Toro Rosso plays down driver change talk

Franz Tost during practice for the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix

Franz Tost

May 16 (GMM) Franz Tost has played down his recent comments about Daniel Ricciardo replacing one of the two current Toro Rosso drivers, but the up and coming Australian driver admits he is encouraged about the progress of his Formula 1 career.

Tost’s recent comments in Istanbul about 21-year old Ricciardo suggested he will definitely replace either Sebastien Buemi or Jaime Alguersuari at Toro Rosso next year.

But the Austrian told at the Red Bull Ring opening: “Regarding the other drivers (Buemi and Alguersuari), nothing is up for discussion at the moment, as they are both performing well.”

Ricciardo, however, said he is encouraged by Tost’s admission that he will be in the race cockpit in 2012.

“I was glad to hear that Franz made that statement,” he told

“Nothing is confirmed, but I am encouraged, of course,” added Ricciardo who won this weekend’s Formula Renault 3.5 race at Monza.

“On the other hand, it is obvious that this is the plan for me. You don’t want to be doing the Friday practice for two or three years,” he said.