Everyone’s eyes were all around Barrichello, Sutil, and the drivers who weren’t sure about their seats, but, incredibly, the Scuderia Toro Rosso surprised the whole world of F1. Even if Alguersuari and Buemi demonstrated their consistence and help for the team, both of them were replaced by one “mid-rookie” and a real one: Ricciardo and Vergne. So, if you don’t know much about them, here’s something which can help you:
Daniel Ricciardo is Australian, but has got Italian origins too. He started his professional carreer in 2006 being third in the BMW Asia Series for Eurasia Motorsport; in 2009 he won the British Formula Three Championship with 6 victories, 12 podiums, 6 pole positions and 4 fastest laps. Thanks to that he tested RBR F1 car, as in 2010 and 2011, when he became RBR reserve driver too. In the middle of 2011 he started racing in F1 with HRT, getting relatively good results, sometimes arriving even ahead of Tonio Liuzzi, who drove many years more than him.
Jean-Eric Vergne started karting at the age of ten, but managed to demonstrate his talent very early: he became part of the RBR’s young drivers’ programme in 2007 due to winning the Formula Campus France championship; after two years in the European Formula Renault 2.0 series he triumphed in the British Formula Three Championship, winning 13 races and getting 20 pole positions. In 2011 he tested three times Toro Rosso in FP1 and RBR in the young driver session in Abu Dhabi, showing a great talent.
In the meanwhile of this exciting off season days, Force India also announced that the driver who will be Paul Di Resta’s teammate is Nico Hulkenberg, who already drove in F1 for Williams, gaining a superb pole position in the GP of Brazil in 2010 ahead of the title fighters; the race wasn’t as good as it, but he managed to stay in front of Hamilton and Alonso for some laps; in 2011 he didn’t drive for any GP, but became Force India’s third driver.