Sebastien Buemi is confident he can return to the Formula One grid in 2013. After being dropped by Red Bull’s driver development team Toro Rosso, the 23-year-old Swiss was signed for 2012 by the energy drink’s premier championship winning team as its official reserve.
“It’s good,” Buemi told the German language Swiss newspaper 20 Minuten.
“Red Bull is the number one team in Formula One and I have a foot in the door. This is important if I want to return to the grid next year.”
As to how his search for a 2013 race cockpit is going, Buemi insisted he has “options”.
“I can’t tell you any more before the ink is dry on a contract,” he said. “But I can say that it looks good at the moment.”
Buemi categorically ruled out switching to F1’s struggling backmarkers Marussia or HRT. Asked if he would trade his spot on the reserve bench for a seat at one of those small teams, Buemi insisted: “No, I would not.
“Of course I want to race again, but those teams are just too far away from the others. You’re not in the right race if after 15 laps you’re trying not to be in people’s way.”
Asked if that means he is in talks with a ‘serious, competitive team’ for 2013, Buemi answered clearly: “Yes.” Naturally, he would not be on the market at all if Red Bull had kept its 2012 lineup instead of opting for newcomers Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne.
Asked about that, Buemi answered: “Currently it’s not going too well for Toro Rosso, they’ve got less points than they did in 2011, but I’m not thinking about it.
“The Toro Rosso chapter is over for me and in the past.”
He said he will not be echoing his former teammate Jaime Alguersuari’s much harsher criticism in the wake of the Toro Rosso driver clean-sweep.
“I’m grateful to Red Bull,” insisted Buemi, “they’ve helped me a lot. I don’t want to talk about how it ended with Toro Rosso. It is what it is — I can’t change it.”