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Vergne defends Toro Rosso call

22 December 2011

Jean-Eric Vergne has defended Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko after the decision was taken to replace both Toro Rosso drivers for the 2012 F1 season.

Toro Rosso had been expected to retain both Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi for another season before the announcement was made that Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo were instead promoted into race seats for the new campaign.

It was a move that surprised many – Vergne included – but the Frenchman said he could see why the decision was taken and said any criticism of Marko for his role was unjust.

“Toro Rosso's policy is to develop young drivers,” he told Auto Hebdo. “I think Jaime and Sebastien did a great job, but they were no longer a part of this policy.

“It is true that Helmut Marko is hard on his drivers, but I've always said that if I was him, I would do it exactly the same.

“I have always known that if I was not good enough, I would not be there.”