Having been linked to a possible move to Ferrari, Sebastien Buemi now looks set to continue as Red Bull Racing's official reserve.
The Swiss driver, like several of his peers, has been looking for a way back into a race seat after being dropped from the Toro Rosso line-up at the end of 2011, and was rumoured to have viewed the back-up role at Maranello as a means to an end [ see separate story
]. However, according to Swiss newspaper Sonntagsblick
, there appears to have been a change of heart on Buemi's behalf, and he will now ink the offer that had previously been put in front of him by the drinks brand.
“Buemi will again be signed as reserve driver for Red Bull and Toro Rosso," veteran correspondent Roger Benoit wrote, "Team advisor Helmut Marko has agreed the renewal.”
As well as being courted by Ferrari, which was reportedly looking for a more reliable back-up than Jules Bianchi, Buemi had also been linked to the vacant seat at Force India – where, ironically, the French youngster would have been a rival to partner Paul di Resta in 2013. It is now being suggested that the Silverstone team has narrowed its options, possibly to just Bianchi and former pilot Adrian Sutil, leaving Buemi to contemplate another year in the shadows.
Buemi is in Brazil this week for Felipe Massa's annual kart challenge, where he will take on not just one Ferrari driver, but also Fernando Alonso, former STR team-mate – and 2011 event winner – Jaime Alguersuari, Tonio Liuzzi, Kamui Kobayashi and a host of recent F1 drivers, as well Brazilian stars from other categories.