Jaime Alguersuari’s first day at the office

Jaime Alguersuari gets ready for his first F1 practice session

Jaime Alguersuari gets ready for his first F1 practice session

Despite the inevitable rows over him becoming the youngest F1 driver ever, Jaime Alguersuari made his first appearance in an official Formula 1 session today.

He’s only the second new driver to arrive in F1 this year – joining his team mate Sebastien Buemi who, with nine Grand Prix starts to his name, looks like a veteran compared to the young Spaniard.

Alguersuari finished at the bottom of the times sheets in the second practice session today – Toro Rosso not showing much progress despite the raft of new parts on their STR4s.

I thought it was good of him to carry a tribute to former rival Henry Surtees on his crash helmet. He explained why:

Henry was a big friend, I didn’t know him much, to be honest because I met him last year in Donington Park in the last round of British F3. He did I think a really good job, he was a very talented driver and he was a good friend. I spent a day in Alton Towers with him in England, we had good fun and for me he was very very strong. More than this is that I could never expect something like this to anybody so it also affects me. At the end it is a sad day and sad season for everyone in motorsport.

Alguersuari’s ‘in at the deep end’ introduction to the world of F1 will continue with his first qualifying session tomorrow. In the meantime, here’s some pictures of the new boy at work.

Read more about Toro Rosso’s new driver here:

Images (C) Red Bull / Getty

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32 comments on Jaime Alguersuari’s first day at the office

  1. StrFerrari4Ever said on 24th July 2009, 20:24

    Good article Keith it was a fairly normal day at the office for his debut no real major incidents and just read the Press Conference and Tost was saying they had quite a fair bit of fuel in both sessions so their positions aren’t relative to where they will be tommorow. So Q2 is what they are aiming for and hopefully they could creep into Q3 I hope Jaime makes it past Q1 and doesn’t make any mistakes and silences those who say his just too young.

    • TommyB said on 24th July 2009, 23:53

      Hey STR, What you think to the new STR? I think it looks amazing, love the new nose :) Shame they aren’t much faster but I’m sure itll take time.

      Was looking for a nice picture of the new STR for my background and now I’m spoilt for choice! Thanks Keith!!

      • StrFerrari4Ever said on 25th July 2009, 0:40

        Haha great to see someone who shares the same viewpoint as me when I saw Alguersuari exit the pits in that new STR I almost screamed the house down with excitement it looks so beautiful in the livery especially the gold nose. I was frustrated at first seeing them last but they were doing race setup work and I’m sure with all that data they can work something out for Quali cant wait to be honest this Qualifying will be the most intense this year wouldn’t wanna be a betting man to predict whose going on pole & yes Keith has spoilt us for choice with those pictures Brilliant stuff :D

  2. Margaret said on 24th July 2009, 20:45

    Give the boy a chance, he’s doing OK so far, keeping out of trouble and just getting himself used to the car. He seems mature beyond his years and is very unfazed by all the comments being made about him. It will take him a few races to settle in, but the team know that and won’t put him under pressure. I think the system is wrong that leads to young drivers being put in this situation, but Jaime is doing a good job so far.

  3. Adam said on 24th July 2009, 21:32

    Maybe this is a way round the testing ban. Bourdais wasn’t delivering any points, so why not use the races to give Jaime experience ahead of next season?

    • Patrickl said on 24th July 2009, 21:45

      Indeed, I was thinking the same. Especially the races out of Europe would help Aguersuari learn some tracks he never raced on.

  4. Patrickl said on 24th July 2009, 21:44

    This situation with Alguersuari reminds me of Raikkonen.

    Remember how people were complaining when Raikkonen was given a drive for Sauber? I think Raikkonen came straight out of F3 or something.

  5. Mark Hitchcock said on 24th July 2009, 22:35

    I think he did a great job. Although he has in fact driven an F1 car round corners before (thanks for putting me straight on that earlier Patrickl :P ), I think most people expected him to be further behind Buemi than he was today.

    Lets see how he does tomorrow when he’s under pressure. I have a feeling he might cope quite well because as Margaret said, he seems to be handling all these premature criticisms and complaints very well.

    Good luck to the guy, he’s got a great opportunity if he’s given the time to settle in and make the most of it.

  6. I think his media work could do with brushing up. I had to re-read his Q&A session with Autosport today, especially this bit:

    Q. Do you think you answered the critics who said you were too young?

    JA: “I don’t really care what all the people say, I just do my work. I do what I know to be honest. I am here because Red Bull just asked me to, as I do Formula 3 or World Series or GP2, I don’t care. I just drive the cars. That’s my job and that’s what I enjoy doing in life. I’m here because Red Bull just sent me a message telling me that I have to drive this car so I’m here.

