in the next few months, to produce a 2013 car which will allow them to demonstrate their talent.”

Ricciardo said the team have “big expectations for next year and I?m ready and willing to fulfil them”.

“I feel I have been growing and developing as a driver and my approach to the technical side of the sport has also progressed this year, so I am sure that will serve me well in my second season with Toro Rosso,” he added.

“We have had quite a tough season, but despite that, I have always enjoyed a good relationship with all the guys and I am delighted at the idea of working with them for another year.”

Vergne said: “I am really happy about this great news. Thank you Toro Rosso and thank you Red Bull, who have backed me since the early days of my career.

“It has been a difficult season and, as a rookie, I have learned a lot, thanks to the support I got and the excellent relationship I have enjoyed with all the guys. I feel much stronger now and I know I have become a better driver over the course of the season.

“I really believe in this team and with all the experience I have gained, combined with the team?s ambitious plans for next year, I think we can look forward to great things in 2013, attacking all the way.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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43 comments on “Ricciardo and Vergne to stay at Toro Rosso in 2013”

  1. That was massively quick. You’re the first site to break this!

  2. Today keeps getting better and better..

  3. Pleased to hear this, especially Ricciardo, he always seems such a nice chap (I’m sure Jev is too, but can’t remember seeing him interviewed very often)

  4. I was expecting this. Hope next year they really start to shine… they have a massive chance if Webber decides to go.

    1. @fer-no65 Don’t forget the Vettel-Ferrari rumors are just refusing to die. If both go… RBR are in need of a top driver. With the 3 Tier 1 drivers then tied up (Alonso, Hamilton, Vettel) they at least need a Tier 2 guy to step in.

      1. @raymondu999 – Da Costa and Frijns are also in the Red Bull young drivers pipeline, there may be some fierce competition for race seats!

        1. @vettel1 yes, but who in their right minds (Ron Dennis notwithstanding) would put someone with only half a season’s worth of experience into a top car?

          1. @raymondu999 – bearing in mind that Vettel may leave and so may Webber, I think it’s possible that they may give Da Costa a year in a Toro Rosso and if he impresses then he may get a seat with RBR. The same happened with Vettel.

            I’m sceptical that Vettel will leave to Ferrari as long as Alonso is there however; I don’t think Ferrari would allow it having “two roosters” as Luca likes to put it (as much as I think it’s slightly stupid of they care at all about the constructors).

            Frijns is with Red Bull for the young drivers test as he won the championship, so it is likely that he will be in the young driver development program although I think you are correct @celeste that yes he is a free agent!

          2. @vettel1 yes, but if da Costa entered STR in the middle of 2013 – that places him at RBR, 2015 at the earliest. NOT 2014 – which is when Webber & Vettel are rumored to both be leaving. They will need at least one – maybe two – top drivers for 2014.

            Frijns is in several different cars in the young driver test – he’s testing a Sauber too, for example, and another car too I think. So he wouldn’t be in the RB YDP, come to think of it.

          3. Vettel’s on contract for the 2014 season with Red Bull I believe, but here is a performance clause which wood allow him to leave. If he stayed until 2016 (which I find more likely since Alonso is in contract until then with Ferrari) then they would replace Webber with one of the current STR drivers (I think Ricciardo) and then possibly give Da Costa a chance when Vettel leaves if he preformed in STR like he did this year in WSR F3.5. At least that’s my prediction anyway @raymondu999 !

            Frijns is a free agent, but I think he may have the option of committing himself to Red Bull should he chose, but yes he is a free agent and he can do whatever he sees fit!

        2. @vettel1 I think Frijins is a free agent, no related with any top team?

          1. Yes, Frijns is a free agent. He is testing for Red Bull in Abu Dhabi next week as his prize for being the highest-ranked Formula Renault 3.5 Series driver with no existing relationship to any Formula 1 team.

      2. @raymondu999 – Ferrari say it won’t happen. Red Bull say it won’t happen. Vettel says it won’t happen. So I don’t know why people persist in claiming it can or will happen.

        1. @prisoner-monkeys I’m not insisting it’s happening – but given how contracts are in F1 – I’m quite sure Red Bull would want to cover all bases.

          1. @raymondu999 – Contracts are fluid, but that doesn’t mean that Ferrari will absolutely buy Vettel out of his Red Bull contract. It’s an option if they want it, but I’m just pointing out that this perpetual rumour has been shot down by everyone involved.

