Jaime Alguersuari confirmed at Toro Rosso

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Jaime Alguersuari has been officially announced as Sebastien Bourdais’ replacement at Toro Rosso.

As discussed here last week, Alguersuari will become the youngest F1 driver ever, beating the record set by Mike Thackwell in 1980.

Alguersuari and team mate Sebastien Buemi will form the youngest ever pair of team mates in Formula 1.

Alguersuari had recently taken fellow Red Bull junior driver Brendon Hartley’s place as Red Bull’s third driver. It has not yet been anounced whether Hartley or another driver will take his place.

Toro Rosso press release:

Scuderia Toro Rosso is pleased to announce that, as from this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix, Jaime Alguersuari will drive for the team, alongside Sebastien Buemi. The 19 year old Spaniard will thus become the youngest ever driver to take part in a Grand Prix weekend.

Jaime Alguersuari: "I would like to thank Red Bull for giving me this great opportunity to race in Formula 1. 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 1 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."

Franz Tost: "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 1 environment."

Jaime Alguersuari

Date of Birth: March 23, 1990
Place of birth: Barcelona (Spain)
Height: 181cm
Weight: 65 kg

118 races
17 wins
36 podiums
17 pole positions
8 fastest laps

More on Jaime Alguersuari

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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26 comments on “Jaime Alguersuari confirmed at Toro Rosso”

  1. I’m willing to bet he finishes within the top 15 this weekend. Call it a ‘hunch’ more than anything :-)

    1. Aaron Shearer
      20th July 2009, 12:01

      I got to agree with you, I think he’ll finish in the top 15. Well it seems like he will anyway. The STR4 with the new upgrades and driver, we’ll just have to wait and see until this weekend.

      I wonder if he will outclass Buemi, Just like Buemi did to Bourdais :P

  2. I wonder how much of STR’s decision to drop Bourdais in favour of Alguersuari has to do with RBR’s re-allocation of budgets in their WDC fight, and Alguersuari’s alleged $ 1 million per race from Repsol.

    Off topic: I also wonder whether Pedro de la Rosa might indeed end up at Campos with Repsol money, as he did at Arrows some years ago.

    1. StrFerrari4Ever
      20th July 2009, 16:56

      $1Million a race wow thats the first time i’ve heard about that I knew Repsol were giving him big bucks but didn’t know it was that much! Would be awesome seeing the Repsol logo on the STR if they can inco-operate it into their livery.

      1. The more Toro Rosso can look a bit different to the Red Bulls the better

        1. StrFerrari4Ever
          20th July 2009, 23:57

          Amen! this year’s livery has failed to grow on me because of the huge similarity to RBR

  3. Aaron Shearer
    20th July 2009, 12:19

    I forgot to add in my previous post that, I think they’ll just put Coulthard down as the reserve driver. He has the necessary experience with the cars so I see no reason why not. He’s been it before for the first few races.

    Hartley has been and gone so I don’t think they’ll be taking him back unless they just got rid of him to make way for Alguersuari?

  4. Trevor Carlin has suggested that Alguersuari will be looking to continue running in Formula Renault 3.5 this season, with the last two races being in September and October – between F1 races.

    Not the most sensible of ideas that surely? Now he’s reached F1 he should concentrate 100% on that and that alone?!!

    1. I know it’s not like he’s winning the championship in 3.5 or anything. He’s at the top of motorsport now so concentrate on that surely :S

  5. I bet Hartley is a bit miffed.

    1. That’s just what I was thinking.

      I’m wondering if Hartley hadn’t given up his position, he would have had the seat.

      I don’t think Red Bull/Toro Rosso picked Alguersuari purely because of his test role though.

  6. A sceptical view maybe, but here is an interesting turn of events…

    1. STR need cash as funds are being diverted to RBR.
    2. Alguersuari has funding available from Repsol.
    3. Hartley is moved aside to make way for Alguersuari in Reserve.
    4. Bourdais is pushed out to make way for Alguersuari in the race seat.

    All happened in the last 3 weeks.. awfully short time period for any of it to be coincidental.

    1. Nicely tied together. I can easily imagine that meeting at STR.

  7. His father is the owner of a large publishing group – they have different magazines of motorcycles, etc.
    They first started out with a magazine called SOLO MOTO.
    His family is well known in the motor world in Spain.

