S?bastien Buemi has acknowledged that he is facing the biggest challenge of his motorsport career in 2009 after being signed up by Scuderia Toro Rosso to make his Formula 1 debut - but is confident that he is more than up to the task and will not let anyone down.

The 20-year-old will be the youngest driver on the grid for the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne at the end of March, and has already made history by becoming the youngest-ever race-winner in both the feeder GP2 Series and Formula 3.

He recognises, however, that no allowances will be made for his youth or inexperience when he makes his top flight bow, and well appreciates that the pressure will be on him from the word 'go', particularly given that the man whose seat he is filling - Sebastian Vettel - won a race during his first full campaign with STR in 2008 and went on to finish eighth in the final drivers' standings.

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"F1 is a whole new level," Buemi is quoted as having said by British newspaper The Sun. "It's something I've been preparing for all my life and suddenly, everything one has done up until that point seems insignificant.

"It meant I had successfully completed all the previous stages and from now on, it was up to me to show Red Bull that they made the right decision in showing this confidence in me.

"There's always a slight feeling of apprehension going into a new season of motor racing. I always feel I want to do a good job, [and] I know there will be pressure in F1, more than in the past, but that's part of the game.

"I've already been the youngest winner in GP2 and Formula 3. That was nice, but in F1 it counts for nothing; age does not matter. I can compete against 25 or 40-year-olds and that makes no difference to me. I would like to be the fastest, whatever my age."

In addition to finishing as runner-up in the 2007/08 GP2 Asia Series, the Swiss star triumphed twice in F1's ante-chamber's summer campaign en route to sixth spot in the title chase at season's end with Trust Team Arden. Moreover, he has already conducted more than 6,000 testing kilometres thanks to his role as official test driver for Red Bull Racing last year.

"Each step of the way, you need to be perfectly prepared," he explained, "so now it's up to me to make sure I'm perfectly prepared before the first grand prix in Melbourne to show what I can do. F1 is more physically demanding, but you gradually get used to all of this and everything must eventually become instinctive.

"An F1 car is faster, its overall performance is better and it is harder for a driver to take it to its limit. The hardest thing about it is that, in F1, you have to do several things at the same time - communicate with the team by radio, constantly change settings on the steering wheel, follow instructions from the team and all of this while going considerably quicker than in other formulae.

"You have to keep your feet on the ground and not get depressed if the results don't come immediately. It will be a tough season, and everyone in the team will be working hard to make progress with the car in a discipline that represents the highest form of motorsport."

The man from Aigle - supported by Red Bull for much of his fledgling career in the sport - also clearly believes that the energy drinks company's 'junior' squad is the best environment possible in which he can learn his F1 trade and earn his spurs. What's more, if progress is maintained over the winter, the small Faenza-based concern could well begin the new campaign with a strong chance of points-scoring and even podium-challenging success.

"Toro Rosso is the ideal team with which to start a career," Buemi stated, "and it was set up specifically to help young drivers get into F1. Sebastian Vettel proved that last year. The team has a lot of potential."

Buemi's 2009 team-mate at STR has still to be confirmed, with 2008 incumbent and former record-breaking Champ Car king S?bastien Bourdais and out-of-work Super Aguri refugee Takuma Sato believed to be duelling it out for the seat.