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Buemi vows to prove critics wrong

ESPNF1 Staff
January 6, 2011 « Rome earmarks date for inaugural race | »
Under pressure: Sebastian Buemi's form trailed off towards the end of the season © Sutton Images

Sebastien Buemi has vowed to turn his poor end-of-season form around in 2011 and is taking on a new engineer and trainer to ensure he gets the right support.

Buemi outqualified and outscored his team-mate Jaime Alguersuari over the course of the 2010 season, but at the final five races found himself towards the back of the grid. Toro Rosso insists it is retaining both Buemi and Alguersuari next season, although it has yet to be confirmed on the FIA's official entry list.

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko recently said that while Alguersuari is "on the correct path", Buemi "struggled" towards the end of last season.

"I make no excuses," Buemi told the Swiss newspaper Blick. "At the most there are explanations, but this analysis stays inside the team. But I know why it happened and there is a lot to talk about with the mechanics and the engineers. And now I have a new chief mechanic.

"It's not the solution but just one of the things I had to fix. I will also change my physiotherapist. My current trainer, an Italian, gave me too little mental support. Formula One is not just about fitness and driving and your physio needs to do more than hold your helmet and drink bottle."

His new trainer is Helmut Fink, an Austrian who has worked with Nick Heidfeld at BMW-Sauber in the past. But Buemi acknowledged that some of his mistakes were of his own making.

"Oh, yes! I disappointed my team several times when I was not aggressive enough or distracted, and there were some accidents. But 2010 is now checked off and I know that this season I will improve in every area."

Buemi's place is under threat from Red Bull backed Daniel Ricciardo, who has figured increasingly in testing over the last two seasons and is Toro Rosso's third driver.

When asked if he and Alguersuari are under pressure from Ricciardo, Buemi said: "Maybe that's right. But I'm not worried that I am slower than anybody and I have enough confidence in myself."

However, Buemi is not entirely confident he will still be on the grid in 2012.

"You can never be certain," he said. "But since 2005 Red Bull have been giving me so much support and I hope to be part of the family for a long time and one day race with Red Bull [Racing]."