Toro Rosso boss Franz Tost says he is keen to try and keep hold of Daniel Ricciardo for the 2014 season, arguing that he feels another year with the team would be more beneficial for the Australian's career.
Ricciardo is one of the drivers in the mix to replace Mark Webber at Red Bull next year alongside Kimi Raikkonen, while rumours in Hungary at the weekend also suggested that Fernando Alonso could be a surprise target to partner defending champion Sebastian Vettel.
However, Tost said he felt the 23-year-old would be better served staying where he is for another season and that the opportunity to move to Red Bull may have come a year too early.
“I personally would rather see him have another year in the maturing process at Toro Rosso to gain more experience,” he told Speed Week
. “We are talking here about Red Bull Racing, the championship winning team for three consective years.
“Daniel hasn't been on the F1 podium and he hasn't won a race because his car hasn't been good enough. That is the only negative I can see with him. Otherwise I think he will have great success in Formula One.
“The big difference between Vettel and Ricciardo stepping up to Red Bull is that Vettel moved to Red Bull when it was not a winning team and they have grown together. Today Ricciardo would have to score podium finishes and fight for wins right away.
“Can he fill the shows of Mark Webber? Maybe the chance has come a year too early.”