Vergne's Toro Rosso seat safe for '14 - Tost

Getty Images, Red Bull Racing

26 July 2013 by TF1T Staff

Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost says as far as he's concerned, Jean-Eric Vergne has a seat at Toro Rosso available for him next season should he need it.

The French driver has been overlooked for the Red Bull vacancy, with the sister-team management looking at team-mate Daniel Ricciardo instead.

That left Vergne's place at the team in doubt, but Tost has removed some of the pressure by throwing his support behind the 23-year-old.

"I'm convinced that Jean-Eric Vergne will race next year for Toro Rosso," Tost said on Friday. "We must not forget that Jean-Eric came later into Formula One [than Ricciardo], and that's why Red Bull is thinking about racing with Daniel Ricciardo next year, it's simply because he is more experienced.

"He showed very good performance in the first half of the season but Jean-Eric Vergne is quite close to him. It's not that Jean-Eric is out of the team. As far as I'm thinking, next year he is with Toro Rosso."

Tost is hoping Red Bull opt for their home-grown talent over Lotus's Kimi Raikkonen who is also in the running for the second seat alongside Sebastian Vettel.

"It's not decided yet from Red Bull but we must not forget Dietrich Mateschitz and Red Bull bought Minardi in those days to give young drivers from the Red Bull driver pool a chance to come into Formula 1.

"Toro Rosso is the team to educate young drivers and I see it as positive because it shows that a) drivers are skilled and b) that the team has done so far a good job – and therefore if they choose Daniel I am quite happy with this decision."