Scuderia Toro Rosso's Jaime Alguersuari has said he is expecting a lot from the Spanish Grand Prix this weekend, what will be his first F1 race on home soil.
Alguersuari made his debut at the top level last year when he was drafted in mid-season to replace Sebastien Bourdais and while he never really shone then, he has since seemingly come of age.
Indeed he claimed his first points finish in Malaysia last month, when he was ninth overall in his STR5, and now he will be out to do try and score again on Sunday at the Circuit de Catalunya.
“I am looking forward to the Spanish GP because every time I have raced here it is has been special as it is my home track and there is plenty of support for me, making for a great atmosphere,” he said.
“This will be the first time I race in the Spanish Grand Prix and I expect there will be a lot of my friends and fans coming to watch, also because there are several Spanish drivers on the grid this year. One important factor is that this is the first track of the season I have driven on before, so that should make life easier for me.”
Asked if he expected to break his F1 points duck during the first four flyaway races in Bahrain, Australia, Malaysia and China, he conceded it was a pleasant surprise.
“No [I didn't think I would score so soon], because there is so much for me still to learn. I am like a sponge at the moment though, absorbing every bit of experience I can,” he continued.
“The speed is coming, but I am still not getting one hundred percent out of the car and this will get easier as I learn the tracks and get more confident, so I am expecting a lot from the Barcelona weekend.”
Toro Rosso team boss, Franz Tost meanwhile added that he been impressed with how the 20-year-old has progressed this year and he is now expecting some strong results from him during F1 2010.
“He has made a great step forward from when he competed in the second half of last season,” Tost confirmed. “In that time, he discovered how much he had to learn and the level of commitment required to become a successful F1 driver.
“He was clever enough to understand this and therefore he put himself through a very intensive and disciplined testing and physical training programme and everyone in the team is impressed by his progress, so we expect him to deliver very good race results at some point this year.”