F1: Ricciardo In The Running For Toro Rosso, Raikkonen Set For Williams Photo:
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Mike Stevens | Nov, 04 2011 | 0 Comments

Toro Rosso will not select from outside of Red Bull's own talent pool for its 2012 driver line-up, team boss Franz Tost has confirmed.

It is believed Sebastien Buemi, Jaime Alguersuari, and young Red Bull hopefuls Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne, are all in the running for the Faenza based team's two race seats next year.

"It is 100 per cent certain that next year we will have two Red Bull drivers," Austrian Tost told the Sportwoche publication.

"That is the meaning and the purpose of why Red Bull bought the team," he added.

"Our job is to allow young drivers from the Red Bull pool to enter Formula One in training for (the move to) Red Bull Racing," said Tost.

Since the Minardi takeover in 2006, however, the only driver to successfully move from Toro Rosso to the premier team is Sebastian Vettel.

"The reasons for that are simple," said Tost. "First, he is more talented than the others.

"He is also more disciplined, brings more passion for the sport, is more innovative, open and more flexible in accepting suggestions to make himself better. And that's why he's the world champion," he added.

"In their development too many drivers get to Formula One and think 'Now I have made it'. Actually, the hard work has only just begun. . Everything before is kindergarten.

"In Formula One you have to live Formula One, 100 percent, yet only a few do that completely," said Tost.



Williams to announce Raikkonen deal in Abu Dhabi

Williams is almost ready to announce Kimi Raikkonen's return to F1 one for 2012, according to media reports.

"(The) Raikkonen (agreement) is almost there," a source inside the famous British team is quoted by FAZ newspaper.

Italy's Autosprint reports that the funding is coming from Qatar.

Williams on Wednesday hinted at the deal by revealing that a memorandum of understanding with Mowasalat, a Qatari company, was signed in Doha for the use of the team's simulator technology.

"The funding for the 'Iceman' is coming from the heat of Qatar," said the Italian magazine.

The Finnish broadcaster MTV3 said the sponsorship of a Qatar bank is the next step.

That will validate a contract that Raikkonen, 32, reportedly signed recently "and the announcement will be made in Abu Dhabi" next weekend.

The Swiss publication Motorsport Aktuell said the 2007 world champion is Williams' "first choice" to be Pastor Maldonado's new teammate.

"He (Raikkonen) has been at Grove several times for talks," the report added.


Rumours hint at 2013 delay for Austin F1 race

The first US Grand Prix in Texas could be delayed a year until 2013, according to the latest rumours and reports.

It is believed the Austin venue, where permits for vertical construction have only just been issued, will be discussed during Thursday's F1 Commission meeting in Geneva.

Bernie Ecclestone is reported to have said in India last weekend that he believes there are "issues" within the group that is organising the 2012 race.

KVUE News visited the site this week and reported "business as usual".

But as for F1 chief executive Ecclestone, he has "left the door open", according to F1 insider Don Batson of International Marketing Development.

"I think he (Ecclestone) is talking about the fact that there is some conflict in Austin, that there has been a construction slowdown that is kind of hard to explain other than there being some kind of a conflict internally," agreed Autoweek's Steven Cole.

The rumour now is that the inaugural 2012 race date could be pushed back to 2013.

"It (2012) is certainly doable for next year," Batson insisted, "although they do have a lot to accomplish."

Cole said he will be waiting for news to emerge from the F1 Commission on Thursday.

"(There) could be good news for Austin, could be bad news, I'm guessing there will probably be no news because as far as I know they still have time to make the November (2012) date," he said.

The Circuit of the Americas organisation did not comment.



Whitmarsh says Button contract for three years

Jenson Button's new contract at McLaren is for three years, Martin Whitmarsh let slip last weekend.

Previously, the team and driver were willing only to divulge that they recently inked a new "multi year" agreement.

But, perhaps inadvertently, team boss Martin Whitmarsh said in India that the contract will see the 2009 world champion in a silver car through 2014.

During a television interview after Sunday's race, he was asked about Button's current run of good form.

"Let's hope it continues like that as we have another three exciting years with him to go," Whitmarsh is quoted as saying in German-language reports.


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