Sebastien Buemi to return to F1 cockpit at Bahrain tyre test for Red Bull
No Vettel or Ricciardo for World Champions as Swiss gets RB9 run
Last Updated: 12/12/13 2:17pm
Sebastien Buemi: Back in F1 machinery for the first time since 2011
Red Bull have followed Ferrari's lead in opting against sending their race drivers to next week's Bahrain tyre test, with the World Champions to run reserve driver Sebastien Buemi.
What has distilled into a four-team test for Pirelli's 2014 tyres at Sakhir from Tuesday following the withdrawals of McLaren and Force India has yet to have a high-profile driver confirmed as running, Ferrari on Wednesday having announced they will use development driver Pedro de la Rosa and Marussia racer and Academy member Jules Bianchi.
A Red Bull spokeswoman has now confirmed their plan to run with reserve driver Buemi across the three days at Sakhir, meaning neither four-times champion Sebastian Vettel nor, perhaps more surprisingly, new signing Daniel Ricciardo won't be appearing behind the wheel again before the start of the first 2014 test at Jerez.
At the time when they were evaluating Ricciardo over his suitability to succeed the retiring Mark Webber for next season, the team ran the Australian at the redefined Silverstone Young Driver Test.
The test will represent a front-line F1 return for Buemi two years on from the 25-year-old's last race for Red Bull junior team Toro Rosso, the Swiss having combined reserve duties at the senior team with competing in endurance racing since then.
Buemi's former team and Mercedes remain the two outfits yet to confirm their driver plans for next week, with a spokesman for the latter saying on Wednesday that they had yet to decide on who would be behind the wheel of the W04.