Toro Rosso team-mate rivalry

2013-03-13 21:30

MELBOURNE, Australia - Daniel Ricciardo has vowed to thrash Jean-Eric Vergne in 2013, proving he deserves to graduate to the World champion Red Bull team.

Once good friends, the Toro Rosso pair - junior team to Red Bull - recently admitted the fire of their rivalry had driven them apart.

Vergne said: "No, we don't see each other away from the track, and we are not friends."


There's a lot at stake.  Mark Webber's contract runs out at the end of 2013 but history has shown that few Toro Rosso juniors have progressed to the senior team.

1997 World champion Jacques Villeneuve said: "Vergne needs to show that he is able to stand out; to be like Alonso or Vettel. Being a Webber is not enough."

That is why Ricciardo, 23, admitted in Australia on Tuesday (March 11) that 2013 was an important season for his career.

"I think the best thing I can do this year is try to beat the Frenchman convincingly. If it sets me up for a seat at Red Bull - or elsewhere - that's what I have to target."