Toro Rosso’s new drivers have admitted a seat at senior team Red Bull Racing is an obvious target for the future, particularly given that Mark Webber’s contract expires at the end of this season.
For 2012, Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne have replaced Red Bull rookie team Toro Rosso’s former lineup of Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari.
“Of course I’d be happy to drive for Red Bull – that’s the big goal of all the Red Bull juniors,” Ricciardo told Austrian Servus TV. “If we do everything right and we get the right results, then perhaps we will succeed in a year or two or three.”
He admitted his half-season with HRT is an advantage over Frenchman Vergne, whose first grand prix will be the Melbourne season opener in March.
“I think it will be perhaps a little easier for me to get into the season, but the advantage will not last long. I’m sure it will help me but there is a lot of testing before Melbourne and we’ll both be prepared.”
On the plus side for Vergne, he is known for having an extremely feisty racing style and is highly rated by Red Bull’s influential Dr Helmut Marko. Known in the paddock as ‘Jev’, Vergne said he will not lose focus by eyeing Webber’s seat prematurely.
“Since my karting days I’ve always had the philosophy to think only of the present. For example, I’ve never thought about formula one, but only the season I was in.
“In 2012 I drove for Toro Rosso; 2013 does not interest me now. I will give my best and then we’ll see what comes up.”