Toro Rosso invites Sato and Buemi for test
2 September 2008 – The Scuderia Toro Rosso team has confirmed it will be testing Takuma Sato and Sebastien Buemi later this month. The team will see Sebastian Vettel leave the team at the end of the season and will need to find a good replacement for the German.
Toro Rosso will have Sebastien Buemi behind the wheel in Jerez on 17th September while Takuma Sato will take over a day of testing one day later.
Nineteen-year-old Buemi is well known to the team, as the Swiss driver has come through the Red Bull Junior Driver Programme and is test and reserve driver for Red Bull Racing. His is currently lying fifth in the GP2 championship and has four GP2 victories to his name.
Takuma Sato is Japan's most successful racing driver. The 31 year old has competed in 91 Grands Prix, his best result being a third place finish in the 2004 USA Grand Prix. Taku made the switch from two wheels to four, having been a successful cycle racer in his native Japan. He first made the headlines when he won the hotly contested British Formula 3 championship in 2001, before joining the Jordan F1 team the following year. Three years with BAR Honda followed that, before he joined Super Aguri in 2006. He stayed with the team until it pulled out of the sport after this year's Spanish GP.
"The time has come to try and find a suitable replacement for Vettel, who is joining Red Bull Racing next year," explained team principal Franz Tost. "The Jerez test, the last one of the season, will give us an opportunity to evaluate Buemi and Sato at the same time, as they are both possible candidates for a 2009 seat. Buemi is an obvious candidate, because not only is he already part of the Red Bull family, he is currently performing well in the GP2 series. As for Sato, he has proved worthy of a place in Formula 1 and would be a good fit with the Red Bull spirit, while his recent F1 experience would be undoubtedly valuable to our team."
"I am delighted to be given this opportunity to get back behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car, after my season was cut short following the Spanish GP," commented Sato. "It will be especially interesting working with a team that has made so much progress over the course of the year."