Webber warming his seat for Red Bull’s charging hopefuls

Franz Tost has defended the decision to axe Toro Rosso’s driver lineup by saying F1 is “tough”. The boss of Red Bull’s Faenza based team admitted that although Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi did a good job, Toro Rosso is a “rookie training school” for the energy drink company.

“With over two seasons under your belt, you are no longer a rookie,” said Tost. “In an ideal world, drivers would move from Scuderia Toro Rosso to Red Bull Racing, but there are no vacancies with our sister team right now.

“It might be seen as a harsh decision, but Formula One is a tough environment and Toro Rosso has always been very clear about the principles behind its driver choice.”

Alguersuari and Buemi have both admitted they were shocked with this week’s unexpected news, but for Australian Daniel Ricciardo it was a happy surprise.

“I don’t know if it’s a ballsy move but changing two drivers is something not many teams do,” he told the West Australian newspaper. “They’re giving us a proper chance.”

Countryman Mark Webber is also looking on the bright side, despite the obvious truth that Red Bull is shaping up to replace him sooner or later.

On the front of his Christmas card to friends and some journalists, the 35-year-old included a cartoon showing him with a present in a fire-lit lounge room, with Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne looking in from the freezing cold.

“Isn’t it nice of the boys to give me a seat warmer for my car?” Webber’s caption read.

Indeed, Ricciardo admitted a Red Bull Racing seat is the goal.

“I imagine if we’re good enough that (seat) could be ours one day,” he said. “I think that’s Red Bull’s plan. Ideally they’d want to get a Red Bull junior driver in that seat.”