7 February 2012
Alguersuari: I thought my future was safe
Jaime Alguersuari reveals he turned down offers elsewhere after Toro Rosso told him his drive was safe for 2012
Jaime Alguersuari has admitted he was hurt by Toro Rosso's decision to replace him for the 2012 F1 season having been told he would remain in his seat for the year ahead.
The Spaniard was widely expected to stay on before the announcement was made that he was to lose his seat, with Sebastien Buemi also dropped to allow Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne to be moved into race drives with the team.
That announcement left Alguersuari without a drive and he admitted it was a difficult thing to take having previously been told his seat was safe – something which led to him rejecting an offer to drive elsewhere.
“On December 13th, when Red Bull Racing told me that I was no longer part of the family I said that I was not going to judge them, neither I was feeling like a victim and that this was not a drama,” he said. “But let me say just one thing: they hurt me, and moreover, it was unnecessary.
"I was verbally confirmed during the Brazilian GP. Hence, being confirmed by Red Bull and STR, I rejected a very good offer. Back on December 11th, Toro Rosso sent me to a PR event in Madrid, in the Cepsa headquarters to participate in the awarding medal ceremony to the employees with the longest seniority in the company and the Christmas dinner, with a very well prepared script from Faenza where I was supposed to talk about Toro Rosso, Cepsa and myself in 2012. Two days later, I received a phone call saying that they were not counting on me. They were two phone calls no longer than two minutes each.
“Neither I nor anyone else will ever understand why, having largely fulfilled all expectations that the team asked for, having improved my position from 2010 and having beaten my team-mate, I was ceased on December 14th when there was no reaction time to have a good option to run in 2012.”
At the time he lost his seat, Alguersuari could still have earned a drive with either HRT or Williams, but the Spaniard revealed that neither team was the right option at the moment.
“When I found out about Red Bull's decision in December I contacted Luis Pérez-Sala, my friend and mentor since I raced in Formula Renault 1600 Italia,” he said. “We both had the same feeling. HRT does not have a car for me today and I cannot liquidate my heritage at my age fighting to improve a car, which of course will be far behind on the grid. HRT is not an option for me now. I cannot bear to be penultimate in the grid every race. Luis did totally agree with me since the very beginning.
“Having said that I believe that De la Rosa has wide enough capacity to develop and improve these cars as well as the team. Maybe this opens new opportunities for the future. I'm convinced that the team that manages HRT will be capable to have a competitive car in the future.
“To be honest I never thought about Williams. Today, they only need drivers that pay.”
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