Mike Stevens | Nov 26, 2010

Amid intense speculation about his future, Daniel Ricciardo has returned to Australia unsure if he is on the cusp of his Formula One debut.

After the 21-year-old so impressed during the young driver's test at the wheel of the title-winning RB6 in Abu Dhabi, reports have linked him with Sebastien Buemi's seat at the Red Bull junior team Toro Rosso for 2011.

Less likely are places at the energy drink company's main team, or Lotus - the new Malaysian outfit set to use a Red Bull gearbox in 2011.

Ricciardo told F1's official website: "At the moment I have nothing to tell."

He says his future is in the hands of Dr Helmut Marko, the head of Red Bull's driver programme who in Abu Dhabi stood on the podium with Sebastian Vettel, his proudest boast.

"I am on standby, but that feels alright with me," said Ricciardo, Red Bull's reserve driver in 2010 and second in the Renault World Series.

"It is up to Helmut. I only can wait and hope that he finds me a place for 2011," he added.

Ricciardo said that even though the F1 world was impressed with his pace at the Abu Dhabi test, the famously stoical Marko is harder to please.

"He didn't say 'Wow, you were faster than Sebastian and Mark', he just said 'Well done'," Ricciardo said.

(GMM)

 

Alguersuari Admits Buemi Seat Not Secure

Jaime Alguersuari has backed his Toro Rosso teammate but acknowledged that Sebastien Buemi's race seat might be in doubt for the 2011 season.

Australian Daniel Ricciardo is Red Bull's leading junior driver, and he impressed the F1 world with his pace in the title-winning RB6 during the recent Abu Dhabi test.

At the same time, Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost - whilst praising young Spaniard Alguersuari - admitted that Swiss racer Buemi "struggled" at times this year.

Alguersuari, 20, was asked if he thinks Ricciardo might replace Buemi as his teammate in 2011 at Toro Rosso, Red Bull's junior team.

"I don't know what will happen," he is quoted by Diario AS newspaper at an event to unveil the Red Bull prototype car for the Gran Turismo 5 video game.

Alguersuari added: "What I can say is that if my teammate (Buemi) had driven a Red Bull, he would do better than Ricciardo. Without a doubt."

Meanwhile, Tost has issued fulsome praise for Alguersuari's progress this year, indicating that his place for 2011 is 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 is quoted by El Mundo Deportivo.

Alguersuari replied: "I'm very proud of what he said because I think I have improved this year and I intend to keep going that way."

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