Montoya rejects Toro Rosso

Montoya rejects Toro Rosso
By Eurosport

11/11/2008 at 19:02Updated

Franz Tost has admitted that Scuderia Toro Rosso were rebuffed by Renault rookie Nelsinho Piquet and former McLaren and Williams star Juan-Pablo Montoya for the 2009 Formula One season.

Sebastien Bourdais's Formula One future is hanging in the balance after a disappointing 17th-place finish in his debut season for Toro Rosso.

The small Faenza-based squad currently has no confirmed drivers for next year following Italian Grand Prix winner Sebastian Vettel's graduation to Red Bull Racing and it has emerged that Piquet was a target before the announcement that the Brazilian rookie is to be retained by Renault for a second season.

Team principal Franz Tost revealed that he also approached Montoya about the possibility of a shock return to the top flight.

The 33-year-old Colombian triumphed in seven grands prix for BMW-Williams and McLaren-Mercedes over the course of his six-year F1 career, before acrimoniously walking away from the Woking-based outfit midway through the 2006 campaign to return to America and compete in NASCAR.

"Unfortunately he no longer wants to be in Formula One," Tost told German magazine 'Auto Motor und Sport'.

Whilst GP2 Series race-winners Bruno Senna and Sebastien Buemi, as well as Super Aguri F1 refugee Takuma Sato and possibly even Rubens Barrichello, are due to test for the Red Bull 'junior' outfit at Barcelona later in November, team co-owner Gerhard Berger has persistently refused to offer Bourdais any guarantees.

The Frenchman endured a torrid start to his maiden season, but finished well and was matching Vettel on a regular basis to qualify inside the top ten for six of the last seven outings.

"He has talent," the Austrian ten-time grand prix-winner acknowledged when speaking about the record-breaking multiple Champ Car king.

"But he lacks a bit of confidence both in the car and in himself."