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Jaime Alguersuari Confirmed At Scuderia Toro Rosso

Jaime Alguersuari Confirmed At Scuderia Toro Rosso

Spanish driver Jaime Alguersuari has been confirmed as a Scuderia Toro Rosso pilot for this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix. Should Jaime compete in the race on Sunday as planned, he will become Formula One’s youngest ever competitor, breaking the current record set by Mike Thackwell back in 1980. Obviously Alguersuari is delighted to be offered the promotion, and it was also confirmed that Jaime will continue competing in the Formula Renault 3.5 championship.

Many, many years ago, Formula One pilots would often compete in two championships throughout the course of the year, with many racing in the Tasman series over the European winter, or occasionally cropping up in the former Formula Two series. However, as demands on Formula One drivers grew, so the decline in dovetailing championships began. With a ban on in-season testing though, Jaime probably does have the time to compete in both series, and although hard work it will be, Alguersuari is determined to finish off the year with Carlin Motorsport in the World Series by Renault.

I would like to thank Red Bull for giving me this great opportunity to race in Formula One. Ever since I started racing this has been my dream and thanks to the Red Bull Junior Programme I will now realise my ambition of lining up on a Grand Prix grid.

I am aware that I’m facing a very tough challenge, because coming into Formula 1 is never easy, coming into Formula One in the middle of a season is even harder and doing so without any testing is really difficult. But already I feel that I am getting great support from the team, who have quite a reputation for looking after rookie drivers. Jaime Alguersuari.

Red Bull’s stated aim for Scuderia Toro Rosso is that, when possible, it should be used to provide a seat for products of its Young Driver Programme. We therefore chose Alguersuari as the most mature driver currently in the programme.

I am well aware that over the next few months the team and Jaime will face a major challenge, especially because of the testing ban. But Red Bull is always ready for a new challenge.

I do not expect anything from him for at least his first three races, during which he has to get used to the car, the team and to the Formula One environment. Franz Tost.

Trevor Carlin was very proud of the young Spaniard, praising his maturity and talent, and also pointing out that the World Series by Renault has given Scuderia Toro Rosso two drivers in recent times, Sebastian Vettel being the other.

We’re very proud to see another one of our Red Bull drivers make the step up to Formula One, and Jaime is following in the footsteps of Sebastian Vettel, who also made the transition from our World Series team to a race seat at Toro Rosso.

It will be a tough learning curve for Jaime this year, but he is mature enough to learn quickly and make the most of this great opportunity. Jaime intends to continue racing with us in World Series this year, but obviously his F1 commitments will take priority. Trevor Carlin.

Jaime will indeed have a very steep leaning curve, and with a ban on in-season testing his job will be made that much harder. The only time Alguersuari will able to drive the STR4 is on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of race weekends. Also on the agenda will be learning some of the circuits, although many drivers have stated in the past that it only takes a few laps to understand a new track; Damon Hill once stated nine laps was all that was needed.

This is also the first time in a while that a team has made an in-season change of driver, Scuderia Toro Rosso having given popular French driver Sebastien Bourdais his marching orders last week. The last time a team made a mid-season change was back in 2007, when Alex Wurz retired just prior to the final race of the year, and Kazuki Nakajima was given a slightly early promotion before racing for the team full time in 2008.

Also in that season, Scuderia Toro Rosso waved goodbye to Scott Speed amid accusations of assault or threatening behaviour. Spyker ditched Christijan Albers over a problem with a sponsor’s payment and replaced the Dutch pilot with Sakon Yamamoto, and Sebastian Vettel subbed for an injured Robert Kubica in the US grand prix.

Oliver White

18 comments

  • Well there’s a surprise we didn’t see coming 😀

    He must be absolutely bricking it at the moment. An opportunity like this is unlikely to come again and he’ll need to try and justify by the end of the season his appointment in the team.

    I have a hunch that he’ll do better than expected, especially now that STR will have the range of updates that Red Bull brought along for Silverstone last month.

  • He must be absolutely bricking it at the moment.

    I just saw the video you linked to on Twitter and Jaime doesn’t strike me as the type to be “bricking it”. He looks the type who takes things in his stride, be that good or bad for his career. As you said: Dude!

    I have a hunch that he’ll do better than expected, especially now that STR will have the range of updates that Red Bull brought along for Silverstone last month.

    I have the similar hunch. Everything seemed to suggest STR went down the wrong path when they signed Buemi. Very little experience n’all. But hey, credit where it’s due, he hasn’t done too bad so far. Granted, mistakes a’plenty, but for a maiden season, Swiss-Seb is doing okay. Applying that logic to their newest recruit and adding in the car upgrades, Alguersuari should be okay.

