Buemi a shoo-in for Toro Rosso drive

Sebastian Buemi is almost a dead cert to get one of the vacant Toro Rosso seats for the upcoming season, according to outgoing team boss Gerhard Berger. Speaking to Swiss newspaper Blick, Berger said that the team would do well in 2009 because “Toro Rosso will have a good and fast driver in Buemi”.

The Swiss rookie, 20, drove for Arden motorsport last year in the GP2 series and won two sprint races. It is thought that his strong F1 testing performances in recent months have strengthened his claim to the seat.

Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz, who owns both the Red Bull and Toro Rosso F1 squads, had told autosport.com back in November that Buemi was “very likely” to be one of the drivers for Toro Rosso.

It remains to be seen, however, who will partner Buemi. Last year s Toro Rosso incumbent Sebastian Bourdais is a reasonable bet because he knows the Italian team well and can bring some experience in what is likely to be a transition season for them. The other contenders are Takuma Sato, who would also bring experience and natural speed, and Bruno Senna, nephew of Ayrton Senna.