While offering support for his Toro Rosso team-mate, Jaime Alguersuari has acknowledged that Sébastien Buemi might be in some doubt to retain his seat for the 2011 season, as support for Red Bull Racing reserve driver Daniel Ricciardo continues to grow.
Simultaneously, Toro Rosso’s team principal Franz Tost, offered praise for Alguersuari while admitting that Buemi at times “struggled” this season.
Although Buemi finished ahead of Alguersuari in the Drivers’ Championship points table (8-5 in favour of the Swiss driver), the Spaniard was generally considered to have shown the more impressive form, out-qualifying Buemi in each of the last five races of the season, in addition to some sparkling drives at Australia, Malaysia and Abu Dhabi.
As one of many examples of how fickle the world of Formula 1 is, Buemi was widely praised for his performance in his debut F1 season in 2009, where he comfortably saw of the challenge of multiple-ChampCar champion Sébastien Bourdais, which led to the Frenchman being sacked mid-season and replaced by then then-19-year-old Alguersuari.
In Spain to unveil the Red Bull prototype car for the Gran Turismo 5 video game, Alguersuari was asked by Diario AS if he was buying into the rumours that Ricciardo could move to Toro Rosso as Buemi’s replacement.
“I don’t know what will happen,” he answered. “What I can say is that if my teammate had driven a Red Bull, he would do better than Ricciardo. Without a doubt.”
Support seems very much angled Alguersuari’s way in the STR management, with Tost issuing plenty of praise for the rookie driver, enough to indicate that his seat is all but secure.
“Jaime has this year learned to set up and develop and drive the car. Now I’m looking forward to next season, when we will have a much more mature driver who is constantly improving,” the Austrian told El Mundo Deportivo.
[Original image via GP Europa]