Jaime Alguersuari, Toro Rosso, Interlagos, 2011

Alguersuari turns down drive with HRT

F1 Fanatic round-up

Posted on

| Written by

In today?s round-up: Jaime Alguersuari has rejected a seat with HRT for 2012, instead hoping to be third driver at one of the big teams.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Alguersuari ‘says no’ to HRT (Sky Sports F1)

??Jaime Alguersuari has reportedly turned down an offer to drive for HRT this year, saying it would be a backward step.??

Red Bull’s Helmut Marko says ousted Toro Rosso duo Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari had enough chances to prove their worth in Formula 1 (Autosport)

“Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko says Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari were given enough time to demonstrate whether they were potential grand prix winners, and lost their Toro Rosso seats because they failed to do so.??

Button has built strong team around him, says Hamilton (ESPN F1)

Lewis Hamilton says that team-mate Jenson Button was able to perform so well last season because of his relationship with his technical team.”

Human rights group urge Formula One teams to boycott Bahrain GP (The Guardian)

“Human rights groups have urged Formula 1 teams to consider boycotting the Bahrain Grand Prix in April, amid continued political unrest in the Gulf kingdom.”

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

There?s been lots of comments about Sebastien Buemi potentially taking Mark Webber’s seat in 2013. Prisoner Monkeys says:

Helmut Marko might like the idea of Vettel winning everything, and he might lobby for a driver who will not threaten Vettel, but Red Bull is a constructor, which means they are fighting for the constructors? championship. When their main rivals are taking the two best drivers available to them, Red Bull will have to do the same.

Sebastian Vettel isn?t so good that he can single-handedly win the constructors? championship. If the team make the mistake of thinking he can, there is a real chance that they will finish behind Mercedes in the constructors? standings simply because McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes will get results through consistency. Red Bull need a strong second driver, and they will take the strongest available, regardless of what Helmut Marko thinks.
Prisoner Monkeys

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Del Boy and Romulo Shortback!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Jody Scheckter scored a remarkable win in the first race of the 1977 season. He won for Wolf in the team’s first race, a feat only matched by Brawn in 2009.

Carlos Pace was second for Brabham ahead of Carlos Reutemann, who was driving at home for Ferrari.

Posted on Categories F1 Fanatic round-upTags

Promoted content from around the web | Become a RaceFans Supporter to hide this ad and others

  • 118 comments on “Alguersuari turns down drive with HRT”

    1. Poor HRT. Now even drivers without seat doesn’t want to drive for them.

      1. In light of the recent changes at HRT (creating an all-spanish community), this could prove to be a mistake by Alguersuari. I can’t believe he’d turn down a race seat unless he has something already in the pipeline elsewhere, although I guess they were probably offerering peanuts money wise.

        1. I was thinking that. HRT will likely remain at or near the back, but the team looks to be making the right steps. Unless it fails to get the car ready in time again, I think it has passed being a joke team. I hadn’t even considered how much he would likely find himself at home there.

        2. In light of the recent changes at HRT (creating an all-spanish community), this could prove to be a mistake by Alguersuari.

          A “Spanish All-Stars” vibe isn’t going to be much of a substitute for speed. I think HRT want it to make the team more attractive to sponsors and to consolidate the internal structure (until Thesan came along, it was an absolute mess), but Luis Perez-Sala has said they expect to take a step backwards at the start of 2012. I think they’re both expecting and content to finish twelfth in the WCC this year while they get all their ducks lined up in a row.

        3. There’s also the possibility that he’d rather drive for a highly rated team in another series instead of the bottom of the barrel in F1.

        4. I reckon he must have a reserve driver’s role somewhere like Mercedes or Force India.

          1. Part of me wonders if he could wind up at Williams. They have said that they are negotiating with a major telecom company for title sponsorship. Some people think this is a sign that Williams will take Bruno Senna, while others believe they are going for Qtel, which won’t really line up with any driver.

            Frank Williams said that he wanted to have his driver line-up settled by Christmas. But that was when they were talking with Kimi Raikkonen, and with Raikkonen going to Lotus, that timetable was probably thrown into disarray. Two weeks later, Alguersuari and Buemi became available. Alguersuari was apparently offered the Red Bull reserve seat first, but turned it down. Now he’s turned down a ride with HRT. I know he said that HRT would be a step backwards, so Williams probably isn’t much better in the eyes of many, but they’re likely to make more progress in 2012 than HRT, and they probably have a long-term plan in mind.

