Buemi to race for Toro Rosso in 2009 09 Jan 2009
Toro Rosso have confirmed that Switzerland's Sebastien Buemi will drive for the team in 2009. Buemi, who competed in GP2 last year, was Red Bull Racing's reserve driver in 2008 and has been supported by the Austrian drinks company as a member of its Junior Driver programme since 2005.
We are delighted to welcome Sebastien, who was already part of the Red Bull family, to our team, said Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost. Our engineers have been impressed with his speed in the car and his ability to learn and progress during the testing he has carried out for us last year.
That, along with some impressive performances in GP2 was enough to convince us to give him the drive. His appointment also fulfils the aims of the Red Bull Junior Driver programme and meets Dietrich Mateschitzs intention to use Scuderia Toro Rosso as a showcase for young drivers the company has supported in the lower formulae.
Twenty year-old Buemi first tested for Red Bull in 2007, whilst racing in the Formula Three Euroseries. In 2006, he competed in Formula Three, Formula Renault and the F3 Euroseries, while in 2005 he raced in the Formula BMW series, finishing the season second overall after winning seven events.
I am naturally very happy to be driving for Scuderia Toro Rosso this year, he said. Being a Formula One driver has always been my target, since I first started racing. This year, I will do all I can to bring home the best possible results and to show Red Bull that the confidence it has shown in me is justified. I want to thank Red Bull for this opportunity and for all the help they have given me in my career, dating back to 2005.
Buemi will make his first outing as an official Toro Rosso driver at a test session to be held at Portugals Portimao Circuit later this month.
Toro Rosso have promised an announcement on Buemi's 2009 team mate 'at some point before the Australian Grand Prix'. Their 2008 driver Sebastien Bourdais and former Super Aguri racer Takuma Sato have both spent significant time testing with the team over the winter.