If there’s anything that aids a team’s quest for performance as it enters a new era of competition it’s continuity. The ability to draw upon an experienced skill set that can expertly and accurately define a way forward is a key attribute in quickening the rate of development, pace and power.
And there’s no better source of experience and continuity than our test and reserve driver Sébastien Buemi, for whom 2019 will represent a remarkable ninth year as a member of the Red Bull Racing driver roster.
A product of the Red Bull Junior Team, Sébastien’s first stint as our test driver came in 2008, a year in which he also raced in GP2, where he finished as runner-up in the Asia series. He also finished sixth overall in the main series, scoring sprint race wins in France and Hungary.
The lessons learned earned him a Formula One drive with Scuderia Toro Rosso for 2009 and at the season-opener in Australia he became the first Swiss driver to contest a grand prix since Jean-Denis Délétraz at the 1995 European Grand Prix.
Sébastien’s time at Toro Rosso came to an end at the close of the 2011 season, but with 55 grands prix under his belt and a wealth of F1 experience at his disposal, the decision to bring him to Red Bull Racing in a test and reserve capacity for 2012 was straightforward.
In the years since, Sébastien has enjoyed a hugely successful parallel career in other categories. He made his World Endurance Championship debut with Toyota at the 2012 Le Mans 24-Hour race and in 2014 he and No 8 car team-mate Anthony Davidson won the World Endurance Championship title with the Japanese marque.
Sébastien repeated the feat in 2018 with a second WEC title, again with Toyota. This time, though, he not only took the overall spoils but also landed his first Le Mans 24 Hours win alongside Nakajima and new team-mate Fernando Alonso.
Alongside his efforts in endurance racing, Sébastien has enjoyed a hugely successful career in Formula E. He finished as championship runner-up in his debut season in 2014-’15 and the following year took a memorable championship win at the final round in 2015-’16. He was again runner-up in 2016-’17 and finished fourth last season. For Season 5 of the electric series he has embarked on a new challenge, driving for the Nissan team which has taken the place of sister company Renault on the grid.
Sébastien continues to be a highly valued member of the Red Bull Racing team and he’ll once again help drive the team forward in 2019.