            I admit, this one is a bit of a stretch and relies on some precise timing, but it could possibly work out:
            1) Frank Williams wants his drivers decided by Christmas.
            2) Kimi Raikkonen joins Lotus, disrupting Williams’ plans.
            3) With no clear options, Williams decides to wait before rushing to a decision on the second driver.
            4) Alguersuari and Buemi are dropped by Red Bull.
            5) The AT&T-Williams contract expires.
            6) A Spanish telecom company like Telefonicia, Movistar or Canal+ sees an opportunity.
            7) They are willing to sponsor Williams if Williams take Jaime Alguersuari.

            And everyone’s happy.

            1. I think Sutil won’t be happy.

            2. Canal+ is French.

            3. I was just going by Wikipedia, which listed Canal+ as a Spanish telecom company.

            4. Goes to show wikipedia can be wrong (Canal+ page rightly cites them as French though)

            5. If you look under sister channels:

              “Canal+ Spain, launched in 1990 by Sogecable as an analogue pay channel, similar to the French version. Now part of the Digital+ alliance.”

              and then if you follow the link and even change to French you can see that it is down as a Spanish channel: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canal%2B_1

            6. YEt again, that is Canal +1 (the one is important, but I confess, I didn’t know about canal +1)

        5. Hm, not too sure about those changes @john-h, they do not have a factory (not sure its even defenitive where they will have it), no facilities so far and it remains to be seen how they will go about replacing the 60% of team staff that were supplied by Kolles.

          But I would think Alguersuari is in a relatively good position to land a 3rd driver role somewhere, otherwise why come out and say this (maybe for his sponsors?).

      2. Well, who would drive for HRT if its not the first step up into F1 or the last straw to stay in it. Alguersuari in my opinion is neither, he has 2 1/3 seasons of experience and he is still so young that his career can continue elswhere. But I might be wrong, I mean, when reading what Marko says I feel like I completely misjudged the ToroRosso cars. He is the insider so he must have the data that shows the cars were good cars driven poorly. I always thought Jaimes season went really well from Canada onwards. In a series where the first 8 of the points scoring positions should be locked out by the biggest 4 teams and in the first third of the season the last 2 positions by Renault, then after that 3 teams fighting for the remaining points, scoring 26 points was a really good result. But now I see I was wrong.
        Anyway, I’m sure there is a place for him in motorsports somewhere and I sure wouldn’t mind seeing him again in F1.

        1. bananarama, I wouldnt believe a thing that comes from herr markos mouth

      3. well, it is a step backwards. Heikki Kovalainen and Timo Glock might say the opposite, but going to Lotus or Virgin is a step backwards, as both were quite young and had a promising future ahead (ok, maybe not Kova, as his seasons with McLaren weren’t that good).

        It might be OK for Liuzzi or Trulli, as both are quite done with F1, but for someone like Alguersuari, going to HRT would be the worst thing on earth.

        1. The fact that no midfield team has picked up Glock is a mystery to me, but it does highlight your point rather well.

          Even if Alguersuari does well it will probably lead nowhere, but being a reserve driver isn’t necessarily much better either but he does have age on his side.

          1. The fact that no midfield team has picked up Glock is a mystery to me

            Because they can’t pick him up. He’s under contract with Virgin, but apparently the only way he can be released from it is if one of the top four teams offers him a seat.The midfielders can’t get him, most likely because Virgin figured they could compete there after a year or three. Hopefully the MR01 chassis will be a step up from the MVR-02.

            1. Well yes, I meant before he signed the new contract. I’m guessing if something else was on the table he would have gone for it.

              But indeed, let’s hope the MR01 is half decent now they have gone off their wind tunnel diet.

    2. I’d hate to see Alguesuari struggling at the back of the pack with HRT for next season. I think he made the right choice opting for a reserve role, he’s still so young he can enhance his developmental skills within a team without the pressure of having to race well, which I hope enables him to come back to seat in 2013 with a clear mind and more determination.

      Don’t know about Buemi, surely does seem Red Bull have offered him a test drive in their car as ‘reward’ for his service but can’t see him at Red Bull in 2013 or onwards.

      1. I disagree. Youg drivers in slow cars can be noticed if they perform well, whereas the test driver is virtually unknown due to the severe lack of testing. I believe Alguersuari has made a mistake, as he will disppear off the radar as a test driver.

        Having said that, he could get a really good drive in something like Le Mans or DTM, where his obvious ability wouldn’t be entirely wasted, and that would at least keep him in the picture.

        1. Yes young drivers in slower cars do get noticed. Look at a certain Fernando Alonso. He drove for Minardi!

          1. But he did not go back to Minardi after driving say a Jordan or Sauber (not to mention Jaime also drove for Minardi already, of sorts – STR having orinated as Minardi!).

