As expected, Formula One team Scuderia Toro Rosso on Monday named Catalan teenager Jaime Aguersuari to replace Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais. Alguersuari, 19, is a product of the Red Bull Young Driver Program, as is his new teammate, Sebastien ...
As expected, Formula One team Scuderia Toro Rosso on Monday named Catalan teenager Jaime Aguersuari to replace Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais. Alguersuari, 19, is a product of the Red Bull Young Driver Program, as is his new teammate, Sebastien Buemi.
"Red Bull's stated aim for Scuderia Toro Ross is that, when possible, it should be used to provide a seat for products of its young driver program," Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost said. "We, therefore, chose Alguersuari as the most mature driver currently in the program."
Alguersuari's tenure begins this weekend at the Hungarian Grand Prix. He replaced another teenager, New Zealander Brendon Hartley, in June as reserve and test driver for Red Bull, although current rules ban in-season testing apart from straight-line outings. Alguersuari is the British Formula Three champion.
"I would like to thank Red Bull for giving me this great opportunity to race in Formula One," Alguersuari said. "Ever since I started racing, this has been my dream.
"I am aware that I'm facing a very tough challenge because coming into Formula One is never easy. Coming into Formula One 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."
Buemi, in his rookie F1 season, replaced Sebastian Vettel, who after winning Toro Rosso's first race last year, this season moved to senior team Red Bull.
Bourdais, 30, partnered Vettel, 21, last season with unremarkable results. He was similarly outshone this season by Buemi, especially in early races, before the team settled into a mild malaise in early summer. Bourdais, who scored six points in 27 races, has threatened legal action over his ouster. He said he was particularly disappointed over his removal because the team have a major upgrade for the STR4 scheduled for Hungary.
"I am well aware that over the next few months the team and Jaime will face a major challenge, especially because of the testing ban," Tost said. "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 One environment."