ALGUERSUARI LANDS F1 DRIVE IN HUNGARY British F3 Champ to be the youngest Grand Prix racer Reigning British F3 Champion Jaime Alguersuari will step up to Formula 1 next weekend with the Scuderia Toro Rosso team, it has been confirmed today ...
ALGUERSUARI LANDS F1 DRIVE IN HUNGARY
British F3 Champ to be the youngest Grand Prix racer
Reigning British F3 Champion Jaime Alguersuari will step up to Formula 1 next weekend with the Scuderia Toro Rosso team, it has been confirmed today (Mon). He will be the youngest ever driver in the history of the World Championship at 19 years and 125 days when he makes his debut in the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Said Jaime: "I would like to thank Red Bull for giving me this great opportunity to race in Formula 1. Ever since I started racing this has been my dream and thanks to the Red Bull Junior Programme I will now realise my ambition of lining up on a Grand Prix grid.
"I am aware that I'm facing a very tough challenge, because coming into Formula 1 is never easy, coming into Formula 1 in the middle of a season is even harder and doing so without any testing is really difficult. But already I feel that I am getting great support from the team, who have quite a reputation for looking after rookie drivers."
Alguersuari enjoyed a superb 2008 season in British Formula 3 with the Carlin Motorsport team, winning races at Oulton Park, Brands Hatch and Bucharest before his crowning glory double win at Donington Park at the season's final meeting.
Trevor Carlin said of his protege: "We're very proud to see another one of our Red Bull drivers make the step up to Formula 1, and Jaime is following in the footsteps of Sebastian Vettel, who also made the transition from our World Series team to a race seat at Toro Rosso. It was clear for all to see in British F3 last year that Jaime is a great talent - and it says a lot about the quality of the series that the current British F3 champion is already making his F1 debut. It will be a tough learning curve for Jaime this year, but he is mature enough to learn quickly and make the most of this great opportunity. Jaime intends to continue racing with us in World Series this year, but obviously his F1 commitments will take priority."
Stephane Ratel, the Chairman of SRO Motorsports Group, added: "We extend our congratulations to Jaime on a great achievement. This again proves the importance of British F3 as a vital stepping stone to the forefront of motorsport. Jaime has proved his talent at such a young age, becoming British F3 Champion in his first season and now the youngest ever F1 driver. We are very happy that his obvious talent has been recognised and wish him the best of luck."
Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost added: "Red Bull's stated aim for Scuderia Toro Rosso is that, when possible, it should be used to provide a seat for products of its Young Driver Programme. We therefore chose Alguersuari as the most mature driver currently in the programme. Over the next few months the team and Jaime will face a major challenge, especially because of the testing ban. But Red Bull is always ready for a new challenge. I do not expect anything from him for at least his first three races, during which he has to get used to the car, the team and to the Formula 1 environment."