    3. He’d better be pretty sure he gets in at Williams then. Because it seems to me that not being on the grid at all is more of a backwards step than driving for HRT.

      1. You’re assuming he wants a race seat in 2012. But the appeal in a third driver role is that it gets you involved with the team. You get much more time working with the engineers, getting to know everyone. If you get a race seat the following year, you already have all your relationships in place, so you can hit the ground running. And with Alguersuari’s reputation for giving very succint feedback, he’s going to be a real prize for any team that takes him on.

        I think Alguersuari is going to roll the dice and try and land at Mercedes. They could really use him, and I can’t see Michael Schumacher staying around forever. With Luca di Montezemolo naming Nico Rosberg as a driver Ferrari are interested in, Mercedes could hypothetically need an entirely new line-up in 2013. I could see Jaime Alguersuari and Paul di Resta joining the team – they’d make for a very promising line-up.

        1. Mercedes does sound like a good move, so long as Sutil doesn’t end up there which is probably more likely.

          1. I don’t think Sutil will go to Mercedes. I don’t see anything in support of it, other than his nationality.

            1. Some may think, and I include myself here, he is simply a better driver than Alguersuari and therefore a better potential Schumi replacement regardless of nationality (which may also be in his favour).

            2. But there has been nothing to suggest that Mercedes are considering Sutil.

    4. Completely agree with @prisoner-monkeys this time. Especially if Vettel gets injured, they’d be in the same position Ferrari were in 1999, and to a degree Lotus (Renault) last year. Where a 2nd driver, who is not capable of driving a team to high things, has to lead the team, and it could only go backwards, and it did, and a reserve driver comes along and can only pick up minor points and the odd podium, not the signs of a championship winning team.

      Take a look at Williams in 2009, Rosberg scored all 34.5 points but the team could only manage 7th out of 10. Rosberg finished 7th out of 25 and his teammate the only driver to complete a full season without scoring a single point.

      There’s also the psychological side of things, a team will want a top 2nd driver to keep the 1st driver still having to fight for things if suddenly next years car is not quite up to scratch. Although I doubt most teams will want a Prost/Senna stroke Alonso/Hamilton situation…

      1. come on , the only reason irvine didnt win the championship in 99 was that todt and his chums were out to get him, and I defy anyone who thinks otherwise
        ps he may be a fellow ulsterman but he aint my fav driver by any means

        1. @sbl-on-tour – Irvine lost the title in 1999 because Hakkinen was a superior driver. Irvine needed Salo and Schumacher to pull over for him, and only went out and won 2 races all year by himself. When the pressure was on in Japan, he wasn’t even close to Hakkinen’s pace.

          1. Hakkinen is a better driver than Irvine, but he was nowhere near as good in ’99 as he was in ’98. The fact Irvine who was a fairly average driver ran him so close even with team orders shows Hakkinen slipped a bit in comparison to the previous year (Imola and Monza come to mind)

            Schumacher would have walked it in 1999 if hadn’t broken his leg.

          2. Well, @david-a, but if you hold those team orders against Irvine, its only fair to also highlight how Irvine had had to relent to Schumacher at the start of the season (showing the folly of team orders used right from the start of the season!).

            Not that Irvine was as good as Häkkinen, but maybe he did have the better car that year.

        2. one slightly faster pitstop and Irvine would have won it, I seem to recall.

          1. @Gridlock

            one slightly faster pitstop and Irvine would have won it

            At Suzuka? No chance, he was miles behind.

            1. Hmm, you know I was sure that I watched it at the time and was amazed that Ferrari let the WDC slip away through one slow wheelman, but now I’ve done a bit of reading you’re right, he probably wouldn’t have done it even with a good stop.

              I hate getting old.

            2. @keithcollantine thats the odd thing about that whole situation, if irvine was good anywhere it was at suzuka! just look at 93 and 97. In 2000 he was closer in the jag to schumi than in 99. Irvine has said much about it himself and doesn’t really know what happened.

      2. Banburyhammer1
        9th January 2012, 11:44

        Invine finshed second in 1999! I hardly call that going backwards, even if Schumacher was still the faster driver. Salo still just about performed well enough to ensure Ferrari won the constructors’.

    5. Also, I wonder if Alguersuari is plotting a trip to the States or something… IndyCar maybe?

      1. @craig-o – I’ve heard he’s gunning for Gary Paffet’s testing seat at McLaren.

        1. That would be good, McLaren might have to field a real “young” driver in the end of season young driver test (instead of 30-something Paffet!)

          1. Although, somewhat perversely, Paffett is the only one of the two eligible for the young drivers test I believe. I’m pretty sure there is an experience limit barring experienced drivers from running in it which surely would disqualify Alguswarry by now?

