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Vettel replaces Speed at Toro Rosso 31 Jul 2007

Sebastian Vettel (GER) BMW Sauber Third Driver.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, European Grand Prix, Practice Day, Nurburgring, Germany, Friday, 20 July 2007 Scott Speed (USA) Scuderia Toro Rosso.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, French Grand Prix, Preparations, Magny-Cours, France, Thursday, 28 June 2007

Germany’s Sebastian Vettel is to replace Scott Speed at Toro Rosso for the remainder of 2007, it was announced on Tuesday. Vettel has been released from his position as BMW Sauber’s test and reserve driver with immediate effect.

Speed’s departure was widely anticipated following his recent run-in with Toro Rosso management at the Nurburgring. Vettel, who made his Formula One race debut with BMW earlier this year, is backed by Toro Rosso co-owners Red Bull.

“Having joined the Red Bull Junior Team in his early karting years at the age of 12 and been guided by us and BMW through his Formula BMW and Formula Three career, we now welcome Sebastian back to the Red Bull family,” said Toro Rosso.

Commenting on BMW’s decision to release the 20 year-old, team principal Mario Theissen said: "As our test and reserve driver Sebastian has carried out sterling work for us. When he stood in for Robert Kubica in the USA Grand Prix he made history by becoming the youngest debutant to earn a world championship point.

“However, the current testing rules mean that he barely gets a chance to drive for us. Now he has been offered the opportunity to get inside a Toro Rosso cockpit. We have sponsored and coached Sebastian over a number of years. To place obstacles in his career path now would go against our concept of talent promotion."

Vettel’s move means fellow German Timo Glock steps up to the role of reserve driver for BMW Sauber.