One of the final remaining pieces of the F1 2010 jigsaw has now slotted into place, with Red Bull 'junior' outfit Scuderia Toro Rosso confirming that it has re-signed 2009 debutant Jaime Alguersuari for the forthcoming campaign.
Earlier this week, Red Bull motorsport consultant Dr. Helmut Marko had hinted that awaiting the dotting of the Is and the crossing of the Ts, a deal was all-but done with the Spanish teenager [see separate story – click here
], who at just 19 became the youngest driver ever to join the grid in the top flight when he made his bow in-place of the fired Sébastien Bourdais for the Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring in late July.
Alguersuari's promotion at the time elicited a wave of criticism from more experienced F1 campaigners, who feared that his nigh-on complete lack of experience at the highest level would make him a liability to both himself and others – but to the contrary, the Barcelona admirably native kept his composure and his cool, and even went on to outperform STR team-mate Sébastien Buemi on his maiden appearance in the car.
His continued presence in the team in 2010 had appeared unsure, however, with rumours that Bruno Senna or even BMW-Sauber refugee Nick Heidfeld could possibly force him out – but now the former British F3 Champion has been rewarded for his efforts with a renewed contract to partner Buemi again this year.
“Considering that he made his debut only halfway through 2009 in the Hungarian Grand Prix, with no prior testing, he did a good job,” remarked Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost. “He made steady progress throughout the second half of the year, with a mature approach considering he is still only 19-years-old.
“This season he will again face a steep learning curve, as all the circuits in the first part of the season will be new to him. Jaime's appointment also confirms our team's commitment to bringing on graduates of the Red Bull Young Driver Programme.”