    That to me, whilst possibly out of context, doesn’t sound like a man who is over-the-moon to be in F1 at the minute does it?

    • Mark Hitchcock said on 24th July 2009, 23:01

      Seems like he’s trying to deflect the criticism that’s being aimed at him by reminding people that Red Bull thought this was a good idea as well so people shouldn’t be banging on at him for ruining his career etc.

    • Mark Hitchcock said on 24th July 2009, 23:03

      He’s also maybe trying to come across as being professional rather than a rookie getting over-excited about his opportunity.

  7. marc said on 24th July 2009, 23:07

    i agree he is to young and inexperianced. But how else is a new driver going to get into F1?

    If the old and wise drivers like barrichello leave who is ment to replace? everyone has to start somewhere. Just he has started abit young thats all, I hope he does well!

  8. pSynrg said on 25th July 2009, 0:48

    After Alonso, Hamilton & Vettel to name a few, we do not really know just what ‘too young for F1′ is as yet.

    Even if there is a place for such a statement it is hardly the drivers fault.

    The senior people making the choices hold all responsibility here.

    Good luck Jaime!

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 25th July 2009, 0:52

      Hamilton was fairly young but had a lot of single-seater experience – he’d had a year in GP2 and two in F3. Compare that to someone like Raikkonen who leapt all the way from Formula Renault! I think more than age comes into it.

      • Patrickl said on 25th July 2009, 8:29

        Ah lol, he came from Formula Renault even. Raikkonen did have the benefit of a winter of testing though.

    • pSynrg said on 25th July 2009, 12:55

      David Coulthard: “If you’re good enough, you’re old enough.”

      Says it all really…

  9. wasiF1 said on 25th July 2009, 1:31

    I think he is carrying something on his helmet for Henry Surtees

  10. PrisonerMonkeys said on 25th July 2009, 1:49

    BREAKING NEWS: Alguesuari hasn’t killed anyone yet. More details to follow.

    In other news, Jonathan Legard has given up trying to pronouce his name and has reverted to calling him “Sebastian”.

  11. Gman said on 25th July 2009, 3:21

    I wish Jamie all the best, but I still wonder if it’s too early to be putting him on the F1 grid with no real testing experience. When I first heard about the whole deal, I was suprised it wasen’t Wickens or Hartley who would be getting the nod, but we’ll see what happens in this case.

  12. The Limit said on 25th July 2009, 4:45

    I think this guy deserves alot of respect, and Toro Rosso deserve respect for choosing him. I thought he performed superbly today for a rookie, did not make any mistakes and gave the team good information.
    The problem for these young guys is the lack of testing, and the only way they can learn about the car is in situations like this. As for the lack of experience I may remind people of the inexperience Kimi Raikkonen had eight years ago when Peter Sauber signed him up, and the
    criticism Sauber took for doing so. Nearly a decade later and that does not seem a bad decision does it?
    The best of luck to this young man, who has shown maturity and guile. Jenson Button was right, who in their right mind would turn down an F1 drive? Even at 19.

  13. Toncho said on 25th July 2009, 8:13

    For those able to understand Spanish here you have what it seems to be his first interview as a F1 driver.
    He seems like a normal bloke. Interesting that he says his model is Vettel.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpCx7gS6MnU

  14. Patrickl said on 25th July 2009, 8:31

    Has there ever been a rookie who really did turn out an utter failure? Like causing major accidents due to his inexperience?

    I guess Piquet or some of the Japanese drivers would qualify, but not really either. I doubt a lot of experience would ever help Piquet and the Japanese drivers seem to be more accident prone no matter their age.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 25th July 2009, 9:07

      As far as the FIA were concerned, Yuji Ide…

      • StrFerrari4Ever said on 25th July 2009, 9:26

        Haha Ide he was catastrophic! :D

      • Patrickl said on 25th July 2009, 11:48

        Yeah that was one of the Japanese guys I was thinking about. Especially his weird incident where he rammed Albers.

        Oh, just looked him up on wiki and they even took his super license away. Wow, indeed catastrophic career.

        Other than that though, it seems that the younger rookies that get selected (usually on merit) do seem to cope rather well.

  15. I barely noticed Jaime all day, apart from the larger-than normal amount of time the cameras spent looking at him. That’s a good thing for a rookie, particularly one in a car that appears to have zero capacity to impress at this circuit.

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