            1. Yes, a young driver can’t have participated in a race weekend, from memory. Maybe FPs are excluded. But it’s obvious that McLaren use the young driver test for performance reasons, just like its obvious that a lot of filming happens at Fiorano and some of the straight-line testing involved turning around at each end very quickly…

            2. Ill correct myself so someone doesn’t have to:

              In addition to selling seats, there’s also the issue of who is considered a “young driver.” As it stands now, it’s one with fewer than three F1 starts, which apparently assumes will also mean the driver is “young.”

              But those rules allow McLaren to bring Gary Paffet to Abu Dhabi for the test. Paffett is a 30-year-old veteran who has thousands of kilometres under his belt in six years as an official test driver with the team. He has raced eight full DTM Series seasons, winning the title in 2005. He has 16 wins in 81 DTM starts.

            3. Yes, ALG cannot take part, as he has a lot of experience in F1. What i meant was, that if they take on ALG to replace Paffet, then they would need to field a real “young talented driver” for the Abu Dhabi test (when ALG cannot take part and Paffet is replaced)

        2. I wouldn’t bet on it though.

      2. I can just about see that. He would likely be a front runner there (face it, there isn’t a huge amount of talent in IndyCar) and it would probaly suit his image quite well too. Having said that, most drivers who go to America stay there, so it would virtually rule him out of an F1 drive in the future.

    6. Ah as much as I love Alguersuari I don’t think it’s the right time to be a test driver at McLaren… It looks as if neither Lewis or Jenson are leaving any time soon, and with limited in-season testing (although it is some at least) it’s not nearly enough time in the car. Could join Buemi and do Le Mans too?

      1. I don’t think he expects to replace Button or Hamilton in a year or two if he really is considering the possibility for test drive position for them.
        He probably believes that a test driver role in a top team can give him the experience of a top team operation and a good card later to get a drive in a middle team because they will want him so they can get a little of that Mclaren experience and how a top team operates.
        Personally i think his gunning for a test driver role at Force India. At least that’s what i will have done. It’s the best chance to get a drive and they lack a test driver after Sutil leaving and Hulk being promoted to driver role.
        They have a good reputation of promoting their test drivers and giving them Friday practice time. Also with two young drivers in their team if one beats the other convincingly then Force India might think of getting rid of the second one.
        But even if that doesn’t happen Mercedes might take Di Resta or even the Hulk after Shumi contract ends.

    7. my dad has told me many times, “take what you can get”, and ive ignored him as many times as he has told me, but when i started taking the opportunities my life changed so much. Alg there are so many drivers looking for a drive next year, maybe you should count your blessings

      1. Your dad is a wise man, and I agree. I don´t think Top Teams are really looking for Alguersuari as an option. Even so, I think he will be taking the risk to become Pedro de la Rosa 2.0.

        I´m starting to think that Alguersuari is looking beyond his own reality and believing his own hype… sadly I don´t think he is good enough for top drive, and now he may have giving away his best chance to continue on F1

      2. If he goes to HRT it would likely be similar to Glock’s situation. A good solid driver unable to show his worth. Coming 20th, even if you did well to do it, won’t attract the big teams attention.

        1. But isn´t he testing his luck too much… If you believe the spanish media, he already turned down testing pilot at RBR and a seat at HRT… You know oportunity doens´t knot twice…

          1. Hm, I would think RBR would have first picked Buemi for their 3rd driver over Alguersuari. Interesing.

          2. You know oportunity doens´t knot twice…

            Being offered a HRT race seat and the Red Bull reserve spot suggests that opportunity does not simply knock twice, but now makes house calls.

    8. concerning COTD- even if you subtracted Webber’s 258 points from Red Bull’s 650 constructors points, they’d still be 2nd with 392 points, 17 points above ferrari and 105 points behind mclaren. so not bad!

      1. even if you subtracted Webber’s 258 points from Red Bull’s 650 constructors points, they’d still be 2nd with 392 points, 17 points above ferrari and 105 points behind mclaren

        But if Webber failed to score at each and every race in the season, everyone else would move up a place. So that’s 258 points that you need to re-distribute among the other teams.

        And I was also thinking in terms of the future rather than the previous season. Red Bull might ave dominated the season, but the other teams learn quickly. The statistics posted by Keith the other day show that McLaren in particular were quickly closing the gap. Ferrari certainly won’t rest on their laurels, and sooner or later Mercedes are going to find the exta push they need to be regular podium contenders.

