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Toro Rosso say goodbye to Buemi & Alguersuari

Toro Rosso have announced their driver line-up for the Formula One 2012 season and it's out with the old and in with the new.

The team have decided to dispense with Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari ending a three year association with the two drivers.

23-year-old Swiss driver Sebastien Buemi made his Formula One debut for the team in Australia 2009 and has started 55 Grand Prix's.

His best result came in that very first race with a seventh place finish, he managed to achieve the same result in Brazil later in the season, but over the course of 2010 or 2011 he couldn't improve.

21-year-old Spanish driver Jaime Alguersuari made his debut for the team mid-way through the 2009 season in Hungary. He has started 46 races and his best result was also a seventh place finish, which he achieved twice this season in Italy and Korea.

Speaking about their new driver line-up, Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost told “I must also thank Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari 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 Formula One for the youngsters in the Red Bull Junior Driver programme. 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.”

Those new drivers will be Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo and France’s Jean-Eric Vergne.

Both Ricciardo and Vergne have come through the Red Bull Junior Driver prgramme and as Tost indicated in his comments, the decision to bring in two new faces to the team is part of the ethos the team holds as a sister team to Red Bull Racing.

The move would indicate that after three years Red Bull have decided that Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari have both had long enough to prove their talents and now it's time for the next set of drivers to have their chance.

22-year-old Ricciardo of course has some Formula One experience from last season. The former Formula Renault 2.0 and British Formula Three champion took part in Friday practice sessions for the team during the first half of the 2011 season, before starting the final eleven races of the season for the HRT team.

“This is a really big deal for me and something I have wanted ever since I was driving for Toro Rosso on Friday mornings at the races in the first part of last season, To be honest, I am still jumping up and down with excitement at the news.” Ricciardo said.

21-year-old Vergne is a former Formula Campus Renault and British Formula Three champion who also holds some experience in Formula One having driven in three Friday practice sessions for the team in Korea, Abu Dhabi and Brazil.

Last month he also tested the title-winning Red Bull at the young driver test in Abu Dhabi, setting the fastest time over the three-day session.

Vergne added: “First of all, I must thank Red Bull for all their support so far and for believing I am ready to take on the ultimate challenge of racing in Formula One, Christmas has come early for me this year! Having driven for them a few times this year and also testing for Red Bull Racing in Abu Dhabi, I definitely feel ready to make the move, even if I know there is a big difference between testing and actually racing. I enjoyed working with the guys at Toro Rosso this year and I can’t wait to be part of the team for real. Sitting on the grid in Melbourne next March cannot come soon enough.”

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The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday December 15 2011

Time: 11:00AM

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