Buemi confirmed for 2009 Toro Rosso race drive

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    Ross
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    Buemi confirmed for 2009 Toro Rosso race drive

    Post by Ross on 9th January 2009, 13:59

    Source:ITV F1

    Scuderia Toro Rosso has confirmed that Sebastien Buemi will be one of its race drivers for the 2009 season.


    The 20-year-old Swiss driver, a long-standing Red Bull protégé, was widely tipped to land the drive and sealed it with a series of impressive testing performances for both the energy-drink company's F1 teams over the off-season.


    Team principal Franz Tost said these tests had confirmed the potential Buemi had demonstrated in F1’s feeder series GP2 and as a reserve driver for Red Bull Racing during 2008.


    “We are delighted to welcome Sebastien, who was already part of the Red Bull family, to our team,” he said.



    “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 Mateschitz’s intention to use Scuderia Toro Rosso as a showcase for young drivers the company has supported in the lower formulae."


    Buemi thanked Red Bull for backing him all the way to Formula 1 and vowed to repay the company's faith in him.


    “I am naturally very happy to be driving for Scuderia Toro Rosso this year,” he said.


    “Being a Formula 1 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 get his first track outing as an official Toro Rosso driver at the test session set to be held at the new Algarve Motor Park in Portugal later this month.


    The team is not expected to reveal who its second driver will be imminently, saying only that it will make an announcement “at some point” before the season-opening Australian Grand Prix at the end of March.


    Sebastien Bourdais, who raced for Toro Rosso last year, and Takuma Sato are considered to be in a straight fight for the second seat after testing alongside Buemi before Christmas.


    Jenson Button, Rubens Barrichello and Bruno Senna have also been linked with an STR berth due to the continued uncertainty surrounding the Honda team's future.


    However, Toro Rosso's choice could be swayed by which driver is able to bring the most financial backing, with Bourdais suggesting it was likely to base its decision on both speed and sponsorship issues.


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