Franz Tost has played down his recent comments about Daniel Ricciardo, but the hopeful Australian driver admits he is encouraged about the progress of his Formula One career.
Team boss Tost's comments in Turkey 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 motorsport-magazin.com 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 another German website, motorsport-total.com.
Nothing is up for discussion at the moment
"Nothing is confirmed, but I am encouraged, of course," added Ricciardo, who won the recent Monza race of the Formula Renault 3.5 series.
"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.