Sebastien Buemi, Red Bull, Rudskogen Motorsenter, 2012

Red Bull retain Buemi as test driver

2013 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Sebastien Buemi, Red Bull, Rudskogen Motorsenter, 2012Sebastien Buemi will continue to serve as Red Bull’s test and reserve driver for the 2013 season.

Buemi took up the position last year after being dropped by Red Bull’s young driver team Toro Rosso. Buemi did not get any time in the car during an official practice or test session.

“I know everyone at Red Bull Racing well and it?s good to remain with the team for another year,” said Buemi.

“Of course my aim is to be driving at the races again, but I am still learning all the time from my work with the team. I help with the development of the car and provide feedback throughout the season, both at the factory and at races.”

Team principal Christian Horner said Buemi “is an integral member of the team and will complete important simulation work for us throughout the year”.

Buemi drove for Toyota in the Le Mans 24 Hours last year, but did not finish after team mate Anthony Davidson crashed. He also appeared in he European Le Mans Series for Boutsen Ginion Racing.

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Image ?? Red Bull/Getty

25 comments on “Red Bull retain Buemi as test driver”

  1. Drop Valencia!
    22nd January 2013, 11:49

    Good for him, maye RBR should get Timo too, as I hear he isn’t too busy…

  2. Little change from the quotes they issued when he first got the gig 12 months ago:

    Buemi becomes reserve driver for Red Bull

    1. I bet they have a person whose job it is to write an ‘Answers/statements to every question and situation possible’ handbook for the team.

  3. Shame to see a young driver seemly become trapped in the role of 3rd driver, ala Gary Paffet.

    1. @matt90 Buemi was a bit of a curiosity on the Red Bull young driver roster as he didn’t go through their favoured path of British F3 and Formula Renault 3.5, he came in via GP2.

      With these third drivers in top teams you have to wonder whether they really would get the call up to replace a regular driver. If Vettel slipped on a banana skin would Red Bull call up Buemi or give the shot to whichever of their current Toro Rosso pilots has the most points – and then stick Da Costa in the vacant Toro Rosso?

      1. I think that’s an interesting question.

        You’d think that the role ‘Test and Reserve Driver’ would involve acting as the reserve, and subsequently replacement, when a race-team driver is a out of action.

        This has been proved to not be the case in recent years; see Pedro de la Rosa replacing Sergio Perez in Canada ’11 rather than Reserve Driver Esteban Gutierez for example.

        Personally I would take recent race experience over any other factor, and so Ricciardo or Vergne would be a more attractive option to me than Buemi.

      2. This a major pet hate of mine and I’m sorry to bring it up. F1 drivers drive cars, not aircraft. Please do not refer to them as ‘pilots’. I don’t know why, it just drives me cray when people do that…

        1. I suspect it’s in common use (at least in Europe) because it is a derivation of the French words for racing driver – “pilote de course”.

          1. exactly that @pault

    2. @matt90

      Shame to see a young driver seemly become trapped in the role of 3rd driver

      Maybe, but I don’t think Formula 1 is worse off without Buemi. If I had to make a list of every driver that Formula 1 absolutely had to have and for whom the teams should move heaven and earth to get them into the sport, then I don’t think Buemi would appear in the top twenty-two drivers, and would therefore miss out on a seat in a perfect grid.

      1. I would have liked to have seen him in another team to see how he performed. He wasn’t spectacular, but he may well have been worthy of another shot.

        1. I sometimes wonder if Toro Rosso is actually a good place for a young driver to be. It seems if you drive for Toro Rosso, that’s the only team you will drive for if you don’t get promoted to Red Bull. It’s like its shunned by other teams, like any ex driver from there must be ‘dirty goods’ stained by the Red Bull mafia. Has any driver of theirs actually moved to another team after getting the sack?

          1. Liuzzi? He drove for Red Bull first though…

          2. Klien suffered to. if memory serves me right he qualified high in his final race in 06. He was a good driver.

  4. so that rules him out of the Force India mystery driver competition

  5. Seems odd that Red Bull keep him on-board considering he was fired from their junior team. That is unless they still see some potential in him and will use him to replace Webber if Ricciardo/Vergne/Da Costa don’t impress.

    1. I suppose it never hurts to have a fall back that knows the team well. But so far I don’t rate any of the most recent four Toro Rosso drivers all that highly. Of course, they still all need more time, but from Red Bull’s point of view, I’d be more inclined to take on Hulkenberg or even the untried Da Costa than putting in either of the solid-yet-unspectacular Toro Rosso drivers; or indeed their race-rusty predecessors who are still unproven after three years.

  6. “Of course my aim is to be driving at the races again, but I am still learning all the time from my work with the team.”

    After two years on the sidelines as a test driver, with no track time?

    I’d have to look it up, but I’m pretty sure that’s the definition of purgatory.

  7. That role looks great on paper, but seeing as he didn’t get any track time in 2012 and is unlikely to get any in 2013, he may as well cash his cheque every month and focus on other things… like trying to win Le Mans and the WEC with the impressive Toyota squad.

    1. off course we don’t know how much of a simulator mule he is in reality. Remember McLaren actually flying Paffet around to prepare setup for their cars in 2010 between FP and qualifying?

      1. very true, but it also isn’t clear how much simulator work RBR do. McLaren do heaps and heaps of it which is why I imagine Paffet is happy to stay in the role and is also why Ferrari signed Pedro de la Rosa.

        1. I understood RBR is no stranger to running a good simulation program to work on the parts Newey thinks up, so I guess its a pretty much full time job for Buemi too.

  8. Your description of the circumstances in which the Davidson/Buemi/Sarrazin Toyota failed to finish the Le Mans 24 hours last year would give readers a better appreciation of what happened if it had read “…team-mate Anthony Davidson was crashed into.”

    One could argue that Davidson should have been more cautious given who he was lapping at the time, but phrasing that assigns him responsibility for the crash is more than a little unfair.

    1. @ilanin Obviously I didn’t go into that in detail as at best it’s only tangentially relevant to the subject of the article. There’s plenty of discussion of it already here:

      Video: Davidson injured in airborne crash

  9. Good news! Well, even better if he could get a seat somewhere. I miss Alguersuari.

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