Alguersuari turns down drive with HRT

F1 Fanatic round-up

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.”

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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

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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.

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118 comments on Alguersuari turns down drive with HRT

  1. Girts (@girts) said on 9th January 2012, 9:08

    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.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 9th January 2012, 9:46

      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.

      • Girts (@girts) said on 9th January 2012, 10:21

        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.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 9th January 2012, 12:26

          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.

          • 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.

  2. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 9th January 2012, 10:01

    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.

  3. WarfieldF1 said on 9th January 2012, 10:51

    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???

  4. nivek252 (@nivek252) said on 9th January 2012, 12:02

    Has anyone seen this, pretty cool looking, i think the sound could be improved though

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

  6. 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…


  7. petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 9th January 2012, 13:25

    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?

  8. callsigncharlie (@callsigncharlie) said on 9th January 2012, 14:32

    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…

  9. BasCB (@bascb) said on 9th January 2012, 15:09

    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

  10. Lin1876 (@lin1876) said on 9th January 2012, 16:36

    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.

    • Platanna (@xaviex) said on 9th January 2012, 17:16

      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…

  11. StephenH said on 9th January 2012, 19:11

    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.

  12. Speed Damon (@speeddemon) said on 9th January 2012, 19:56

    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

  13. Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 9th January 2012, 20:18

    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.

  14. Dafffid (@dafffid) said on 9th January 2012, 20:32

    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.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 10th January 2012, 8:53

      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 ….

  15. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 10th January 2012, 13:16

    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.

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