Jaime Alguersuari stays at Toro Rosso

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Teenager Alguersuari will get a full season at Toro Rosso

Jaime Alguersuari will remain at Toro Rosso for the 2010 season, the team have confirmed.

Team principal Franz Tost said:

This season, he will again face a steep learning curve, as all the circuits in the first part of the season will be new to him. Jaime’s appointment also confirms our team’s commitment to bringing on graduates of the Red Bull Young Driver Programme.
Franz Tost

The mystery here, though, is why it took them so long to do it, having only brought Alguersuari into the team late in 2009.

Tost added:

Considering that he made his debut only halfway through 2009, at the Hungarian Grand Prix, with no prior testing, he did a good job, making steady progress throughout the second half of the year, with a mature approach considering he is still only nineteen years old.
Franz Tost

Alguersuari will remain alongside Sebastien Buemi but the length of time it took Toro Rosso to confirm him suggests they were having second thoughts.

Alguersuari is still a teenager and was the youngest driver ever to start a Grand Prix when he made his debut at the Hungaroring last year. He joins Fernando Alonso and Pedro de la Rosa as one of three Spanish drivers in F1 this year.

The news means there are only four places left un-filled for 2010: one at Renault, one at Campos Meta and both the US F1 seats.

2010 F1 drivers and teams

Image (C) Red Bull/Getty images

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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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39 comments on “Jaime Alguersuari stays at Toro Rosso”

  1. Great News.Now only 4 seats are left to fill.
    USF1 still haven’t revel their drivers,Renault & Campos Meta each have one driver to name.

    Nick is still without a race seat.

    1. Someone should tell him..
      Quick Nick!

    2. Fully agree with that.

  2. Aside from the odd rookie error you have to say that last year he was pretty solid, if a tad unremarkable. I’m glad they’ve finally announced him as it’s been on the cards for months, though I wonder what took them so long to do so…

    1. Jraybay-Hamiltonmclarenfan
      22nd January 2010, 18:55

      out of 8 races he finished 3 of them with a high of 14th that’s not solid. ” aside from the Odd rookie error ” Ha… I like toro rosso though and would like to see him and Buemi do well. We see if he is the real deal now that he has had some testing.

      1. I’d say Alguersuari’s performances were solid enough – for a 19 year old with only a single season of F3 behind him and just a demo run in a 2008-spec F1 car on his CV, anyway.

        What more did you expect from a total rookie in an STR? He wasn’t seconds off Buemi’s pace, his lap times didn’t vary wildly, he didn’t spin every five minutes, get lapped ten times a race, etc.

        For 2010 he should have more time in the car and be better prepared – if he still struggles then he’ll be out and deservedly so, but he deserves this chance.

      2. how may mechanical failures due to the team you like?

    2. another driver with a suitcase full of cash.

  3. Great news :) ’bout time they confirmed him!

    1. It’s like when you are dating a girl, and she wants to get married. You’re looking around to see if there’s anyone better, you take your time, you um and er.. then eventually, push comes to shove, all the good looking girls are taken, or not looking at you, so you go with the option you already have.

      Red Bull are such Cads :)

      1. … a rather sad statement on relationships, there, bewildered.

        1. read it in a book somewhere :)

      2. and if he doesn’t show anything special before midseason, they will drop him like a bad habit.

  4. “The mystery here, though, is why it took them so long to do it, having only brought Alguersuari into the team late in 2009. ”

    Because these are the people that knew they were going to sack a driver at the start of the season but didn’t bother to decide on a replacement. For all Red Bull’s “Young Driver” scheme, they’re pretty incompetant at managing it – same thing with the RBR reserve driver last year. Is it going to be the same guy this year? Who knows. They’re certainly not at McLaren standard when it comes to actually working out what to do with young drivers.

    A cynic would suggest the delay was a result of trying to get him to agree to a “mid season sacking” clause in his contract.

