Scuderia Toro Rosso
has named Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne as its two drivers for F1 2012.
Ricciardo and Vergne have both come through the Red Bull
Junior Driver programme and the decision to promote them was apparently taken by the team in 'conjunction with Red Bull'.
Toro Rosso will now go into the new season with a completely new line-up, the first time it has done so since its debut year back in 2006.
“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,” said team boss, Franz Tost.
“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 Grand's Prix for much of this year [with HRT], while Jean-Eric proved he could adapt quickly to the demands of driving a F1 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.”
Tost meanwhile paid tribute to outgoing drivers' Sebastien Buemi
and Jaime Alguersuari, both of whom are surplus to requirements and now face an uncertain future.
“I must thank Sebastien and Jaime 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 F1 for the youngsters in the Red Bull
Junior Driver programme,” Tost explained.
“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.”