Scuderia Toro Rosso has confirmed it will field the same driver line-up of Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Éric Vergne for the 2013 season.
The Italian team has not featured in any driver market rumours this year, and given the performance of the team’s of the team’s two rookie drivers, their being reconfirmed is hardly a surprise.
Ricciardo – the 2009 British F3 champion and 2010 Formula Renault 3.5 title runner-up – served as Toro Rosso’s reserve driver during the 2011 season before earning a mid-season call-up to Hispania Racing’s race line-up.
As a result of Ricciardo’s F1 race debut last year, Vergne – the 2010 British F3 champion and 2011 Formula Renault 3.5 runner-up – was promoted to the role of Toro Rosso reserve driver for the second-half of the 2011 season.
After performing impressively for Red Bull Racing at its year-ending ‘Young Drivers’ test session at Abu Dhabi, in which he topped each day of the test, Vergne was appointed to Toro Rosso’s race line-up, alongside Ricciardo.
To-date in 2012, the pair has scored 21 championship points (Vergne has twelve, Ricciardo has nine), although their results have been hampered by the uncompetitive performance of this year’s STR7 challenger, which led to the departure of technical director Giorgio Ascanelli, who was replaced by former Force India and Sauber technical director James Key.
“Both drivers have done a good job this season,” team principal Franz Tost said.
“Daniel joined us with a few Grands Prix under his belt and so his feedback and experience was particularly useful while Jean-Éric 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 race craft 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.”