        1. But if Webber failed to score at each and every race in the season, everyone else would move up a place. So that’s 258 points that you need to re-distribute among the other teams.

          yes very true.

          seems like starting the year with the best car is the way forward though. you could actually afford to develop slower than your main rivals who are playing catch up.

        2. Not to mention the fact that sometimes even the best “first” driver needs a bit of pushing into the right direction at times.

          Last year Vettel did not need much of that but in 2010 I think he had a good look at Webbers setup for hints where to improve.

          1. vettel did alot better in 2010 than his points suggest:
            add 13 for Bahrain,
            25 for Australia,
            and 25 for Korea.
            that’s another 63 points, and of course the other’s would drop a few points too.

            1. Except that he didn’t finish those races, so why should we add those points to his tally? Because he was leading the race at some point? That doesn’t count for much – as Jenson Button proved in Canada last year, you only need to be leading the race on the last lap to win.

            2. Yes, Vettel did suffer some car trouble, but I was rather talking about car setup things he had from missing running in FP due to either technical problems or shunts.

    9. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      9th January 2012, 1:07

      Looks like Alguersuari knows how worth he is. he prefers staying of for a year (you can say that’s also a step backwards, but being in a halt is just much better than an HRT. He didn’t buy the”it could be you”. Jaime said “me? I’d better wait”

    10. To be honest i’m glad Jaime turned down that seat. I only wanted to vote one driver to stay in F1 in the poll the other day (sutil btw) rather than vote for the other to go to hrt.

      1. So you think a new talent deserve the drive? but who?

        1. No, he’s saying nobody deserves to have to drive for HRT. I think.

          1. yes exactly!

    11. Don’t like the idea of a driver foregoing a race seat so he can drive around on a Friday in a nicer car. Shouldn’t all drivers want to be on the grid, racing, instead of being a test driver?

      1. They should make the decision that they feel is best for them. If Alguersuari wants to roll the dice on a test driver role in 2012 and try for a race seat in 2013, then more power to him.

    12. I think it was a mistake for Alguersuari yes HRT is a team where you don’t want to be but with these days testing rules I don’t think reserve driver role is a good one for him.Even if he get a test role for Ferrari that won’t serve anything to him relative a 20 race drive for HRT. Secondly when you have Dela Rosa as your team mate there is lots of things to learn from him as his experience from Mclaren which is valuable. So I was him I would rather go to HRT then for Williams.

      1. But if Alguersuari has a shot at learning at McLaren first hand, taking over Pedro’s role?

        1. Seems a strange thing to do, seeing as after everything Pedro has ended up at the very team Alguersuari is avoiding. Pedro may be respected, but starting down his career path doesn’t look like a smart move for a driver who wants more than 10 races in the next 5 years.

          1. Maybe its better to have those 10 races than none at all, or just 4-5 before being left out in the musical chair of HRT?
            And if he impresses McLaren with speed, he might have a more realistic shot of a race drive than Pedro had (remember they were seriously considering him in 2006 before they went along with promoting Hamilton directly into a race seat)

            1. @BasCB will Mclaren have him? I think they are more going in a all British team.

            2. @wasif1 – I am quite sure that McLaren is not targetting to be a “british” team with just UK drivers.

              They will be based in the UK, sure. But their drivers country of origin is not going to be a reason to sign/not to sign a driver.

    13. @Sato113 @Prisoner-Monkeys I worked it out, may not be accurate, but you get the jist of it.

      1 Vettel 395
      2 Button 288
      3 Alonso 277
      4 Hamilton 246
      5 Massa 147

      1 McLaren 534
      2 Ferrari 424
      3 Red Bull 395

      1. I see where PM is coming from, but Webber does a decent job. Honestly, I think Red Bull should be very happy with their line up.

        So Mclaren has two top name drivers. In the end, it’s the Drivers title people want.

        (Yes I know WCC = $$, but again, that’s not the one that the celebrate hard for is it?)

        1. @mike – I’m not saying that Red Bull should or shouldn’t drop Webber. I’m saying that they can’t rely on Sebastian Vettel to win the World Constructors’ Championship simply because Helmut Marko doesn’t want to replace Webber (whenever he leaves) with a driver who will not threaten Vettel. If somebody else was in the car last year instead of Webber, they would have needed to have scored 154 points for the team to secure the World Constructors’ Championship. Vettel, Button, Webber, Alonso and Hamilton were the only driver to score enough points to do it.

          It’s not a question of who should replace Webber when he retires. It’s a matter of hiring the best driver available to score as many points as possible. If they want another WCC, then they need someone who can carry the torch – even if that means challenging Vettel for the WDC – no matter how much Helmut Marko dislikes it. He may have already done irreparable damage to the team because everyone knows his mistreats drivers. When the time comes to replace Webber, the front-running drivers may pass on a Red Bull seat because they know they will not be allowed to fight for the championship even if they have a car worthy of it.

