Sébastien 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 Sébastien 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.