  8. What??!! how can this be??? a toro rosso driver NOT named sebastian/ien???!!!!

  9. holy flip, he shares my birthday to the day and year. wow. i couldnt imagine myself in such a situation in the slightest. way too young (for me). good on him.

  10. StrFerrari4Ever
    20th July 2009, 17:05

    Seems like there’s more to this guy just joining STR from reserve role didn’t know about the massive funds behind him and his family’s success in Spain this could be a jackpot for Toro Rosso as they desperately need money lets hope all goes well for Jamie & STR. Out on the track I hope he delivers seeing two rookies going at it and pushing for all their worth will be brilliant and will give us an indication whether they’ll be future stars or whether they will end up at the bottom. I’m going to say Buemi will have the edge this weekend and I can see Buemi getting points & Alguesuari in the top 12 or if his lucky top 10 or if he drives like a man possessed possibly in the points. I just want Toro Rosso to maximize the brilliant upgrade and get the most they can before they get sucked back to the rear(which i hope doesn’t happen). Also bear in mind it was at this stage last season that STR started their second half charge like at Valencia Vettel could’ve got pole but made a mistake on his final lap so I’m optimistic that this is a turning point and that positive things will come from the rest of the season. :)

  11. The lack of testing must really be frightening him – he’s being given a once in a lifetime opportunity with almost no practice to back it up – and no real practice outside the pressure of a race weekend at all moving forward. If he doesn’t quite measure up, he’ll always be left wondering if he’d have been smarter to wait a while and get more miles under his belt before entering F1.

    We can draw comparisons to Raikkonen and others who came in with limited experience, but they at least knew the team would strap them in a car and let them run hundreds of miles of tests. Even in a minnows team. Not so with the new breed of rookies – got to admire their courage.

  12. I think Jaime could finish in the top 15, unless he parks it in the gravel, or another car.

  13. Another Champ Car import fails to make it in F1. Why? It’s not in the blood or DNA. It’s our outdated, built in the ’60’s roadcourses. Too short, too narrow, and unsafe. How do you go from tracks like Portland “International Raceway” and expect to know how the proper, fast line at Malaysia runs. Our beloved “Road America” had Legge wipeout at a turn similar to the old Tamborello and luckily walks away. Why invest in a Tilke track when we have NASCAR? Villeneuve and Montoya raced in F3 and 3000 at least before going F1.

  14. Wait. Didn’t Bourdais do F3 & 3000 too? Oh well.

    1. Williams 4ever
      21st July 2009, 2:24

      Because the Europeans didn’t let him play he decided to pick up contamination from Champ Cars. So when he was back across the Atlantic, they decided to quarantine him in STR Sanatorium. Now that Sanatorium has got more richer patient, they evicted him out of his room for the richer patient :D

  15. I haven’t been following Jaime’s progress to date so I genuinely don’t know the answer, but has he ever been around a corner, at speed, in an F1 car or will Friday practice be his first time?

  16. I just hope he’s not a rolling roadblock !.
    I wonder how safe allowing a driver with no real testing will be in a season where everyone else is at a different level especially with the untimely reminder that motorsport can be fatal even in a time where safety is at its best.

  17. Well from Minardi to Torro Rosso and now back to Minardi. :-)
    They will need any cash they can get. But what they don’t need is deceit. If They really wanted a driver that could perform, there are the Davidsons and Satos with experience and speed. Obviously performance wasn’t a criteria in the new recruitment.

  18. It´s funny how Tost contradicts himself when he makes a balance of the first half of the season. He says that because the car lacked on development parts, and now they are bringing the updated parts to hungary, plus the driver who still was the last one to collect points in Monaco, where among the reasons why STR did not much his expectations.

    Now with an unexperienced driver (not considering his talents which we do not know by now), how can he gain more points if he will be in the learning mode this whole end of season?

    If common sense prevails, it´s logical to use your powerhouse prooven with your new technological package in order to secure points until the end of the season

    It is clear that dropping Bourdais was a financial reason. I Think that Red Bull is investing all the money from STR to secure the championship. I think being this the scenario could make sense the change.

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