          1. I just don’t agree that a second top line driver would necessarily be the best thing for the team.

            1. Why? Red Bull need the best two drivers available to them at any given moment. McLaren have two top-tier drivers in Button and Hamilton, and they’ve proven that it works. Red Bull can’t really afford to run Vettel in one car and Buemi in the second when there is a better candidate than Buemi out there – because otherwise, they’ll be in a situation like McLaren in 2008, forced to run an underwhelming driver because taht was all that was available.

            2. I agree with PM, just look at Ferrari, they have been doomed to finish third for the past two years because Massa hasn’t been able to match or get close to Alonso. If Red Bull didn’t have a dominant car, they would need stronger second driver, otherwise McLaren would easily win the constructors title.

            3. Ferrari is the perfect example of why a great driver with one who is driving sub-standard is a bad idea. In 2010, Ferrari focused on Alonso winning the WDC. But if they’d had a better 2nd driver they might have kept in the frame for the WCC when that didn’t pan out.

          2. If somebody else was in the car last year instead of Webber, they would have needed to have scored 154 points for the team to secure the World Constructors’ Championship. Vettel, Button, Webber, Alonso and Hamilton were the only driver to score enough points to do it.

            So the question has to be who do with think are the others that could of scored that many in the RB7?

            Maybe Buemi could have or 70% of the drivers on the grid.

            Although I take the point my comment above only applies if RBR are dominant and Vettel is driving extremely well.

    14. I don’t like Marko, His only concern is Vettel winning. I think being in the Red Bull driver clique would be great until you actually have to deal directly to Marko.

      1. I think being in the Red Bull driver clique would be great until you actually have to deal directly to Marko.

        Marko manages the whole thing. You’d probably encounter him as soon as you joined the program.

        1. I would guess you would encounter Marco rather before you were taken in to that program PM!

          1. Unless he’s got somebody else scouting for talent these days … but I doubt it. Right now, the YDP has just two confirmed drivers: Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz Jnr. At its height, it had a dozen or more.

    15. How can one turn down a drive you are not offered?
      Sala said already, they were not looking in his direction.

      1. If Sala made those comments the minutes ago, maybe I could understand this. Otherwise, you have no evidence that HRT did not offer him a drive. HRT are really pushing for a “Spanish identity” this time around, no doubt to attract more sponsors. What was stopping those sponsors from suggesting the team look at Alguersuari after Sala made those comments to the media?

        1. When Alguersuari was sacked Sala when asked said they were already making plans for their second driver and couldn’t consider him.
          Alguersuari’s comments as I interprete it, simply means he won’t pursue a drive with HRT, and not that he was offered a drive.
          HRT already have a driver they are paying, now they need a pay driver and Alguersuari no longer has Redbull sponsorship.

      2. What PM writes makes sense. Or it might be Alguersuari making sure the sponsors he is looking for in support do not have to fear ending up sponsoring a backmarkter team (instead of a halfway successfull or even top team), to keep them from turning away from him.
        I guess many sponsors do not look that much forward to being at the back end of the grid.

        1. True, but very difficult to know.

          Maybe a sponsor would like to know that their driver is going to be on the grid, anywhere on the grid, than continue to support someone with the uncertainly that they will make the grid growing.

          1. I am not so sure of that @bbt, I would not want my brand associated with a guy being seen to go from mid grid to back of the grid. Would not really be the image of being successfull one would like to present, would it.

            Rather keep supporting a guy with a berth in a top team “biding his time” and staying loyal with him there.

            1. @BasCB it depends on the situation, I have a sponsorship budget to spend on ‘x’ sporting event(s) (this case F1) to give my business/product a high profile.

              A winner or someone doing well is preferable obviously, but my mandate to spend the money on the event(s) to promote my business, just being seen to be there is advantageous and I have achieved my objective. If the guy I’ve backed fails to make the sporting event (F1, Olympics etc) I’ve failed and have have some serious questions to answer.

              On another note, it could be argued that the teams as the back get more exposure than the team in the mid of the pack.

              Just an alternative way of looking at it as I have experience buy the best exposure for the money approach, backing someone that might not be in the sport for 12 months is not an option, although that might not be the case here.

            2. Hm, interesting @bbt, I agree that backing someone who is likely to get dropped during the season will not be the thing to do. Unless he is the one getting in mid season, that tends to get quite a bit of media time, i’d guess.

