Sebastien Buemi will continue in Formula One this year, despite being dropped from his full-time spot in the Toro Rosso squad.
The 23-year-old Swiss driver will join champion outfit Red Bull Racing as its test and reserve driver for the 2012 season.
Toro Rosso will enter the year with a brand-new driving line-up which boasts West Australian hope Daniel Ricciardo and Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne.
Buemi, who finished 15th in last year’s world title, will act as the reserve for double champion Sebastian Vettel and his Australian team-mate Mark Webber.
“It’s good to remain with Red Bull for another year and have this opportunity with the World Championship-winning team,” said Buemi in a Red Bull Racing statement.
“I would prefer to be driving at the races of course, but working with Red Bull Racing on the development of their car and providing them with feedback throughout the season is the next best thing.”
Team boss Christian Horner said that Buemi’s selection in the energy drink’s main squad was an obvious choice.
“It was entirely logical for Sebastien to continue with Red Bull having been a member of the Junior Team since 2004,” Horner said.
“He already knows the team well from his time with us in 2008 and has gained significant race experience over the past three years.
“He will complete important test and simulation work for us throughout the year and will be in attendance at each Grand Prix.”