Sebastien Buemi has a new chief mechanic and trainer, following his lacklustre second half of the 2010 season.
Although Toro Rosso insists it is retaining both the Swiss and his teammate Jaime Alguersuari for this year, the FIA is yet to confirm that news officially.
And team owner Red Bull’s driver coordinator Helmut Marko said recently that while Alguersuari is “on the correct path”, 22-year-old Buemi “struggled” towards the end of last season.
“I make no excuses,” Buemi told the Swiss newspaper Blick. “At the most there are explanations, but this analysis stay inside the team.
“But I know why it happened and there is a lot to talk about with the mechanics and the engineers. And now I have a new chief mechanic,” he revealed.
“It’s not the solution but just one of the things I had to fix. I will also change my physiotherapist,” added Buemi.
“My current trainer, an Italian, gave me too little mental support. Formula one is not just about fitness and driving and your physio needs to do more than hold your helmet and drink bottle.”
He said his new trainer is an Austrian who formerly worked with Nick Heidfeld at BMW-Sauber, with Blick confirming it is 45-year-old Helmut Fink.
But Buemi acknowledges that some of his mistakes in 2010 were purely his own.
“Oh, yes! I disappointed my team several teams when I was not aggressive enough or distracted, and there were some accidents. But 2010 is now checked off and I know that this season I will improve in every area.”
An extra motivation will be the presence in the 2011 Toro Rosso on Friday mornings of Daniel Ricciardo, who is pushing to enter F1 with Red Bull’s backing.
“Maybe that’s right,” answered Buemi when asked if Ricciardo’s new role puts pressure on him and Spaniard Alguersuari.
“But I’m not worried that I am slower than anybody and I have enough confidence in myself.”
But he is not entirely confident he will still be on the grid in 2012.
“You can never be certain,” insisted Buemi. “But since 2005 Red Bull have been giving me so much support and I hope to be part of the family for a long time and one day race with Red Bull (Racing),” added Buemi.
© RIF | GMM