Honda website
Honda website

JANUARY 6, 2009

Sebastien Buemi heading for Toro Rosso

Sebastien Buemi is the next driver in the Red Bull Junior "production line" and thus it has long been expected that he would be one of the drivers with Scuderia Toro Rosso in 2009. The 20-year-old Swiss racer has already done two seasons in GP2 and has been testing for Red Bull Racing for more than a year.

Buemi has had a relatively meteoric career - mainly due to Red Bull money. He did two years of Formula BMW in 2004 and 2005. He moved to Formula 3 in 2006 and finished runner-up in the Euroseries in 2007. That year he moved into GP2 as well to replace the injured Michael Ammerm ller at ART Grand Prix and took over the drive fulltime later in the year, but failed to score any significant results. He moved to Arden Motorsport in 2008 and won two races, both sprint events. He finished sixth in the championship.

The results themselves are none too impressive but Buemi has always been near the pace, if not actually winning and Red Bull seems to be keen on him.

It remains to be seen who will partner him in the team. The change in ownership late last year will make a difference as Red Bull will now be paying all the bills and so it is no longer clear whether or not drivers will need to bring money, was was going to happen when Gerhard Berger was still a part-owner of the team. The man most likely to bring money is Bruno Senna, but having two rookies in the team is not going to be much good as experience will be relatively valuable in 2009 as there is going to be limited running time and so little time to learn. Takuma Sato has done a lot of test with the team in recent months but there is no guarantee that he will find money in Japan now that Honda is out of the F1 picture and Sebastien Bourdais must be seen as a decent candidate as he will give the team continuity and did well in the latter part of last year.