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Alguersuari welcomes Ricciardo's presence
Ricciardo has been tipped for a race drive in 2012 or possibly even sooner by Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko, putting pressure on Alguersuari and his team-mate Sebastien Buemi. But Alguersuari says he would not expect anything else at the top level of the sport.
"His appointment is a very good confirmation of the operation of the Red Bull junior team," Alguersuari told autohebdo.fr. "Without this programme and the determination of Dr Helmut Marko, I would not be in Formula One."
Marko's driver development scheme has gained a reputation over the years for being particularly cut-throat, but Alguersuari says it is normal for F1.
"Sure, but that's what the Red Bull programme has taught us," he added. "For us there is nothing more normal than to see Ricciardo, Buemi, Vettel or myself do our best without worrying about the others."
Using a football analogy, Alguersuari compared Red Bull's approach to drivers with Ferrari's.
"Red Bull is like Barcelona, building its drivers from when they are 15 and turning them into champions," he is quoted by Diario AS. "Ferrari is more like Real Madrid, buying the most expensive players in the market."
Alguersuari wished Ricciardo, who is also taking part in Formula Renault 3.5, all the best for 2011.
"His participation in the Friday practices will be a great experience for him, because he will be sharing information with me and Buemi and it will make him a better driver and a serious candidate for a place at Toro Rosso in the future," he said.