Buemi Unlikely to make ’19 F1 Race Return despite Toro Rosso Link – Horner

Sébastien Buemi - Aston Martin Red Bull Racing/Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda Reserve Driver - Marina Bay Street Circuit
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Christian Horner has poured cold water on the chances of Sébastien Buemi returning to a Formula 1 race seat in 2019, with the Swiss driver already having programmes in both FIA Formula E and the FIA World Endurance Championship next year.

Buemi has been linked with a return to the team that gave him his Formula 1 debut in 2009, Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda, but he already is part of Toyota Gazoo Racing’s line-up in the World Endurance Championship and is expected to race for Nissan in Formula E.

Red Bull are still to announce either driver for Toro Rosso, with Pierre Gasly already confirmed to switch from them to Aston Martin Red Bull Racing, while Brendon Hartley is under pressure to perform in 2018 in order to be in with a shot of staying for a second full campaign.

Horner, the team principal of Red Bull, says that whilst impressed with the work Buemi does for the team as the official test driver, he thinks the categories he is already racing in, and has been champion in both, are enough for him.

“He’s an important part of the team,” said Horner to Sky Sports F1 during the Singapore Grand Prix weekend. “A few other teams have been circling around, interested in the role he’s been doing.

“But he’s committed to the next three years with the team in the role he’s doing. He’ll be combining that with his other activities.

“I don’t think F1 racing is on his agenda. He has got his Formula E programme, he’s got his WEC programme, he does a wonderful job for us in the sim.

“I think that’s more than enough for him and he’d have to take a pretty big pay cut to come back into F1.”