Buemi lands Red Bull reserve role

    Swiss driver Sebastien Buemi made his Formula One debut with Toro Rosso in 2009.

    Story highlights

    • Swiss driver Sebastien Buemi will serve as Red Bull's reserve and test driver in 2012
    • The 23-year-old had raced for Red Bull's sister team Toro Rosso since 2009
    • Buemi will act as back up for two-time champion Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber
    Formula One's all-conquering Red Bull team announced on Thursday that Swiss Sebastien Buemi will serve as their reserve and test driver for the 2012 season.
    Buemi will provide back-up for Red Bull's current pairing of double world champion Sebastian Vettel and Australian Mark Webber.
    The 23-year-old spent three years with Red Bull's sister team Toro Rosso, but was dropped by the Italy-based outfit ahead of the forthcoming campaign.
    "It's good to remain with Red Bull for another year and have this opportunity with the world championship-winning team," Buemi told the sport's official website.
    "I would prefer to be driving at the races of course, but working with Red Bull on the development of their car and providing them with feedback throughout the season is the next best thing."
    Buemi finished 15th in the drivers' standings last season with 15 points, 11 points adrift of his Spanish teammate Jaime Alguersuari.
    His best finishes in 2011 came at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix and in Hungary, where he finished eighth on both occasions.
    The 2012 Formula One season will begin with the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 18.
    Meanwhile, Frenchman Cyril Despres won Thursday's fifth motorcycle stage of the Dakar Rally, ahead of Spanish rival Marc Coma, to consolidate his overall lead.
    Despres won the 184km stage to Fiambala in Argentina by one minute 41 seconds from Coma and now has a 9:51 lead over his fellow-KTM rider.
    In the car section, Qatar's defending champion Nasser al-Attiyah lost more than 20 minutes after his Hummer overheated, with Mini driver Krzysztof Holowczyc of Poland winning the stage.
    Holowczyc finished just over a minute ahead of American Remy Gordon with overall leader Stephane Peterhansel back in third.
    The result means Peterhansel now leads Holowczyc by 4:18 in the standings while al-Attiyah has dropped to eighth place overall, over 50 minutes down on the leader.