‘I see his angry face’ – Ex-Red Bull protege on his F1 nightmares
Former Toro Rosso Formula 1 driver Jaime Alguersuari says he still carries a ‘trauma’ from his time as a Red Bull prospect that manifests in nightmares – even though he feels ‘privileged’ and ‘lucky’ to have his career supported Red Bull.
Alguersuari became the youngest driver to start an F1 race in 2009 at the Hungaroring, having been brought in mid-season to replace Sebastien Bourdais at AlphaTauri.
What followed was two and a half years in which he offered quite stiff competition to Sebastien Buemi, but when Red Bull decided neither driver would be a viable longer-term option for their main team, the pair were dropped in favor. by Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne.
Alguersuari has occasionally been linked with a return to F1, with HRT or Sauber, and found a temporary home in Formula E. Yet he didn’t last a full season in the latter, retiring after what has since been described. like fainting. episode in the middle of a fairly poor campaign.
Formula E correspondent Sam Smith on Alguersuari’s tenure in FE
As Sam Bird’s teammate at Virgin Racing, Alguersuari struggled to get along with Formula E and despite a decent fourth place in Buenos Aires he just seemed to lose interest in racing, let alone. a new discipline like Formula E.
During the Berlin race in May, Virgin was actively pursuing Jean-Eric Vergne to replace Alguersuari, and when he suffered an unspecified medical condition and his racing license was temporarily suspended, he concluded at any lucky he continues.
He ended his racing career entirely at that time, concentrating on his musical DJ activities – but, now 32, is back on the karting scene.
Speaking to Spanish outlet El Confidencial, Alguersuari acknowledged he was “lucky to be helped by Red Bull for many years” but stressed he was “full of ego and prickly” during his stay in F1.
He struggled to make peace after being released by Red Bull. “It made me a childish person,” he said. And although he feels he has changed, he still feels the impact of being in the Red Bull pressure cooker.
“I’m telling you something – when I sleep I still have very weird dreams from that time,” he said. “Especially about the helplessness and frustration of never getting there, seeing Mr. [Helmut] Marko still angry, berates us. As if we were children.
“It created a trauma – and I’m sure Buemi and many others are going through it too.
“I couldn’t erase that. I went to therapy, when I retired several psychologists helped me… now, however, strange things come to mind. And sometimes waking up, as if crying, after dreaming that you had taken a long drive to see Mr. Marko’s face, angry.
Red Bull motorsport adviser Marko has a reputation for being austere, although there are many who respect his approach, even among the outcasts of the junior program he oversaw.
And it is believed that Marko was in no way the driving force behind Alguersuari’s departure from Toro Rosso, but was a decision taken above his level – something corroborated by Alguersuari’s claim that Marko reportedly told him “there was nothing I could do” while speaking. to the Spaniard about his release.
It is also believed that what Red Bull perceived as Alguersuari’s sometimes difficult attitude during his time in F1 – which he alludes to in the interview – was a major factor in it being Buemi. and not him who was chosen to stay on Red Bull. Reserve.
However, Alguersuari sees this particular snub as an indication that Red Bull were never fully convinced he fit their mold – which he says is also true of fellow Spaniard Carlos Sainz, who was released to McLaren. in 2019.
“Red Bull wants to find drivers in the middle of a lake – who are not known, nor their family, their friends, and who only depend on Red Bull. This was not the case for a driver whose father was a championship promoter until F1 [Jaime Alguersuari Sr oversaw the now-defunct World Series by Renault]and that was not the case for Carlos either [whose father is a two-time World Rally champion].”
This, however, is potentially countered by the fact that Red Bull’s current lead driver is Max Verstappen, himself the son of a former Grand Prix driver.