  5. Toro Rosso really mess their drivers around. Didn’t they also not confirm Scott Speed for 2007 and Sebastien Bourdais for 2009 longer than was perhaps necessary. And both drivers were sacked midway through the season. Unfortunately, I can see the same fate befalling Alguersuari

  6. Good news, drivers should be given a fair hearing I think.

    He can also afford to drive into the wrong pit this season as he’ll still have fuel obboard $:)

    1. obboard??? onboard I meant of course.

      Joke ruined.

  7. Glad he gets to have a proper crack at F1. Finally he gets confirmed!

  8. I think they were seriously considering replacing him with someone else (Don’t know who though). Even if he was assured of the seat, and he was definitely going to get it without any trouble, then he should have been announced sooner. You don’t want your drivers to feel distracted in the build up to the new season.

    If he was the only person in the frame then they should have announced it sooner, I’m sure he would have felt doubts because it wasn’t being announced publicly. It isn’t cool to let him get distracted like that in the off-season.

    He has to perform from Bahrain though otherwise he will get replaced half way through. Red Bull are ruthless like that.

  9. Not a big suprise. Toro Rosso will be a midfield/mid-pack team next term, so he’ll be expected get results in the 8th to 16th range next year.

    First few races will be a learning curve for him, but from Hungary onwards, it’ll be game on.

    Best of luck to him, he’s clearly a fast driver by looking at his (short) career stats, let’s just hope he swims =)

  10. Christopher (sennaboy3)
    22nd January 2010, 18:24

    damn. was hoping Senna would slide in that second seat & get a proper crack at scoring some points. anyway, go Toro Rosso!

    1. please explain the advantage of toro Rosso over senna’s current seat…

  11. just heard that Heidfeld going to be Mercedes Gp test driver. His manager announced it!

  12. Al-Guersuari is just a roasted chicken that will be eaten off before June 2010 :-(

    As has been said already, if he was good enough just like Buemi, then there will be no need to delay his confirmation. The young drivers drivel is just a marketing gag. STR must be regretting they did not have such rookie as Kobayashi who, without test experience, made some points in his second attempt.

    1. blah blah blah

      take into consideration the mounts?

      some people just…

  13. It’s great to hear that Torro Rosso have resigned Alguersuari to a race seat. Too many young drivers are coming into the sport and are expected to produce a Lewis Hamilton-esque season. I hope that Torro Rosso give Jaime the entire season to produce results, instead of sacking him in the middle of the season. Young drivers traditionally need a season or two to finally get to grips with Formula 1 cars. However; Torro Rosso want results immediately, and having two inexperienced drivers will not give you the best chance to do that. Note to Torro Rosso: Stop putting two inexperienced drivers in both of your race seats!

  14. Whats the new rule for testing for new drivers? I think this will determine if Jaime gets a full year of driving or not. If actually being in the race is the only way a new driver can get experience behind the wheel, then expect STR to be quick to replace Jaime to give the new driver more time to get used to the car.

  15. Prisoner Monkeys
    22nd January 2010, 23:10

    And then there were four …

    Well, if anybody is going to be under pressure this season, it’s Senor Alguersuari. Like Ferrari, I think Red Bull erred when they promoted him to race seat last year. They were really caught with their pants down: Sebastien Bourdais proved to be useless, and Brendon Hartley had pulled out of the testing to focus on other championships, and so Alguersuari was the only choice. Red Bull put him in way too soon.

    That said, he did get better as the season went on, especially in qualifying. His races were another matter entirely, though to his credit, he was only guilty of causing one of his five retirements. Italy, Singapore and Abu Dhabi were all the result of mechanical issues, and his Belgian crash was just a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. If he and Lewis Hamilton had their positions swapped, Hamilton probably would have hit him, too. That doesn’t completely exonerate him of course, but it doesn’t put him at fault, either. The only real mishap that was his and his alone was in Japan.

    That said, 2010 is going to be a difficult time. Toro Rosso might be an established team, but they’re on the same footing as Virgin, Campos, Lotus and USF1 because they’re building their own chassis for the first time. My expectations of them are not high; in fact, I wouldn’t be surpried if they finished behind the new teams come season’s end. Even when they had the same car as Red Bull, they were still fairly useless.

