Toro Rosso pair admit they're not friendsas they bid for a seat at Red Bull
© Toro Rosso, Getty Images
|24 February 2013 by TF1T Staff | M||Tweet
Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne are both hoping to prove their worth this season as they fight for a chance to join Toro Rosso's sister team, Red Bull.
The team-mates admit the fact that with only one seat likely to become available at Red Bull in the not too distant future, it has put a strain on their relationship. Once friends, both admit they no longer speak outside of the sport.
"I don't know if it's because we are in F1 or he [Ricciardo] thinks he has definitely beaten me that we cannot have any relationship, but, no, we don't see each other away from the track and we are not friends," Vergne told the Age.
"I have absolutely no problem with it because when it comes to the time when we need to work together to improve the car and to move the team forward, we can do this," he added. "We have a good working relationship."
Under the circumstances, Ricciardo believes it's better that they're not friends away from the circuit.
"We've never come to blows or anything like that," added the Australian. "There's never been a moment which has separated the friendship - it's just grown apart with competition.
"I think when you're direct rival with someone, you want to have your own space. We're fighting for maybe one spot and there can't be any conservative approach about it.
"So I think it's good that we keep our distance. We're very competitive and that's how it should be."
The pair also agree on their target for the upcoming season, with both drivers hoping to help the team finish 6th in the standings, compared to 9th last year.
"The team's goal is to get ahead of some of our rivals that we believe we can compete with," said Ricciardo. "That group is the Force Indias, the Williams and the Saubers. We'd obviously love to finish ahead of them, which would put us sixth in the constructors."