Scuderia Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost says that Red Bull will not make a decision about its junior team’s 2012 driver line-up until the end of this season.
Australian Daniel Ricciardo had been tipped to take a race driver with the squad as early as this year, but has been loaned to Hispania for the remainder of the season after recent strong performances from the previously struggling Jaime Alguersuari.
The Spaniard has scored points in the last three Grands Prix, and now sits one point ahead of team-mate Sebastien Buemi in the Drivers’ Championship.
“What our driver pairing will be in 2012, I don’t know yet,” said Tost.
“This will be decided by Red Bull at the end of the season.”
Tost stressed however that Ricciardo’s appointment at Hispania will see the 22-year-old fully prepared for a race drive next year.
“At the start of the season, Ricciardo was out for us on Friday mornings for 90 minutes to learn the different racetracks, how the team works, how to give technical feedback, how to work with the engineers, even how to conduct himself for marketing activities and press work,” said Tost.
“Now he’s been offered the chance to race, and I can see only advantages in this.
“Participating in FP1 is not the same as doing a complete race weekend, so he will be much better prepared for next year.
“And he can’t drive for Toro Rosso because we have two race drivers who are doing a good job.”