Alguersuari pins hopes on 2013 F1 return
12 March 2012 – Jaime Alguersuari is positive that he can return to racing in F1 for the 2013 season. At the end of 2011, the Barcelona driver was sacked by Toro Rosso in a highly unexpected move which resulted in both he and Sébastien Buemi being replaced. The Spaniard speaks exclusively with GPUpdate.net.
The 2011 Toro Rosso battle was a year-long squabble for what many believed could be a Red Bull Racing seat in 2013; the shock move to replace both men with Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Éric Vergne, coming shortly before Christmas, left Alguersuari with close to no options as his former team-mate accepted a reserve driver position.
Alguersuari now takes up a new role as Formula 1 commentator for BBC Radio 5 live, joining former ITV television voice James Allen.
“It’s a new period for me, a new life, and I will try to enjoy it as much as I can,” Alguersuari told GPUpdate.net at last week’s BBC media gathering.
When quizzed over the sudden Toro Rosso exit, he replied:
“I never expected that. I never expected it in the same way that I never expected to enter F1 in the way I did. So, you know…you need to learn about these things because life works like that – one day you have it, one day you don’t. You just need to look at the future, still putting a lot of effort in for yourself and your future – what you have always believed in and what you dream about, which is being World Champion. So you go for it.
“I don’t feel, when you’re 21, that you can already be an ex F1 driver. Last year, I had some options before the last race but I had to go through with what I had, because I was completely sure about staying in the same team. Once that had all happened, it was at the worse moment and in the worst situation – I couldn’t do anything.”
Unable to confirm which teams he declined F1 drives with for this year, Alguersuari went on to explain that downgrading to a junior series would be ill-advised.
“I have some plans in place for go-karts because I think they and their World Cup are the best tools to keep yourself fit for Formula 1,” he continued. “If you compete in another car series, I don’t think that is very positive because by doing that you are just drifting off F1. At the moment, I’m 21 years old with some F1 career already behind me. I have demonstrated that I can put a car in positions it should not be. I think I deserve to be there. But what you cannot do is to go to different series – you go down and just lose your level.”
As Toro Rosso enters its seventh season since taking over Minardi, Alguersuari continues to be linked to a number of rival squads – one being Mercedes, as a possible replacement for Michael Schumacher should the seven-time World Champion retire at the end of 2012.