Scuderia Toro Rosso is unlikely to finalise its 2009 Formula 1 World Championship driver line-up until Fernando Alonso has made his mind up as to where he will be next year, stressed STR co-owner Gerhard Berger at the Hungaroring this weekend.
The small Faenza-based, second-string Red Bull outfit will be fielding at least one different driver next season, following Sebastian Vettel's promotion to Red Bull Racing – but with Sébastien Bourdais continuing to struggle in the sister STR3, the squad may yet plump for an all-new pairing.
Key to the decision, Berger admitted, would be Alonso's moves, for if the current Renault incumbent and former double world champion were to jump ship to say BMW-Sauber or Honda, that could leave either Nick Heidfeld, Jenson Button or Rubens Barrichello – experienced hands all three – out in the cold.
“If Alonso moves, then there could be drivers with experience available,” the ten-time grand prix winner – whose fellow STR co-owner is billionaire Red Bull energy drinks magnate Dietrich Mateschitz – told news agency AFA
“There are also good new generation Red Bull drivers, and Toro Rosso is aligned with the new generation. Ideally we would like to have a young driver next to an experienced one.
“We also have to see how Bourdais develops over the second half of the season.”
GP2 Series front-runners Bruno Senna, Sébastien Buemi and Karun Chandhok have all been linked with an STR seat for 2009 in recent weeks.