  16. I wish Anthony Davidson or Takuma Sato, Giancarlo Fisichella or Nick Heidfeld had got this seat :(

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      22nd January 2010, 23:34

      None of them are Red Bull drivers.

  17. It always struck me as ironic that Felipe Massa warned about such a young driver being allowed into F1, and then he got injured (albeit by accident) by the most experienced guy on the grid.

    Anyway, Jaime deserved to stay for this year, and I hope he gets a fair crack at his drive.

    1. Massa’s accident had a lot of bitter irony even eeriness about it.
      There was your point, the tragic incident with Henry Surtees and that being a freak accident followed by another case of something coming lose from the car and striking a driver on the head, everyone’s attention was on Jaime and the testing ban saying how it wasn’t just his age but lack of testing that was a danger, Massa was also one of the first drivers I think to offer condolences to the Surtees family and one of the most outspoken criticisng Jaime’s step up to the sport, Massa had been on pretty strong form and looked good for at least a podium, he generally has bad luck there (07 worst race of his career perhaps, 08 engine failure three laps from home) and every time a Mclaren wins (not a direct link but it seems when he has a bad weekend there then the silver cars do well). Not sure if he even really needed to do that lap.

      Anyway back to topic there has been some very inetresting points from fanatics and generally I think they are spot on.
      STR have been caught short with their drivers. It isn’t ideal the situation they are in and dieally when they are building their own chasis they should have someone of experience. These two do however show potential.
      Jaime has to show he can cut it by midseason or he will probably go if they can find someone to fill his cockpit. He may not have had much testing and could be a bit unnerved by this confirmation taking so long but there are going to be plenty of other rookies. If the new kids show him up then that’s it he is gone. He’s still young so he could always come back but really he has to keep his focus and keep imrpoving. I like the boy a lot and I’ve been impressed with his maturity, his feedback on the radio at his first practice was very good and that he mostly brought the car home. His only real fault was Japan but almost everyone crashed that weekend and he was still finding his feet. Buemi made a bigger error at Monaco with Piquet I felt so I think Jaime has done a nice job keeping his nose clean. The pit blunder at Abu Dhabi was hardly his fault as the pit crew for RBR look exactly the same as Toro Rosso. Hopefully it will have taught them to seperate their liveries and uniform a bit. They loook too similar for casual fans to follow.
      People say STR didn’t set the world alight but they were never ever going to be allowed to last year. The success of 08 caught RBR off guard and they did not want to be shown up by the team again. Maybe they pulled the reigns a little bit on their sister team when it came to developing the car.
      I think PM makes very good points but I think they should still be ahead or at least challenging the new teams. They had Newey’s influence on their car previously and they have had time to understand that and carry it across. The new teams immediately have to get to grips with aero but STR had a full year with these rules. The refuelling ban will still be a big issue to overcome though.

  18. “The mystery here, though, is why it took them so long to do it, having only brought Alguersuari into the team late in 2009”

    Its the Torro Rosso way, they always take their sweet time about confirming drivers, Scott Speed didn’t have a drive until about 4 minutes before 2007 qualifying.

  19. In all fairness to the lad, he was promoted too early. Even then I’ve not been overly impressed.

    I think he should drop down to F2/GP2 for a season or two and then come back. Remember there was once an Irishman who went to Jordan and then came back a few seasons later much stronger in a Toyota? Tim O’Glock I think his name was…

  20. What’s happened to Sebastian Bourdais. I did not expect him back in F1 but he seems to have sadly disappeared…

    1. He ended up in Superleague Formula where he did well but frankly, given the opposition, he should have done.

  21. Message to the Toro Rosso mechanics. Better buy yourselves some good steel toecapped boots boys, anybody remember Jaime’s stop at Abu Dhabi?

  22. I think it would have been a bit harsh if Toro Rosso let Jaime go. He was dropped in at the deep end with no opportunity to get acquainted with the car (and as Badoer and Fisi showed that isn’t exactly easy) and he did a fair job. He deserves another season at the wheel of the Toro Rosso.

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