    16. I can understand why Alguersuari doesn’t want to drive for HRT. Teams like Minardi or HRT are either for those drivers who need to start their F1 careers somewhere or for those ones who are about to finish their F1 careers somewhere. Experienced F1 drivers usually can get only one-way ticket to HRT type teams.

      By the way, there is an interesting note regarding Alguersuari in James Allen’s blog:

      I think Alguersuari’s biggest deficit, which would certainly be highlighted in an internal audit of progress when comparing him with the progress Sebastian Vettel made in the Toro Rosso “academy”, is a lack of intelligence, which is such a crucial factor in a top F1 driver.

      Vettel is exceptionally bright, so the bar is high, but one heard noises last year from the team that Alguersuari perhaps lacked the intellect of a top driver.

      Actually I have the same impression.

      1. one heard noises last year from the team that Alguersuari perhaps lacked the intellect of a top driver

        That seems to be at odds with the reports that Alguersuari gave great feedback on the car. And it’s not like that was some PR guff that the team put out – we got to hear it for ourselves more than once during the season when the team radio picked up the team’s discussions with him, and Martin Brundle for one seemed very impressed with what Alguersuari reported.

        And he’s only twenty-one years old. I’d be a bit more worried about reports of a lack of a racer’s intellect if he was Jenson Buttons age.

        1. You could be right about his ability to give technical feedback, I can’t comment on that.

          I have followed Jaime on Twitter since he joined the social network. At the beginning he used only capital letters (GOOD RACING I PUSH NOT GOOD MUSIC I DO NOT DANCE), tweeted in English and often added a cheerful JAJAJA to his updates. Later he started using the small letters and posted some tweets in Spanish as well. One day he announced that he was “not Jaime Alguersuari anymore :( ” and became “SQUIRE” (his DJ name). Some months later Dr. Marko obviously told him what he thought about that and he renamed himself Jaime Alguersuari again. By the way, now around 90% of his tweets are Spanish despite him being an international star.

          I don’t condemn his behaviour, not everyone should be as official as, for instance, Hulkenberg is. I actually often enjoyed Jaime’s tweets when I could understand them but I don’t think the way he communicates with the public proves intelect and maturity that’s needed to be an F1 driver these days.

          1. By the way, now around 90% of his tweets are Spanish despite him being an international star.

            Right, because all international superstars are obligated to speak English.

            I don’t think the way he communicates with the public proves intelect and maturity that’s needed to be an F1 driver these days.

            Are you sure it’s even Alguersuari? One of the Nicos – Rosberg or Hulkenberg – used to update their feed in the middle of a race.

            1. I’ve been following him on twitter too. The impression I get is that he’s trying to have a bit of fun and keep it from coming across ‘fake’. I’m think IT IS him because tweets don’t come through regularly and because they don’t focus on any specific subject.

              I don’t see how it proves a lack of anything anyway, except (maybe) arrogance.

    17. Pleased with the decision he’s made. I’d hate for him to simply fade into obscurity as I think he’s got something. 2 and half seasons experience in F1 at 21 years old is crazy.

    18. MArko is pretty damning of these two dropped drivers, and it makes you wonder what RBR are doing with Buemi given Markos influence across the Red Bull organisation?

      One one hand it is refreshing to see honest critique of ex drivers without the smultz and pc nonsense; but this is Toro Rosso and a quick glance at how their drivers have underperformed and all been dumped with one exception points more towards driver managment than at the drivers themselves. Liuzzi and Speed were poor, with Speed sacked and Vettel brought in. Vettel did well but it does seem he is one of the best if not the best of his generation so he becomes the exception to the bad management. Bourdais did terribly here too, and now the two young lads are gone as well with a poor reference from Marko……………i think Markos man management skills are lacking, this has happened too often now!! Maybe they could do with someone like Martin O’Neill???

    19. Has anyone seen this, pretty cool looking, i think the sound could be improved though http://www.gpupdate.net/en/videos/1742/mercedes-gp-replica-2010-car/

    20. Congrats on COTD PM. It’s a beautiful comment and I can’t really say anything except that “I agree”.

    21. I like that Alguersuari turned down the proposal, it seems that he has a lot of selfconfidence and is searching for a big team. I think he needs a good oportunity and he will give his best. We will see…


    22. Seems an odd decision but you only have to look at Timo Glock to see why perhaps, as a young driver, it’s not the best idea to get stuck at a back marker. He isn’t going to have much of an opportunity to show what a good driver he is and perhaps would be better to spend a year out winning a different formula.

      If Grosjean had joined HRT and trawled around at the back for a year, would he have been given the Renault seat?

