Red Bull have sprung a surprise by naming Sebastien Buemi, who was dropped from feeder team Toro Rosso, as reserve driver for their senior team. The Swiss will provide back-up for Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber.
Team principal Christian Horner claimed that Buemi’s knowledge of Red Bull and three years of Formula 1 experience made the move “logical”. Buemi, 23, said: “I would prefer to be driving at the races, of course, but this is the next best thing.”Later on Thursday, Toro Rosso announced that Buemi would effectively be their reserve driver in 2012 as well.
A statement said: “Although our sister team in Milton Keynes will be the Swiss driver’s top priority, if for any reason Scuderia Toro Rosso found itself short of a driver at a grand prix, then Sebastien would step into the cockpit for us.” BBC Sport
Buemi has been part of Red Bull’s young driver programme for the last seven years and competed in the ADAC BMW series, Formula Three, Formula Renault and GP2 before stepping up to Formula One racing as Red Bull’s reserve in 2008. In 2009 he started racing for Toro Rosso and impressed in his first season, scoring six points and finishing 16th in the standings.
His second year in 2010, however, proved trickier, with Buemi initially struggling to find pace, but four top-ten results saw him ultimately finish ahead of younger team mate Jaime Alguersuari. The duo remained evenly matched last season but Toro Rosso decided to drop both in favour of a new 2012 line-up of Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne.
“It was entirely logical for Sebastien to continue with Red Bull having been a member of the Junior Team since 2004,” explained Red Bull team principal Christian Horner. “He already knows the team well from his time with us in 2008 and has gained significant race experience over the past three years. He will complete important test and simulation work for us throughout the year and will be in attendance at each Grand Prix.” Formula 1.
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