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Doornbos joins Red Bull Racing 29 Nov 2005

Robert Doornbos (NDL) Red Bull Racing RB1. Formula One Testing, Barcelona, Spain, 28 November - 2 December 2005. World ©  Capilitan/Sutton

- while Scott Speed gets Scuderia Toro Rosso role

Red Bull Racing have signed Robert Doornbos as their third and reserve driver. Doornbos, who raced for Minardi this year, will fulfil Friday driving duties for the team during the 2006 season.

Doornbos, 24, is no stranger to his new employers. He worked with sporting director Christian Horner at the Red Bull-branded Arden squad in Formula 3000, where his team mate was Vitantonio Liuzzi.

“It’s fantastic to be joining Red Bull Racing,” said Doornbos. “Not only is it the team of the moment, but the way that it’s developing the technical side of things, and the motivation of the team, is very promising for the future. I’m aiming to learn as much as possible to get to the top of the sport and I think I’m in the right place to be able to do that.”

The Dutchman won’t have to wait long to get back in the cockpit - he will be behind the wheel of a Cosworth-powered RB1 in Barcelona on Tuesday, as the team start a three-day test session, which will also feature Christian Klien and David Coulthard.

Welcoming Doornbos, Horner commented: “Having served his apprenticeship in Formula 1 this year, Robert will perform an important role for Red Bull Racing as its third driver. Robert demonstrated natural speed and a very real hunger to win when I worked with him in 2004 and I’m very happy to renew our working relationship. This is an excellent opportunity for him.”

Having finished third overall in the 2004 F3000 championship, Doornbos made his Formula One debut the same year, as Jordan’s Friday driver in the last three rounds of the season. He continued that role in early 2005, before switching to a Minardi race seat for eight races.

Doornbos’s signing means that American Scott Speed, who was contracted by Red Bull earlier this year and was tipped to get the third driver role, will now take up a position with their newly-acquired Scuderia Toro Rosso team.