MADRID, Dec 15, 2011 (AFP) - Spaniard Jaime Alguersuari admitted his surprise at being replaced at Toro Rosso for the 2012 Formula One season, but said the news would not stop him pursuing his ambitions in the sport.
Australian Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne of France were named as the Italian team's new line-up for 2012 Wednesday, the duo replacing Swiss Sebastien Buemi and Alguersuari.
In a statement published by Marca sports daily the 21-year-old Spaniard, who in 2009 became the youngest driver to start a Formula One race, said he was baffled by the decision.
"I am very surprised by this decision. A week ago I spoke with (team directors) Helmut Marko and Franz Tost about the plans they had for me in 2012," he said.
"I thought it was a little crazy to hand me a debut in 2009 when I had hardly any experience, but I'm even more at a loss to comprehend this latest news, especially as I'm in one of the best periods of my life."
Team principal Tost tried to play down the changes in a statement on Wednesday: "They have delivered some excellent performances which have helped the team move forward and develop. We wish them well for the future.
"However, one has to remember that when Scuderia Toro Rosso was established in 2005, it was done so with the intention of providing a first step into Formula One for the youngsters in the Red Bull Junior Driver programme.
"It is therefore part of the team's culture to change its driver line-up from time to time in order to achieve this goal."
Alguersuari, who claimed career-best places of seventh at Monza and South Korea in 2011, finishing 14th overall in the drivers' standings, said he aimed to bounce back from the setback.
"But I don't feel victimised. It's not the end of the world, I've got other projects in the pipeline."