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Buemi targets Webber's seat

ESPNF1 Staff
January 6, 2012 « Di Resta targets podium push | Doubts over Valencia future »
Sebastien Buemi wants to replace Mark Webber at Red Bull © Sutton Images

Sebastien Buemi hopes that he will be the number one candidate to take over Mark Webber's seat in the future if he can impress as Red Bull test driver.

Buemi was named as test and reserve driver for Red Bull this week after being dropped by sister team Toro Rosso. Although admitting that there was no certainty beyond the end of 2012 he told Le Matin that he hoped working closely with the team would give him the best chance of replacing Webber in the future.

"The contract I've signed covers just one year," Buemi said "After that I have not been promised anything so we'll see. Actually I think it's better to be the third driver in the best team than to race at the bottom of the grid. Since December I was in contact with other teams as I had opportunities elsewhere. But ultimately the best solution was to stay with Red Bull.

"Now it's up to me to do my best in the simulator to prove to them that I am qualified in case Mark Webber's contract is not renewed for 2013."

With the replacement of both Toro Rosso drivers coming as a surprise to onlookers, Buemi admitted it was an unexpected development for him as well.

"Obviously I was surprised and was not expecting the (Toro Rosso) decision at all. But the Red Bull people immediately offered me the job as third driver and I thought about it before agreeing. Being close to them will be the best way to get a spot on their team one day in the future."

With only one in-season test this season, Buemi also said that he would like to "find a complementary programme" to help him stay race sharp.

"Ideally I would couple F1 with a different one, such as endurance - I like the Le Mans 24 a lot. There is no grand prix on that (Le Mans) weekend, so it would be possible. The big teams will start their testing soon, so I could participate as well. I will probably be able to announce the details of what I will be doing in 2012 fairly soon."