Daniel Ricciardo is confident that Red Bull will turn to Toro Rosso when seeking a replacement for the outgoing Mark Webber.
Webber will retire from Formula 1 at the end of the season, having raced for Red Bull since the start of 2007.
Ricciardo and team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne have been touted as contenders for the drive, alongside current Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen.
But should Red Bull select Raikkonen, Ricciardo does not think that it renders the point of Toro Rosso obsolete.
“It doesn’t defeat the purpose [of Toro Rosso],” he told F1Zone.net.
“If they were to choose Kimi, then he would be the one who deserved the seat the most. It would be because maybe myself and Jean-Eric were not really showing something to a world championship level and then maybe they’d go with Kimi.”
Nonetheless, the Australian believes Red Bull is keen to promote one of Toro Rosso’s drivers and hinted that it is now up to the young chargers to prove to Red Bull’s management that they are worthy of the seat.
“I think ideally they [Red Bull] want to see one of us step up to really show we can take charge.”
“It’s then whether we provide them with that otherwise they’ll resort to Kimi. Ideally they’ll like the programme to continue as it is.”