  • I have the similar hunch. Everything seemed to suggest STR went down the wrong path when they signed Buemi. Very little experience n’all. But hey, credit where it’s due, he hasn’t done too bad so far. Granted, mistakes a’plenty, but for a maiden season, Swiss-Seb is doing okay. Applying that logic to their newest recruit and adding in the car upgrades, Alguersuari should be okay.

    I still maintain that Brendon Hartley is the one to watch from the Red Bull Junior Programme though. His maturity following Alguersuari’s appointment is good to see and the (typical) path he wishes to follow to F1 is a wise choice.

    For me he is quicker than Alguersuari, but he isn’t as consistent and that’s his only downfall at the moment (apart from the dire need for a good haircut). Formula 3.5 and F3 Euroseries haven’t been a resounding success for him this year, but I can see him in GP2 in either 2010 or 2011 and making his F1 debut in the not too distant future.

  • For me he is quicker than Alguersuari, but he isn’t as consistent and that’s his only downfall at the moment (apart from the dire need for a good haircut).

    Thing is, I quite like the newbie drivers who go against the typical slick-haired Graham Hill/Jim Clark approach and let it all ‘hang loose’, or whatever the kids are saying these days.

    Okay, Villeneuve got it horribly wrong – baggy overalls and bleached hair – dude. But Hartley with long hair, so what. Heidfeld and Loeb with beards (that mean the camera operators shouldn’t do any close-up shots in Loeb’s case and spark another FIA controversy), bring it on!

    And I heard on Sidepodcast last night (but may have misunderstood the point) that Alguersuari wears eye liner. And looking at the picture I associated with this post, I’m not sure. Very dark lashes, or eye liner? Either way, I couldn’t care less. Anything to get up the FIA’s nose is fine by me.

    (Can anyone tell I won’t let the FIA forget about that whole story with Loeb…!?) 😀

  • And I heard on Sidepodcast last night (but may have misunderstood the point) that Alguersuari wears eye liner. And looking at the picture I associated with this post, I’m not sure. Very dark lashes, or eye liner? Either way, I couldn’t care less. Anything to get up the FIA’s nose is fine by me.

    He doesn’t wear eye liner, just has dark eye lashes.

    Blimey, have I staggered into Marie Claire online by mistake? 🙂

  • He doesn’t wear eye liner, just has dark eye lashes.

    Blimey, have I staggered into Marie Claire online by mistake?

    Admittedly, I did believe a joke Sidepodcast’s Christine once made (or joined in on) that ended up with me thinking Franck Montagny was gay. For about 12 months. I was finally told that it was just a comment on him owning a hair salon, or something. Yeah, don’t listen to me and what I believe I hear on other sites. 🙂

  • It will be interesting to see how Jaime goes in F1, especially given that I hadn’t heard of him at the start of the year. He’s gone up the junior formulae largely by stealth.

    And if he’s good enough, he can look however he pleases…

  • It will be interesting to see how Jaime goes in F1, especially given that I hadn’t heard of him at the start of the year. He’s gone up the junior formulae largely by stealth.

    Yeah, he became the youngest person ever to win the British F3 category – subtle as an air-raid that 😀

  • Barring the is he isnt he wearing eye`stuff`. He has the look of a racer. The thousand yard stare as my late Dad said.

  • The thousand yard stare as my late Dad said.

    That is a great description of a racing driver’s stare. I shall remember that one. Thanks to your Dad and to you for sharing.

  • My Father told me a story were he is tripping out of he`s nut while riding on the back of a motacycle riden by james, then they went back to my mums,tripping big time. Mum wasn`t happy , buy hell it was the sixties.Mum still remembers it but doesn`t like to talk about it.

  • What the kids are wearing these days….blimey Oliver, you can’t be THAT old!!

    Anyway, I wish Jamie all the best, but I am quite sorry to see Seb leave. I still wonder if his car haden’t stalled on the start line at Monza last year, if we’d even be in this situation at all. He’s still a darned good racer in my book, and here’s hoping he lands somewhere face up.

    As for the other Red Bull drivers, I would have thought that Robert Wickens would have gotten a shot before Jame, but you guys are more closley connected to the junior ranks on the other side of the pond than I am.

  • Sorry…it was “saying” these days. Still, same concept…

    I must admit that, coming into F1 at the start of the 2008 season, I thought I would see several drivers being sacked over the season. Happy to see it was the opposite, as most of the current drivers appear to be good guys. Still looks like we’re in different territory now, as speedtv.com is resporting over here that Piquet is done with Renault after this race:

    http://formula-one.speedtv.com/article/f1-piquet-gone-after-hungary-race/

  • As for the other Red Bull drivers, I would have thought that Robert Wickens would have gotten a shot before Jame, but you guys are more closley connected to the junior ranks on the other side of the pond than I am.

    Jaime has been far more successful in the lower formulae than Wickens and is probably the best of the lot in the Red Bull Junior Programme, followed closely by Brendon Hartley.

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