          2. @prisoner-monkeys yes I know. But again, it’s F1. Weird stuff does happen. IMO the Vettel-Ferrari rumors are so strong that there is at least a smidgen of truth to them. RBR obviously will head to 2014 with aspirations of a title charge, given their performance since 2009. They probably need at least some form of risk hedging.

          3. @raymondu999 – Perhaps, but I’ve often found that rumours like this only partially reflect reality. So I’m guessing that there is a pre-contract involved, and that has been mangled to mean an actual contract.

  5. Happy for them. Both seem nice guys, but of course F1 is a race and not a personality contest.

    It looks like whoever impresses the most will get Webber (or Vettels) seat for the start of 2014. Dan seems to be the real deal; overall good qualifier and good in the race. Jev is also talented but he seems slightly mediocre due to his poor qualifying pace. I’d say his race pace is slightly better than Dans, but not by much.

    Of course I’m only judging based on their performances this year, which in that Toro Rosso isn’t much to go off.

    1. @davef1 that probably makes it easy to judge actually. Those guys at the back are always doing their best to get their maximum – arguably they’re trying harder (lap by lap) than Vettel has been in the last 4 races.

    2. I hope that’s not the case. That means they were just lucky to be at the right place at the right time for the RBR seat (unlike Buemi/Jaime). There’s better drivers out there that can fill Webber’s seat once he retires and Vettel if he moves.

  6. I’m happy for Ricciardo, less for JEV. Ricciardo matured greatly during the year – well, as far as his driving is concerned, because he still looks somewhat childishly shy and smiley, during interviews, that is. But his driving certainly begged for an extension IMO. I’m very pleased with how he can extract more and more from his car nowadays than he did when he began. I’m also happy he was given patience, because it is very low nowadays, pressure is high, and he needed time to mature and deliver. He was not quick out of the box. Few are, yes, but Red Bull particularly has a habit of ditching drivers quickly.

    As for JEV, I think he just falls short of Ricciardo. I think he had basically the same amount of time to deliver, but he hasn’t hit the same heights. I’d try others, there are so many promising drivers out there ATM.

    Seats are filling up nicely otherwise.

    1. I think JEV has been better than Ricciardo. Ricciardo was so overhyped it was unreal, probably because he’s Australian.

      1. @kingsix I base my opinion on JEV’s numerous Q1 exit on 17th place. Ricciardo, on the other hand, frequently passes mother midfield cars and puts his car on the grid, where it would never get in the hands of Vergne.

        On race trim, I think they are more evenly matched season-wise, but while at the beginning of the season, Vergne held the upper hand, almost always, finishing right ahead of Ricciardo, come the second half of the season, and the trend reversed: Ricciardo almost exclusively finishes ahead of Vergne. Indeed, he did so every time since Canada bar his technical problem in Korea – but he was ahead before it struck a few laps from home anyway.

        So I think it’s quite a well-based opinion.

        1. Sorry for the typos. And thanks Keith for the form guides I used as evidence.

        2. You beat me to it @atticus-2. Ricciardo would be ahead on points, but for a last corner fuel pick up issue at Monza and a right front brake failure at Korea. Ricciardo has more finishes in the points, has smashed JEV 14-3 in qualifying (including that mega 6th grid spot at Bahrain), has lead his teammate 507 laps to 388 and has only finished behind JEV twice since Canada. I actually rate JEV, but anyone who thinks he has out driven Ricciardo has been watching a different season.

          1. Correction- twice since Spain

      2. @kingsix I don’t understand this at all. Ricciardo has kept a level head this season, proving he’s had the qualifying pace and the ability to deliver in race trim. He’s handled himself under pressure well and picks his fights, I think he’s a smart driver. If it wasn’t for the mechanical issues in Monza and Korea he’d be ahead of Vergne in the points. I don’t think either of them are overhyped, but I think Ricciardo has had the better of Vergne this year.

  7. Nice. Both nice guys and talented, they deserve another year.

    Though I wouldn’t rule out one of them losing the seat midway through the season and being replaced by the incredible Antonio Felix da Costa!

    1. I´m a huge AFC fan but that´s a situation that I wouldn´t like to see. I would prefer see him doing FP1 all season and then in 2014 jump in that STR seat. This way he would have more experience in a F1 car and know what a F1 grand prix weekend is.

