Sebastian Buemi is ready to step up to the mark in 2009 after becoming Toro Rosso’s first preference to fill the void left by German sensation Sebastien Vettel.
The Swiss driver’s continued dominance of winter testing may be slightly superficial due to Toro Ross’s decision to run their 2008-specification car, but the manner in which he has seen off his vastly more experienced rivals for the lead seat – Takuma Sato and Sebastien Bourdais – has made him one to watch as he takes over the the reigns of Italian GP winner Sebastian Vettel.
In Vettel, Buemi admits he has a tough act to follow, but the 20-year-old is confident that by the end of the season he will be delivering similar results.
“For sure coming just after Vettel is a bit more pressure, but he has improved the team, so my first feeling is that I am grateful to him for this,” he tells Formula One’s official website. “And of course I will try to do my best to live up to the standards that he has set. The rules have changed a lot so it will be very different anyway.”
“We have to wait for the season start to see where we are and I will do my job in the best way I can. I don t think too much about what he did or what I should do. For sure, there will be comparisons all year long, but I can live with that.”
Buemi has also hinted that he has his eyes on a Red Bull seat should he impress in his debut year.
“For sure I would like to,” he said when asked if he wanted to be a similar position to Vettel at the end of the 2009 season, “but to achieve that you have to work very hard – and I am prepared for it. For the moment I have a lot to learn and only after the first couple of races will it become clear where we are performance wise, and if we can repeat last year s success story.”