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Red Bull to field Vips and Buemi in Abu Dhabi test

Red Bull Racing’s line-up for next week’s young driver test in Abu Dhabi will blend the future with past, with junior driver Juri Vips driving alongside F1 veteran Sebastien Buemi.

While next Tuesday’s test is restricted to drivers who haven’t taken part in at least two Grands Prix, an exemption has been granted to Red Bull to run the 32-year-old Buemi who hasn’t raced in F1 since 2011.

“I haven’t driven the car since the Pirelli test last year in Silverstone, so the test in Abu Dhabi is very important to me,” said Red Bull’s long-standing reserve and test driver who raced for three season in F1 with Toro Rosso from 2009 to 2011.

“I spend a lot of time working in the simulator and if you get the opportunity to drive the real car it’s much better for the correlation.

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“So, I can give feedback on how the simulator behaves compared to the real car. It also gives opportunity for an extra driver to provide feedback to the Team.

“It’s a great opportunity and I’m really looking forward to it.”

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Red Bull junior Vips, who took part in eight rounds of the FIA Formula 2 Championship this year, scoring a podium at Mugello, will be making his F1 debut at Yas Marina next week.

“I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity that Aston Martin Red Bull Racing have given me to drive the RB16 at the Young Driver Test in Abu Dhabi,” said the 20-year-old who hails from Estonia.

“This will be the first time I get to drive a current Formula One car as I did my 300km in an RB8.

“There will be a lot to learn but I will make sure I prepare as much as I can and it has been good for me to be with the Team as reserve driver for the last few races.”

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