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Jaime Alguersuari and Sébastien Buemi were not capable candidates for a Red Bull Racing Formula 1 seat. That is according to Toro Rosso Team Principal Franz Tost, with both drivers having been left on the sidelines after 2011.
At the start of 2011, Toro Rosso’s inter-team battle was a key talking point amongst F1 fans, as one of the duo was expected to join Sebastian Vettel at Red Bull in 2013. However, both the Spaniard and Swiss were let go of, with the latter then becoming reserve driver for the pair of Red Bull-owned squads.
“The ‘clean sweep’ was decided in mid-December,” Tost explained to the official F1 website. “The conclusion was that we had nurtured two drivers over three years and that we probably have other drivers in Red Bull’s pool of drivers who could also do a good job. On top of that we weren’t sure if our current drivers would really be the right stuff for Red Bull Racing, so we decided that Jean-Éric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo should get their chance.”
With Helmut Marko, head of the Red Bull driver programme, having already said that Alguersuari and Buemi are not potential winners, Tost continued:
“There is probably some truth in Helmut’s assertion. When we speak about the ‘right stuff’ for Red Bull Racing we are talking about a double championship-winning team, which means that drivers who get elevated there must have the ability to win races and championships. It was from that perspective that second thoughts set in when it came to Sébastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari. Toro Rosso is a rookie team and we will head into the 2012 season with two rookies. I fully support this decision.
“This is a high-performance sport and ‘departures’ are a part of the game. Both drivers have to thank Red Bull, as otherwise they would never have made it into Formula 1 and, even now, they have it in their own hands to make something out of the chance Red Bull has given them. Well, Buemi is still with Red Bull Racing as their third man. What will happen to Alguersuari? I have no information at the moment but, as I said, thanks to Red Bull they have a very good basis to pursue their careers from - maybe even in Formula 1 at another team.
“I’m not saying that they are not fit for Formula 1, as both have shown substantial talent at some races, but it is not enough for Red Bull Racing. But I could imagine that they could be top drivers somewhere else and have a successful racing career.”
Toro Rosso entered F1 in 2006, taking over Minardi. To date, its drivers have been Vitantonio Liuzzi, Scott Speed, Sebastian Vettel and Sébastien Bourdais as well as Alguersuari and Buemi.
Scuderia Toro Rosso
|Scuderia Toro Rosso|
|23 May||Ricciardo: I am ready for Red Bull seat|
|15 May||Tost: Drivers need to perform exceptionally|
|12 May||Points-scoring Ricciardo left wanting more|
|8 Apr||Shanghai memories: Buemi's crash, 2010|
|22 Jan||Red Bull retains Buemi as reserve driver|
|7 Jan||'Buemi to continue as Red Bull reserve'|
|5 Feb||Toro Rosso eyes Renault engines for '14|
|4 Feb||Toro Rosso targets sixth in 2013 standings|
|6 Sep '12||Tost: A new chapter for Toro Rosso|
|17 Feb||Alguersuari: F1 has become an auction|
|1 Jan||'Buemi misses out on Force India seat'|
|28 Nov '12||Alguersuari remains hopeful over F1 seat|
|24 May||United States GP wins prestigious award|
|24 May||Video: Discover Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi|
|24 May||Pirelli warns it could quit over contract|
|More Sébastien Buemi photos|
|More Franz Tost photos|
|More Jaime Alguersuari photos|