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Tost: di Resta, Hülkenberg and Grosjean 'suitable' for STR

Initially, it had seemed like Jaime Alguersuari and Sébastien Buemi were under threat at Scuderia Toro Rosso from just Daniel Ricciardo. Now, three more names have entered the frame...
In a remark that is likely to further ramp up the pressure on current pairing Sébastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari, Scuderia Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost has named Paul di Resta, Nico Hülkenberg and Romain Grosjean as 'suitable' drivers for the small Faenza-based outfit.

Having already asserted that 'if you are not sure after three years whether [a young driver] is going to make it, I would bluntly say forget him, period' – widely-perceived as a warning to Buemi to substantially raise his game before season's end or else face the boot [see separate story – click here] – Tost has now appeared to suggest that neither Toro Rosso driver is altogether safe, with not only highly-rated Red Bull protégé Daniel Ricciardo waiting menacingly in the wings to usurp one of them, but also seemingly several other potential threats.

“My pecking order goes like this – [Sebastian] Vettel, [Lewis] Hamilton, [Fernando] Alonso, [Nico] Rosberg,” the Austrian told the official F1 website, when asked to rate the current cream of the F1 crop. “Vettel doesn't need much comment – he's got everything inside and outside the car that a driver must have to be champion.

“Hamilton I really do like. His is the way guys should race in F1 – he's aggressive and, of course, that results in shunts sometimes, but he's got what it takes to put on a good show. Alonso is fiendishly clever, in the car and in team politics, and Rosberg I believe could win the championship when he's got a good car.

“It is very unlikely that they would make eyes at Toro Rosso, though, so when thinking of suitable guys I would pick three, if I may – Paul di Resta, Nico Hülkenberg and Romain Grosjean. Renault burned Grosjean when they teamed him up with Alonso, but I still believe he's got huge potential.”

So that now makes – when you add present incumbents Buemi and Alguersuari as well as Ricciardo into the mix – as many as six possible occupants of the two STR cockpits in F1 2012, but whilst ostensibly offering scant hope to Buemi, Tost does appear to extend Alguersuari a ray of hope.

“At the beginning of this season, Jaime was not coming to terms with the tyres,” he reflected, with many having prematurely forecast the young Spaniard's departure some time ago. “He was not able to make an easy switch from the Bridgestones of last year to the Pirellis.

“There is a significant difference between qualifying and the race, with different demands on the driver, and Jaime was a bit slow on the uptake. Then sometimes he thought he could force it, and that never works. Now he's overcome that deficit of understanding the tyres and he is firmer in getting his set-up done – and that has translated directly into the good results we've seen lately.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
30.07.2011 Sébastien Buemi (SUI), Scuderia Toro Rosso, STR6
29.07.2011 Sébastien Buemi (SUI), Scuderia Toro Rosso, STR6
30.07.2011 Jaime Alguersuari (SPA), Scuderia Toro Rosso, STR6
24.06.2011- Friday Practice 1, Jaime Alguersuari (SPA), Scuderia Toro Rosso, STR6
08.07.2011- Friday Practice 1, Paul di Resta (GBR) Force India VJM04
06.05.2011- Friday Practice 1, Nico Hulkenberg (GER), Force India F1 Team, Test Driver
Romain Grosjean (FRA, Dams) celebrates his victory in the GP2 sprint race at Silverstone on the podium. July 2011. [Photo credit: Jacob Ebery/GP2 Media Service.]
26.05.2011- First Practice Session, Franz Tost, Scuderia Toro Rosso, Team Principal
17.02.2010 Jerez, Spain, SÈbastien Buemi (SUI), Scuderia Toro Rosso, Franz Tost (AUT), Scuderia Toro Rosso, Team Principal - Formula 1 Testing, Jerez, Spain
Franz Tost (AUT) Toro Rosso Sporting Director, Chinese F1 Grand Prix, Shanghai, 17th-19th, April 2009
Sebastien Ogier, Red Bull, RB7, F1 test [Credit: Red Bull Content Pool]
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB13
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB13
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB13
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB13
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB13
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB13
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB13

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Marco - Unregistered

August 18, 2011 11:43 AM

That "fantastic" Di Resta who has the half points of Andrian Sutil and lies BEHIND both current STR drivers in Drivers Championship with a better car? That Hulkenberg who was clearly beaten by the "old man" Rubens Barrichello in qualifyings, races and in points? That Grosjean who's results in 2009 were similar then Alguersuari's? So I don't know what is Mr. Tost talking about, again... :D Not to mention that this year BUE and ALG scored in 7 out of 11 races and the whole team has twice as much points that last year after the summer break... For me one of the less likeable team principals in Formula One and a complicated character to go on with (see Bourdais and Speed)...

Taz - Unregistered

August 18, 2011 11:03 AM

Well Buemi has had more than long enough, the odd decent drive but generally very average and erratic. Same could be of Alguersuari although he hasn't been there as long and shows some potential. di Resta going there....fat chance, he's better of where he is, besides Red Bull want shot of STR. Who'd want to drive for Tost though, says one thing and means another.

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