Robert Doornbos says his push to land a Toro Rosso race seat for this season has hurt his friendship with the Faenza based team’s ’06 lineup.
Red Bull’s Dutch test driver last year is – alongside mounting contenders including Tiago Monteiro and Ernesto Viso – shaping up as a so-called ‘pay-drive’ option for the Italian squad.
Doornbos, 25, admitted to Formule 1 RaceReport that the fact has strained the relationship with Toro Rosso’s Vitantonio Liuzzi and Scott Speed, who stand to lose their seats.
“I have also stated in interviews that I am faster than them both, and perhaps as a result we did not become the best of friends,” Robert said.
Doornbos responded to the renewed Toro Rosso speculation last week by admitting that he still has an eye on the team’s unconfirmed seats.
“I still target a race seat at Toro Rosso,” he told his official website, “but I also keep my other options open.
“One of them is to test at (Red Bull) and combine it with racing in the US. Hopefully I can soon tell you more about my definite plans for 2007.”