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Buemi 'has a special place' on Renault wish list for 2011, admits Boullier

A tug-of-war looks to be brewing for the services of Sébastien Buemi in 2011 - with Renault making no secret of its interest, and Scuderia Toro Rosso dangling the carrot of a Red Bull Racing seat in 2012...
The services of Scuderia Toro Rosso star Sébastien Buemi are hotly sought-after, it would appear, with Renault F1 team principal Eric Boullier admitting the Swiss ace 'has a special place' on the Enstone-based outfit's shopping list for 2011, and Red Bull revealing that it is evaluating promoting its young protégé to Red Bull Racing in 2012.

Buemi is out-of-contract at STR at the end of the current campaign, and whilst he has on the whole been outperformed by even younger team-mate Jaime Alguersuari in F1 2010, the 21-year-old has demonstrated sufficient flair to bring himself to the attention of rival team bosses, most notably with his impressively feisty Canadian Grand Prix showing last month – and a move to Renault to replace inconsistent Russian rookie Vitaly Petrov next year would appear to be far from out-of-the-question.

“Sébastien is on our list of potential drivers for 2011,” Boullier confirmed, speaking to Swiss daily newspaper Le Matin. “He even has a special place on it, because I know him well and like him very much on a personal level.”

However, the Frenchman could find himself with a fight on his hands if he wishes to poach Buemi away, with Red Bull seemingly keen to hang onto the man from Aigle – with the carrot of possible graduation into a Red Bull Racing cockpit in 2012, ostensibly in-place of the disaffected Mark Webber.

“His Montreal race was perfect, exactly the kind of performance we expect from him,” revealed the energy drinks company's motorsport advisor Dr. Helmut Marko. “If it continues, we might consider placing him in the Red Bull team in 2012.”

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