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Toro Rosso retain Ricciardo and Vergne for 2013 31 Oct 2012

(L to R): Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso and Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso with the new Toro Rosso STR7.
Formula One Testing, Preparations, Jerez, Spain,  Monday, 6 February 2012 Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR7.
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Indian Grand Prix, Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida, New Delhi, India, Qualifying, Saturday, 27 October 2012 Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR7.
Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Singapore Grand Prix, Practice, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Friday, 21 September 2012 Franz Tost (AUT) Scuderia Toro Rosso Team Principal.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Korean Grand Prix, Qualifying, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Saturday, 13 October 2012

Toro Rosso will continue with their current driver line-up of Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne for the 2013 season, the Italian team have confirmed. It will be the second year with the Red Bull-backed squad for both men.

Australian Ricciardo, 23, competed in 11 Grands Prix with HRT last season before moving to Toro Rosso for 2012. His best results this season have been four ninth places - in Melbourne, Spa, Singapore and Korea - and he lies 18th in the drivers' table after 17 rounds.

“I am really pumped to know that I am continuing with Scuderia Toro Rosso for another season and want to thank the team and Red Bull,” he said. “There are 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. 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.”

Frenchman Vergne has enjoyed mixed fortunes in his debut F1 season. He has struggled to match Ricciardo in qualifying, but has out-scored his team mate by 12 points to nine so far, thanks to eighth-place finishes in Malaysia, Belgium and Korea.

“I am really happy about this great news,” said the 22 year-old. “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.”

Commenting on Toro Rosso’s decision to retain Ricciardo and Vergne, 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.”

Toro Rosso are currently a lonely ninth in the constructors’ table on 21 points.

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