S?bastien Buemi has set out his stall for a Formula 1 seat with Scuderia Toro Rosso in 2009 - impressing in testing and arguing that not only is he young and quick, but that he can learn even more quickly.

The GP2 Series front-runner - who finished sixth in this year's F1 feeder category for Trust Team Arden, with a brace of victories along the way at Magny-Cours and the Hungaroring - dovetailed his racing with testing duties for Red Bull Racing this year, but having tried out for the Red Bull 'junior' outfit in Barcelona this week alongside 2008 incumbent and namesake S?bastien Bourdais and out-of-work Super Aguri refugee Takuma Sato, he is confident he is ready to make the step-up full time.

Though the trio ultimately proved to be evenly-matched around the Circuit de Catalunya - separated by just over three tenths of a second in Bourdais' favour at the close, with more than 700 laps having been completed between them - and despite there being just two berths available, Buemi is confident that he possesses the necessary qualities to clinch the deal, and with it become the first of his countrymen to reach the pinnacle of international motorsport since Andrea Chiesa 16 years ago.

"I am doing my best, trying to be as fast as possible and working as closely as possible with the team," the 20-year-old told the official Formula 1 website. "I know how important this test was for my future, but the trick was not to think too much about it, because in the end, whether you do think about it or not, it doesn't change anything. I prefer to keep my head clear and just give my best performance.

"I am young and I learn quickly. I think that all teams now try to have an experienced driver and a young driver, as you see for example at Renault. The immediate past has shown that the young guys don't need too long to deliver results.

"It's not like in the past, when there was the thinking that if you want results you'd better take someone with experience. Lately, young drivers have shown that they can deliver almost straightaway. The team will analyse everything before they make a decision - then we'll see.

"All I know is that I need to be fast. [Gerhard Berger - STR co-owner] wants the best combination possible for his team, which is completely normal, and I need to show him that I deserve the place. I need to be fast.

"I need to be focused, I need to do anything to suggest that I would deliver good results - I need to demonstrate to him how much I want that seat. And boy, I really want it!"

That much is evident, as Buemi - who perhaps crucially has the backing of Red Bull mentor Helmut Marko - is bidding to follow in the wheeltracks of Sebastian Vettel in completing his rookie campaign of competition in the top flight with the small Faenza-based squad...and perhaps, who knows, maybe even pulling off the odd giant-killing feat along the way like the German did at Monza.

"That certainly doesn't go against me," he admitted of Vettel's astounding success in 2008. "I'm trying to do a good job and now I hope I can reproduce what he did this season. It would be difficult, of course - he had an amazing season and it will be up to me to do everything I can to fill his shoes.

"Should the decision be made in my favour, I would move to Italy to be as close as possible to the team - and work with them as hard as I can. I also [want to] try to learn as much as possible from [Vettel], as we are all part of the Red Bull family."

Joking that it is 'just a unique coincidence' that he, Bourdais and Vettel all share the same Christian name, Buemi admitted that he does not know when a decision will be made regarding STR's 2009 line-up - but, unlike his fellow two contenders for the drive, he does at least have a contingency plan in place should the verdict not go his way.

His uncle Humbert, also a member of his management team, has long contended that the man from Aigle is as good as a shoe-in at the team next year - something Buemi has persistently denied.

"I don't know how long it will take," he confessed. "It's a difficult situation but I'm trying to only really think about this test and not about what might happen, as in the end it is just a matter of doing a good job.

"There hasn't been a Swiss driver in Formula 1 for so long that it would be fantastic, but honestly, there is no extra motivation necessary, as I am 120 per cent focused on landing an F1 seat!

"If I have to do another season in GP2 then I will do it - if that is what it takes to be in Formula 1. I will do everything that I can do."

Comments

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register to add your comment