Friday, August 3, 2007

Toro Rosso blames Speed's pace for dismissal

Toro Rosso directors Gerhard Berger and Franz Tost claimed it was because of Scott Speed's performance that he was replaced by Sebastian Vettel. The Nurburgring bust-up between Tost and Speed at the last Grand Prix seemed like the most likely reason but this has been played down.

Tost even says that the decision had already been made before the much-publicised incident He told reporters: "It has nothing to do with what happened at the Nurburgring. It was done before because we were simply not happy with his performance."Berger added: "I don't want to spend any more time talking about Scott Speed. That's history. He didn't perform and that's why he isn't here anymore. Okay, we have difficult circumstances, but overall we are happy with what we are doing. We are trying to do our best."Recently, we didn't have a good atmosphere here, you know? And I'm not saying it's Scott's fault or our fault. It just didn't work out - and the only solution was to stop it."With Speed now replaced at Toro Rosso, speculation is mounting that Vitantonio Liuzzi, who was also like Speed previouslytold by Toro Rosso to improve, might also be shown the door to make way for part-time tester and three-time Champ Car world champion Sebastian Bourdais. The deadline for a deal with the triple Champ Car world champion was set for the end of July but Berger remained tight-lipped.When asked whether he would race for the team next year Berger said: "Nothing to say at this stage. We have been concentrating on Vettel."The co-owner of Toro Rosso claimed that Liuzzi still had the chance to prove himself.He added: "Scott is always going on about pressure - but this is F1 and everybody's under pressure. This is a competitive business and you either deliver or you don't - and that's not comfortable. And Tonio also has to deliver - but he still has chances to deliver. I really hope for him that he works well with Sebastian."

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