Toro Rosso drivers not afraid of Ricciardo

Monday 07-March-2011 16:22

Jaime Alguersuari is not fazed by Daniel Ricciardo's arrival at Toro Rosso despite reports claiming he could replace the Spaniard or his team-mate mid-season.

Ricciardo has been signed as Toro Rosso's 2011 test driver and will contest at the opening Friday practice session at every grand prix weekend.

His test driver deal combined with reports that both Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi only have contracts with Toro Rosso for the first half of the 2011 Championship have prompted speculation that the Australian could replace either driver mid-season.

Alguersuari, though, says he's not worried about the rumours.

"I think it's very important for us that Daniel is in the car, as we have so many things which were not there last year," the Spaniard told Autosport Magazine.

"We know Daniel is a fast driver, and we will have another voice in the team to judge what we need to improve, what we need to achieve. And it's also great for him to get this chance of driving an F1 car on Fridays, getting to know the tracks. I think Daniel is an important part of the team.

"In the end, the pressure is always in your hands. You live and you die with your own pressure. It's never the others, it's yours, it's what you create in your mind.

"It's not a negative thing, actually it's a very positive thing. I don't mind to stay off the track in FP1, because to be honest, we don't really run a lot.

"It's obviously important that you're in the car more, but I would prefer that Daniel is with us, and he can improve the car. And he tested a very competitive car last year (with Red Bull), so it's very important that he can compare both."

Meanwhile, Buemi has warned the team against making mid-season changes, saying continuity is vital to Toro Rosso's efforts to move up the grid.

"It's pretty difficult if you change the driver all the time," said the Swiss driver. "You lose time getting up to speed with them. Obviously the driver has to be good - you don't want to spend one or two years with a slow driver."

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