Bortolotti to secure Toro Rosso race seat? UPDATE We are downgrading this rumor to 'false' today. Mirko Bortolotti insists he is focused only on securing another drive in the F2 series.
Prior to Jaime Alguersuari's confirmation for 2010, recent rumors linked Italian youngster Bortolotti with the Toro Rosso seat, until it emerged that in fact he has been ousted from Red Bull's driver development program.
He finished the 2009 F2 championship fourth, and is quoted by the News of the World as revealing that the feeder series remains his focus for the forthcoming season.
"F2 is still a major option for me in 2010 and I am not even thinking about F1 at the moment," said Bortolotti.
"I am only 20 and I think it is vital that you are fully prepared in terms of speed, experience and consistency before you make the step to formula one."
He tested with Faenza based Toro Rosso during December's young driver session at Jerez, and made headlines more than a year ago when he broke the Fiorano lap record while testing with Ferrari.
But Bortolotti admits he is not ready for F1.
"You have to have been through it all; you need to know how to be quick over one lap but also consistent over a race distance, you need to know how to turn bad situations into a good one for example.
"There are so many things that you need to learn and I want to reach formula one when I am in the right moment of my career. F1 is F1 -- it is not a game, so at the moment I am better to focus on learning and improving further for the future," he added.01/06/10 (GMM) Speculation that Toro Rosso will not give its second race seat for 2010 to Jamie Alguersuari is intensifying.
It is now rumored that the most likely to replace the teenaged Spaniard is yet another teenager, the Italian Mirko Bortolotti, who turns 20 in a few days.
He tested with the Faenza based team at the recent young driver session at Jerez, and made headlines last winter when he broke the Fiorano lap record while testing with Ferrari.
He finished the 2009 F2 championship in fourth place.
Interestingly, while part of Red Bull's Junior Team last year, the Italian is not yet listed in the energy drink company's driver development scheme for 2010, while others including Brendon Hartley and Daniel Ricciardo are.
Bortolotti is Italian, but he grew up in Austria, the home nation of Toro Rosso decision-makers Dietrich Mateschitz and his right-hand motor racing man, Dr Helmut Marko.
"We do not yet know exactly what we are going to do with Bortolotti in 2010," Marko admitted in an interview with laola1.at.