Exclusive with Sebastien Buemi: Toro Rosso will be back in Budapest 15 Jul 2009
Toro Rossos Sebastien Buemi started 2009 as the only rookie on the grid. Initially the Swiss driver enjoyed a very promising start to his Formula One career, chalking up two point-scoring finishes in his first three races. But after 100 days in the cockpit, his pace in the STR4 has dwindled. However, with a comprehensive upgrade expected at the forthcoming Hungarian Grand Prix, Buemi is confident hell be able to add to his tally of three world championship points very soon
Q: Sebastien, your Formula One race career is now over 100 days old. How have they been for you?
Sebastien Buemi: Wow, is it already 100 days? Well, we have had some very good moments - and some difficult ones. Lately the racing has been more on the difficult side, but we are waiting for a major upgrade for Budapest with the double diffuser and that should help us a lot to go back to the performance at the beginning of the season. So clearly all our eyes are focused on the Hungaroring where we should be able to close the gap more than at the last few races. At the moment we have every reason to believe that we will be competitive there and sneak some points. For sure it is a pleasure to be racing in Formula One - a dream that all drivers dream at my age.
Q: Youre one of only 20 Formula One drivers. How has it changed you life?
SB: Maybe from the outside it looks like a big change but in the end I'm doing what I've always done in my career - racing. Its true the cars are faster, the motor homes are bigger and the media attention soars, but the job is still the same. And you don't really think about all those by-products, as racing is what got me here and that is what I do.
Q: Scoring two points at your first race, and then scoring again in your third race, was such a promising start. But since then theres been nothing
SB: Formula One is a very fast changing world. What worked at one race will not automatically be good for the next. Since the last time I scored - that was in China - I would say that there was a realistic chance in Monaco, after I qualified 11th, but I didn't use it. Then we havent had many new parts on the car lately and everybody knows how important it is to constantly upgrade. We were just lacking pace, and as long as you are short of upgrades, you struggle to be faster. But from Budapest on I expect that we recover the form we had.
Q: Occasionally it looks as though you are fighting with your car more than with your rivals on the track. Where do you see the deficits of the car right now?
SB: Well, that happens. When you're not fast enough you still try to go faster and faster and in the end it happens that you overdrive and do too much against your car.
Q: You must be frustrated with no points since China, but you are still in good company in the standings - ahead of BMW Saubers Robert Kubica and just two points down on McLarens Heikki Kovalainen. Is that some compensation?
SB: No - nothing compensates for not scoring, but it is interesting to see that if you don't have the car, you don't score points. We just have to work hard to be able to bring a good car to Budapest and from there on, it should run smoother.
Q: So what upgrades are you expecting for Budapest?
SB: We're expecting the double diffuser, a new nose - in fact almost half the car will be new. We are looking for a big step forward.
Q: At Silverstone you were struggling with set-up all weekend long. Were you in the same situation at the Nurburgring?
SB: No, at Nurburgring it was definitely better. Unfortunately the qualifying didn't run so well for us, and the race saw those who started behind stayed pretty much behind. Qualifying was probably the crucial moment for our race. During my fastest lap I was a bit stuck behind Kubica, so I lost time. One tenth better would have put me in Q2 and we have all seen what happened in Q2. Anything was possible.
Q: Did you run anything new in Germany?
SB: Just bits and pieces, but nothing major. However, we were working to put behind us all the little hiccups that we were faced in Silverstone, to have the car at a good standard for the big upgrades to come.
Q: Believe the rumours and as well as a revamped car, you may also have a new team mate in Budapest
SB: I'm not aware of any changes. I try to concentrate on myself. The rest is not important for me and in the end it is a team management decision.