Tost: Ricciardo not ready for Red Bull
31 July 2013 – Toro Rosso Team Principal Franz Tost thinks that Daniel Ricciardo is not yet ready to drive for Red Bull, the Austrian maintaining that his driver requires another year at the Faenza-based outfit to gain the necessary experience to successfully make the step-up.
Tost drew comparisons with the career of Sebastian Vettel, who is currently the only driver from the Red Bull junior programme to be promoted to the senior team. As well as mentioning that the German’s apprenticeship was made easier by the more relaxed testing rules of the era, he also noted that the goalposts have been moved since Vettel made the move to the Milton Keynes-based outfit; with the future-champion scoring the squad’s first-ever pole and race win at the Chinese Grand Prix in 2009.
“He is not far away from the young Vettel,” Tost told Speed Week. “But one must not forget that Sebastian had the opportunity to get a lot of testing at BMW-Sauber, not only during the winter tests, but later in Friday practice as well.
“The biggest difference between Vettel and Ricciardo is that when Vettel came to Red Bull it was not a winning team, they have grown together. Today, Ricciardo must immediately reach podium places and challenge for wins. Can he fill the vacancy left by Mark Webber? Perhaps the chance comes a year too early."
Summing up, he said: “I personally would rather see him undertake another year of maturation process at Toro Rosso. I mean, we are talking here of Red Bull Racing, the champions for three consecutive years. Daniel has never been on a Formula 1 podium, he has not won a race.”