  8. A well deserved 2013 seat for BOTH drivers who have been close all season long; yes Ricciardo’s qualifying has been much better but JEV’s probably done better on Sundays, especially as a rookie, often making up his qualifying deficit to his team mate by the first lap.
    Still fun to see people retiring Webber in 2013, like people have since 2008 and also assuming that if Vettel leaves in 2013 (not going to happen, in my opinion!) that Webber wouldn’t stick around for another year.

  9. Good (and obvious) choice, letting two rookies to stay instead of kicking them out after a season. Although I expect both of them to have some pressure to perform next year.

    Is Vettel the only ex-STR driver that’s still actively driving in F1? I wonder if any other team is such a career killer…

  10. PLeased for Vergne, I was expecting Ricciardo’s time to prove himself to be up ( 1 year at STR and the half year he did at HRT for big bucks from red bull) but I guess I was wrong.

  11. I’ve always wondered how much of STR’s lack of performance was down to the car, and how much was down to the driver. I think they’ve gone the wrong way pairing up two inexperienced drivers, how can you judge a drivers performance if there’s no measuring stick? I would have liked to have seen them open a spot to try to lure a driver who’s experience has been measured in another car, Kobayashi for example would be great to compare either of these drivers to.

    1. @skipgamer to be honest the team have a lot more data to work with. Even if you had a new car, and a driver you never worked with – you could tell with reasonable accuracy how close to the limit the driver was.

      In fact, if you really had the resources and the time, teams could perform similar analyses for another driver driving for another team – ie say, McLaren could, just from winter testing, evaluate how close to the limit Ricciardo was driving. But mind you – it’s very time and resource draining.

  12. Thank God. They clearly didn’t get a proper chance this season in an incapable car that was clearly the slowest among the established teams. Both are very talented drivers IMO.

    1. @kingshark – I don’t think there was any real danger that either driver would lose their seat. Toro Rossi seems to give their drivers two years to prove themselves, and both Vergne and Ricciardo have only had one season. Antonio Felix da Costa seems destined for Formula 1, but he has already said that he will be competing in Formula Renault 3.5 next year.

  13. Vergne’s second half of the season has been marred by misfortune, he’s lost places and points since Monaco where he could have scored points if it wasn’t for a misjudged pit call, then suspension failure at Monza, smashed into in Singapore and racing incident with Schumacher in India.

  14. Very happy for both of them, good news. Especially for JEV, I think his incidents made a bit of mess of his overall performance. Hope next year will be in a much better car, coupled with gained experience, both Daniel and JE should show what they really can!

  15. It was a predictable decision, but still good to hear it announced. These guys have not had enough F1 experience yet, and most of what they have had has been in a car incapable of getting anywhere near the points. Ricciardo definitely has the upper hand in qualifying, but Vergne has put in some pretty decent races. Only time will tell what’ll happen to them, can’t see Vettel joining Ferrari in 2014, but I wouldn’t be too surprised to see Webber join. Or, of course, these two could just get kicked out after one more year like Buemi & Alguersuari.

    1. Ricciardo definitely has the upper hand in qualifying, but Vergne has put in some pretty decent races.

      I agree with that, although must say that Ric has been little unlucky in number of the races.

      I also think they could both lose seats at end of 2013. But I think both drivers are really good.

  16. Good to see STR sticking with these two drivers, they are both talented and deserve another season. That said, STR do have a habit of sacking one driver mid seaon, so they probably shouldn’t rest too easy!

  17. One more year to impress.

    I couldn’t see RedBullRacing ever hiring an established driver such as a Hamilton or Kubica. If they were, it would make their young driver talent search from every corner of the racing world seem almost useless. Depending on the seats available at RBR after next season, I have full confidence, will be a Torro Rosso graduate.

    We might see the worst of the two drivers dropped half way through the season if a seat is available at RBR for 2014, just to evaluate the other talent of another driver as quickly as possible. Unlikely though.

    If there are no seats at RBR for 2014 then a strong possibility that the weakest of the two will be dropped, and will struggle to find a seat any other team like the previous Torro Rosso duo.
    What Ever happens, on thing is for sure, they will have more than their fingers and toes crossed in hoping theres a seat available at RBR for 2014!

  18. That is good news. I feel like the drivers have done an alright job given the state of the car. The whole team showed a lot of promise back in Melbourne and it was disappointing to see nothing further come of it so hopefully next year we can see them battling further up track.

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