Mike Stevens | Jul 29, 2010

It would not be "logical" to change Toro Rosso's driver lineup for 2011, according to team boss Franz Tost.

With Sebastien Buemi now in his second full season with the Faenza-based team, and Jaime Alguersuari not always shining during his 19 races so far, it had been rumoured that owner Red Bull was keen to promote its next rising youngster.

Daniel Ricciardo is Red Bull's highly rated F1 reserve driver in 2010, but Tost admits the Australian was not at the top of his list for next season.

"We always intended to keep our two current drivers, based on their current form: it was always part of the plan, as they come from the Red Bull young driver programme and doing anything else would not be logical," Tost said.

"Both of them, Jaime in particular, are still lacking much Formula One experience and therefore, in order to get a true picture of their abilities, it is normal that we should continue with them.

"I also expect them to improve their performance in the second half of the season," added Tost.

However, both Buemi and Alguersuari have made comments recently that seemed to question whether Red Bull was singing from Tost's songsheet.

Indeed, Swiss Buemi, 21, has now confirmed that his contract is with the energy drinks company.

"I have a contract with Red Bull, and Red Bull let me drive at Toro Rosso. If I do well here then hopefully one day I will jump into the 'big' team," he said.

"Obviously I want to make that jump as soon as possible, this is pretty clear, but they are having a fantastic season and I was having a lot of bad luck at the beginning of the year when they took the decision to retain Mark (Webber)."

"However, I am very optimistic that Toro Rosso will improve next year," Buemi said.

(GMM)

 

F1 could lose up to two teams: Ecclestone

"One or two" of F1's existing twelve teams might bow out of Formula One before November's Abu Dhabi finale, Bernie Ecclestone has warned.

"I think there are a couple of teams in Formula One who really shouldn't be there. They are a bit out of their depth at the moment," he said in an interview with the Daily Telegraph.

Losing two teams would drop the grid down to 20 cars, but the FIA is in the process of perhaps allowing Villeneuve/Durango, Epsilon Euskadi, Stefan GP or Cypher Group to debut next year.

According to Ecclestone: "All we ever want is 10 teams. Lotus is a good name. I wouldn't want to lose them. But in general this year has been a bit of a nuisance because it has cost money to keep these (new) teams in.

"It has cost a lot of money to pay for them to compete."

It is likely the Briton is referring to HRT, who are now shuffling around drivers with the deepest pockets for the two race seats, and Virgin, whose main sponsor Sir Richard Branson said last year the team would have F1's smallest budget.

"The bottom line is they haven't really and truly given us value for being there," said Ecclestone.

"If suddenly these teams don't turn up at races then I don't think the crowds will get any smaller, or the TV sets will turn off, or the newspapers will stop writing, will they?" he added.

(GMM)

 

Ferrari staying focused as controversy still rages

In their blogs on the official Ferrari website, Felipe Massa said Hockenheim had been a "great team result", while Fernando Alonso said victory was a "great feeling".

Both avoided mention of the team orders scandal.

Team boss Stefano Domenicali summed up the internal mood saying he wants Ferrari to "remain focussed on our own work, starting in Budapest" this weekend.

But the headline in Brazil's Globo summed up the attitude as 'no remorse', while the Jornal do Brasil published a cartoon of Paulista Massa as a puppet.

In Italy, however, Tuttosport backed Luca di Montezemolo's claim about team order "hypocrisy", accusing Martin Whitmarsh of having "amnesia" when he suggested there are no team orders at McLaren.

The article referred to Hockenheim 2008, when Heikki Kovalainen gave way to Lewis Hamilton.

Other reports have referred to the arguable 'low fuel' messages for Jenson Button and Hamilton recently, with Germany's Auto Motor und Sport claiming the pair received a similar order last Sunday.

Indeed, in La Gazzetta dello Sport, writer Umberto Zapelloni appeared to praise Ferrari for applying its team orders "without subterfuge".

"Massa was not told he was consuming too much fuel or his tyres were in crisis, but others have been (told those things) this season," he wrote.

(GMM)

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