Rising Swiss star Sebastien Buemi will race for Toro Rosso in 2009, the team confirmed today.
The Red Bull backed driver impressed the team in testing at the end of last year where he outpaced fellow STR hopefuls Takuma Sato and Sebastien Bourdais.
Buemi will make his first official appearance as a Toro Rosso driver at the Portimau test at the end of the month.
“I am naturally very happy to be driving for Scuderia Toro Rosso this year,â€ he said. “Being a Formula 1 driver has always been my target, since I first started racing.
“This year, I will do all I can to bring home the best possible results and to show Red Bull that the confidence it has shown in me is justified. I want to thank Red Bull for this opportunity and for all the help they have given me in my career, dating back to 2005.â€
Team Principal, Franz Tost added: “We are delighted to welcome SÃ©bastien, who was already part of the Red Bull family, to our team.”
“Our engineers have been impressed with his speed in the car and his ability to learn and progress during the testing he has carried out for us last year. That, along with some impressive performances in GP2 was enough to convince us to give him the drive.
“His appointment also fulfils the aims of the Red Bull Junior Driver programme and meets Dietrich Mateschitz s intention to use Scuderia Toro Rosso as a showcase for young drivers the company has supported in the lower formulae.â€
Buemi’s teammate will be confirmed before the start of the season-opening grand prix in Melbourne, Australia.