Scuderia Toro Rosso boss Franz Tost has created suspicions that the Faenza-based outfit might not retain either one – or even both – of its current drivers, Jaime Alguersuari or Sébastien Buemi, for the 2011 season. This is despite the team having locked the two youngsters into contract extensions by the halfway point of the season.
The speculation has suggested that either one of the prospects could make way for Red Bull’s reserve driver, Daniel Ricciardo, who impressed many in the F1 paddock with the quick times he posted in the recent Young Driver test at Abu Dhabi.
The 21-year-old Australian’s motorsport whereabouts have not yet been determined for the 2011 season – a move to GP2 seems the most sensible prospect – and Red Bull’s advisor, Dr Helmut Marko, has not ruled out a graduation straight into Formula 1.
“We pushed Bernoldi, Klien, Liuzzi and Speed without a breakthrough,” he told Germany’s Die Welt newspaper. “Daniel Ricciardo is the next top talent. A new Vettel? I don’t know.”
And when STR boss Tost was asked to evaluate the results achieved by his 2010 driver pairing – who took the team to ninth in the Constructors’ Championship standings, last of the established runners – Tost issued a “we will see” response when the topic of his 2011 driver line-up being a continuation from 2010.
“At the beginning of the season [Sébastien] scored points and had a really good level of performance. But at the end of the season he struggled a bit,” Tost told Redbull.com.
By contrast, Tost described Alguersuari as having improved “step by step” over the course of 2011.
[Original image via Sutton Images]