Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost says that Daniel Ricciardo’s promotion to Red Bull in 2014 vindicates the work of the young driver programme.
Red Bull announced on Monday evening that Ricciardo will replace compatriot Mark Webber at the team in 2014.
Ricciardo, 24, has been part of Red Bull’s system for several years and has raced for Toro Rosso since the start of 2012.
“Congratulations to Daniel, although we would have liked to keep him, because he is a talented driver who has done a great job with Scuderia Toro Rosso,” said Tost.
“At the same time, we are very pleased to see him make this move, which means he will follow in the footsteps of Sebastian Vettel. When Dietrich Mateschitz acquired the team that became Toro Rosso, his stated aim was that it should be the final step in the training of young drivers, with the eventual goal of graduating to the “senior” team.”
“Daniel’s move thus vindicates the work of the Red Bull Young Driver Programme and also proves that we at Toro Rosso have given him a good racing education.”
Ricciardo’s promotion means that there is a vacant seat at Toro Rosso alongside Jean-Eric Vergne for 2014.
Current Formula Renault 3.5 Series driver Antonio Felix da Costa is the front runner, although Tost insists his team is in no rush to confirm their line-up.
“As to who will replace Daniel at Toro Rosso in 2014, we will now look at all our options and make a decision at a later date, as there is no immediate need to rush,” Tost added.