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F1: Future Still Uncertain For Toro Rosso Duo, Ricciardo Could Step Up Photo:
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Mike Stevens | Oct, 05 2011 | 0 Comments

Toro Rosso's current drivers are still unsure if they will be racing beyond the 2011 season.

Team owner Red Bull's driver manager Dr Helmut Marko is famous for the pressure he puts on contracted drivers.

And hanging over Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi's heads at present are the advancing careers of Marko's latest favourites Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne.

"We have not talked about the future or next year's contract," Spaniard Alguersuari told the EFE news agency at the weekend.

"It is very important that the whole team is focused on the rest of this year," he added, referring to Toro Rosso's push to beat Sauber to seventh in the constructors' world championship.

According to veteran Blick correspondent Roger Benoit, Swiss Buemi is in exactly the same situation with "five penalty shots" yet to kick in Japan, Korea, India, Abu Dhabi and Brazil.

"I know it's going to get harder and harder up to the finale in Sao Paulo but I can live with the pressure, and my morale is intact," the 22-year-old, who trails his teammate Alguersuari by 3 points, said.

He confirmed that Toro Rosso is pushing hard to beat Sauber.

"We have a different car now; front and rear, everything has changed," said Buemi before his flight to Tokyo.

Australian Ricciardo, meanwhile, is currently at HRT but tipped to move to Toro Rosso in 2012.

But, "All this is rumour," he insisted to the Press Trust of India at the weekend.

(GMM)

 

Continuity the 'secret' of Red Bull's success - Marko

The secret of Red Bull's success is continuity and a focused racing team free of politics, driver manager Dr Helmut Marko said on Tuesday.

The Austrian team has headed to Japan this week where Sebastian Vettel is almost guaranteed his second consecutive drivers' title.

So what is the 'secret' of an energy drinks company that has managed to consistently outpace grandee teams like Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes?

"The real secret is that everybody is here and passionate," Marko said on Servus TV. "We have had the same team and efficient structure for four years.

"Ferrari, Mercedes and McLaren organise themselves quite differently.

"We are lucky to have a boss who in the shortest possible time gives a 'yes' or a 'no'."

Another reason, according to Marko, is that amid all the talk about bending rules and broken financial agreements, the staff on the ground are shielded from the politics.

"We believe in keeping it away from the team in order to let them work in peace," said the Austrian.

German driver Vettel, however, insists there is no secret to Red Bull's success.

"I don't think there are any secrets or magic, it needs a lot of small things coming together for an incredible season like we have had so far," he said.

(GMM)

 

Kovalainen defends Hamilton before Suzuka meeting

Heikki Kovalainen has defended his former McLaren teammate amid reports Lewis Hamilton's rivals are set to round on his aggressive driving style in Japan this weekend.

The Italian specialist Autosprint magazine has reported that Hamilton's competitors have asked for a special meeting with Charlie Whiting at Suzuka to discuss the British driver's many on-track clashes so far in 2011.

And the Sun newspaper in Britain said on Monday that "the meeting is due to discuss Hamilton's tactics this season".

Team Lotus driver Kovalainen, who in 2008 and 2009 was Hamilton's teammate at McLaren, was asked by a fan on Twitter if he is going to attend a 'special Hamilton meeting'.

"I'm not (because) I have no problem," answered the Finn.

Staunch critic Felipe Massa aside, the general feeling in the paddock about Hamilton was summed up by Toro Rosso driver Sebastien Buemi.

"I would say he is a little bit too impulsive now and again, but sometimes it works out well," the Swiss is quoted by the Hamburger Morgenpost.

"It is important to show a little consideration and find the right balance," added Buemi.

(GMM)

 
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