    23. Sounds very Hülkenberg’esque. Spend a year in the simulator and land a drive in 2013. Di Resta isn’t going to be at Force India forever nor is Maldanado at Williams. On the bright side maybe he want’s to spend a year DJing…

    24. Seems COTA is doing more about heeding their promises of falling in line with Austin’s “green” vision, than the Bahrain government is really doing in acting on the BICI’s accusations, discoveries and policy advise! – dig at Bahrain circuit saying how everything is fine there

    25. Reading the comments, I can see both sides to this. On thew one hand, he’ll want to copy Hulkenburg by landing a test role and then moving into a race seat, but on the other hand, you do want to stick around so you’re not forgotten.

      I don’t think there’s much harm in driving for a backmarking team. He’s still young, and drivers in slow cars can attract attention. No-one can deny that Heikki Kovalainen had a great season at Lotus/Caterham despite not scoring a point, and think about the fact that Alonso, Trulli and others started at Minardi!

      I think Helmut Marko was wrong about these two drivers, as particularly Alguersuari had a few strong performances, but we know how Red Bull works: if you aren’t a Vettel-in-the-making, you’re out. Dropping both is a mistake, and I just hope that whatever he does this year, he doesn’t fall out of the picture in what is, after all, a very crowded market.

      1. if you aren’t a Vettel-in-the-making, you’re out.

        And why not? RedBull are in the envious position of saying: Be brilliant or be gone. It might not seem very “nice”, but for the long-term success of the team I think it’s the right move to make. Why waste valuable seats on somebody who won’t bring guarenteed success? We gave you a chance, and you didn’t take it.
        Vettels undoubtable genius has probably messed it up for all the other mediocre drivers who will always be compared.

        But then again – Webber is still there…

    26. I can see it from JA’s point of view. It must be a bit like being a Premier League footballer. Would you rather be on the bench at Manchester United, or starting for Wolverhapton Wanderers ??

      Maybe it’s time to bring back third cars on Fridays like in 2006.

    27. I think he’s made a good choice. As a third driver he will still be available for others and would get runs in during free practice. Also, he has the chance to go back to GP2 and win that which would put him back in the frame at Red Bull or other teams like Renault or Force India for 2013

    28. IMO, Jaime’s way of thinking is rather weird. Taking a reserve seat might have been a good idea some years ago. What it leads to now we’ve seen very well in case of Heidfeld. When BMW was leaving, he was considered by some to be on par with Kubica. While the latter found himself at Renault and rose to stardom, the former was practically sidelined and forgotten by everyone beside desperate Peter Sauber, who’s team was in a very difficult situation and Pirelli who needed someone with bags of experience. If it weren’t for Kubica’s accident, he might have been gone as soon as end of 2010 campaign. And it was mostly his own fault, as he also counted on a seat at Mercedes. Having signed with some bottom team might have prolonged his career and let it end on a high note, being remembered, just like Kovalainen is now remembered as a driver who lifts a backmarker beyond it’s potential, or even it might have let him bounce back into a front running car as a strong number 2.

      Leaving F1 for even a year is a blow to anyone’s career, having recent examples should make Jaime revise his priorities. Being a reserve driver (because the term test driver is practically no longer relevant) is purely virtual position, as LRGP proved – even when it comes to a disaster, being 3rd in line on paper doesn’t make you get the seat. If it was me, the hunger for racing and the will to remain active in the sport would prevail over ill-considered ambition. If Jaime wants to pretend his a driver of a big team, be it Mercedes or McLaren, so be it. But it will not bring him mileage, keep him sharp and most certainly it will not get him remembered by the team principals when it comes to signing contracts for 2013. Ask Nick Heidfeld.

    29. If it’s confirmed, then he’s being a bit silly. Keep your eye in, annihilate your past-it (never had it) team-mate, and you’d be back in the frame. Kovi’s reputation is booming for showing the humility to step back and then beating his far better (than DLR) team-mate. Plus, if you take the seat you stop Red Bull bringing up yet another young driver and sticking him in the HRT, making even more competition for yourself. Ah, well, time will tell.

      1. Yeah, sure @dafffid, but you would need to have a teammate with a reputation for something good to look good from beating him (like Kova beating Trulli the quali-king at his game).

        Beating Pedro dl Rosa is just going to bring out comments along the lines of – alsoran, journeyman, lack of recent race experience ….

    30. Brave move from Alguersuari there, not that I don’t agree with it.

      I think it would make for a wonderful story at HRT, but ultimately it wouldn’t be right for him. Either way he risks falling into obscurity but at least this way he can keep his hand in at a team (if he gets one!) that will offer him more than HRT could.

    Comments are closed.