Ride-buyer Buemi close to 2009 STR race seat UPDATE #4 This rumor is upgrade to 'fact' with today's announcement.
01/05/09 This rumor is upgraded to 'strong' today. It is now almost beyond doubt that Sebastien Buemi, a Swiss rookie, will be confirmed as a Toro Rosso race driver for the 2009 season.
A formal announcement is presumably imminent, given the most recent media utterings of insiders, including the 20-year-old himself, the Faenza team's boss Franz Tost, and the now departed co-owner Gerhard Berger.
|Sebastien Buemi is a good driver but is rumored to be buying his seat at STR|
As a parting note to the Ferrari-powered squad, Berger told the Swiss newspaper Blick that the team is in good shape for 2009 because "Toro Rosso will have a good and fast driver in Buemi".
Buemi himself is also now speaking with certainty about his future, telling Auto Motor und Sport that his debut will be somewhat bittersweet because "you work towards your goal for so long and then when you're finally there, the sport is in crisis".
Team principal Tost, meanwhile, is already thinking of how to manage the arrival of another rookie to the team.
"Buemi is going to stay close to Faenza," he said, referring to Toro Rosso's Italian headquarters. "If we can work together each and every day, we will be getting the maximum out of him." 11/24/08 This rumor is upgraded to 'strong' today. Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz says Sebastien Buemi is very likely to be one of Toro Rosso's racing drivers next year. "One will very likely be Buemi," Mateschitz told Autosport.com. "The lineup will be confirmed before the last test in December."
11/20/08 (GMM) Sebastien Buemi has played down speculation his seat at Toro Rosso has already been secured.
The Ferrari-powered team is yet to announce its driver plans for next year, but it is suggested that the 20-year-old Swiss has almost certainly been selected to replace Sebastien Vettel in 2009.
The other seat, being contested by incumbent Sebastien Bourdais and Takuma Sato, is apparently the only one still up for grabs.
But even though his uncle Humbert, who is a member of Buemi's management team, is publicly very confident about next year, the young driver said he is not sure if he will ultimately secure the seat.
"If I work well I have a good chance for 2009. But until now I know nothing more than you do," he is quoted as saying by racefreaks.nl.
Buemi said he is expecting to know more shortly.
"We are expecting a decision soon. For the team it is important to make a decision and to start testing with the two drivers that will race in 2009," he added.11/16/08 (GMM) Sebastien Buemi's uncle is confident the Swiss youngster will make his formula one debut with Toro Rosso in 2009.
Humbert Buemi, who like 20-year-old Buemi is based in Bahrain, told the local Gulf Daily News they are feeling bullish ahead of Sebastien's test with the team at Barcelona next week.
Humbert, also part of Buemi's management team, said the youngster is close to securing a race seat for next year.
"I think we are very well placed, and we are confident with our current position," he said. "We are hoping for an official announcement to be made soon."
Sebastien Bourdais and Takuma Sato will also run with the Faenza based team at the Circuit de Catalunya, where the first test of the post-season period kicks off on Monday.
Buemi will be in action on all three days, while Bourdais and Sato are set to test for a day and a half apiece.