A race cockpit vacancy might soon open up at Toro Rosso.
The Faenza based team is owned by Dietrich Mateschitz and billed as Red Bull’s junior driver outfit, currently fielding youngsters Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari.
The pair have been confirmed for the 2011 season, but there was earlier some confusion as to whether both Buemi and Alguersuari will ultimately line up on next year’s grid.
The Toro Rosso lineup is now once again the subject of speculation, after the leading driver of Red Bull’s current crop of up-and-comers – Australian Daniel Ricciardo – so impressed with his pace in the RB6 in Abu Dhabi last week.
The 21-year-old’s programme for 2011 has not yet been decided, but neither Ricciardo nor his boss Dr Helmut Marko are ruling out a move into formula one.
“We pushed Bernoldi, Klien, Liuzzi and Speed without a breakthrough,” Marko said in Germany’s Die Welt newspaper.
“Daniel Ricciardo is the next top talent. A new Vettel? I don’t know,” he added.
Next year, Ricciardo – Red Bull’s F1 reserve in 2010 and second in the Renault World Series – might have a chance to prove himself.
When asked to assess the progress of Buemi and Alguersuari in 2010, Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost hinted that Swiss Buemi, 22, has now had enough time to prove whether he belongs in F1.
“At the beginning of the season he scored points and had a really good level of performance. But at the end of the season he struggled a bit,” Tost is quoted by redbull.com.
On the other hand, Tost said Spaniard Alguersuari has improved “step by step” and “is on the correct path”.
When asked about driver continuity for 2011, Tost continued: “Well, you never know what will happen in formula one. Our main priority is building a successful car.
“Regarding drivers and continuity, we will see,” added the Austrian.
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