British Formula 3 champion Jaime Alguersuari will continue his career with Carlin Motorsport this season, making the step up to the World Series by Renault with the British squad.
Alguersuari became the youngest ever British Formula 3 champion last year, following a stunning rookie season with the multiple-championship winning Carlin F3 team.
Relatively unknown at the start of the season, Alguersuari soon attracted attention by winning his second ever F3 race at the season opener at Oulton Park. The Red Bull driver went on to take five wins and 12 podiums during the season while his record of six pole positions and five fastest laps was unequalled by any other driver.
Still aged just 18, the young Spaniard's success in the British F3 Series soon brought him to the attention of the F1 fraternity, with the young driver completing an aero test in the 2008 Red Bull RB4 at the Idiada Circuit in Tarragona, Spain.
Alguersuari now follows in the footsteps of fellow Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel, who led the 2007 World Series by Renault championship with Carlin before joining the Torro Rosso F1 team midway through the season.
“Taking part in such an important category is a great challenge for me,” he said. “If Heikki Kovalainen, Robert Kubica and Sebastian Vettel graduated to F1 after competing in the World Series Formula Renault 3.5, why can't I do the same?
“Staying with Carlin Motorsport this season is fantastic for me. They're so professional, their working method is great and I feel really comfortable with the team having won the British F3 International Series together last year.”
Team boss Trevor Carlin is convinced Alguersuari can deliver again for his team in 2009: “Jaime has shown great talent since he was 15. He has won races in all the categories in which he has participated in and I'm confident he can be a title contender in World Series Formula Renault 3.5 this year,” he added.
“This is a strong and competitive championship and one of the best apprenticeships to jump into Formula 1, as demonstrated by our former driver Sebastian Vettel in 2007.”
Alguersuari's signing with the Carlin World Series squad means the British team will run a Red Bull driver in each championship in which it competes, with Alguersuari's former team-mate Brendon Hartley racing for Carlin in the F3 Euro Series, and Daniel Ricciardo competing in British Formula 3.