“Red Bull junior team is not successful anymore,” blasts ex-Toro Rosso driver

Sergio Perez’s place in F1 with Red Bull proves that their junior programme is “not successful anymore”, says Jaime Alguersuari.
- Jaime Alguersuari (SPA), Scuderia Toro Rosso,
- Jaime Alguersuari (SPA), Scuderia Toro Rosso,

The former Toro Rosso driver has blasted his ex-team’s use of up-and-coming drivers after seeing Nyck de Vries axed from AlphaTauri.

Alguersuari is critical of Red Bull for going outside of their junior ranks - which included Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon - to recruit Perez.

Remote video URL

“For me, right now, and I’m going to be very clear: The fact that Perez is driving for Red Bull shows the Red Bull junior team is not successful anymore,” he told Sky.

“What they told us, the media, and everyone, is that they are building up champions or the best drivers that we can. To give them an opportunity to drive for Toro Rosso, nowadays AlphaTauri, to give them experience in Formula 1.

“So we can upgrade them to the bigger team, which is Red Bull Racing.

“The fact that they had to go somewhere else to find a driver for Red Bull Racing is already, you know, controversial. It doesn’t make sense.

“You spend millions for many years, a lot of money, a huge amount, for many drivers to become champions in junior categories. To put them into F1, give them very little chance, crossing your fingers that they get a good car because otherwise you do nothing in F1. You’re at the back.

“Crossing your fingers that you get a chance to drive a winning car, the Red Bull Racing team.

"We have to be clear that Checo was never in the junior team. If he was, considering how Helmut Marko judges drivers, he would not have lasted a year.”

Sergio Perez (MEX), Red Bull Racing Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 11, British Grand Prix, Silverstone, England, Race
Sergio Perez (MEX), Red Bull Racing Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 11,…

Perez was an early title contender this season but has since slipped away, leaving teammate Max Verstappen will a clear run at a third championship in a row.

Daniel Ricciardo’s return, replacing De Vries at AlphaTauri, has added the pressure onto Perez.

Alguersuari said about Perez: "You have a winning car and have to use it. I know people will think, 'what are you saying, your best place was seventh?' 

“I didn't have a chance to drive a winning car and I'm just saying your first rival is your team-mate.

"It's not acceptable that Perez is always half a second or seven tenths slower. 

“If your team-mate is winning all the races, you have to at least be on the podium, not on your best day being on the podium. 

“You have to be closer otherwise they have the right to replace you. There are many drivers on the grid that could definitely be much closer to Max."

- Saturday Practice, Jaime Alguersuari (SPA), Scuderia Toro Rosso,
- Saturday Practice, Jaime Alguersuari (SPA), Scuderia Toro Rosso,

Alguersuari’s own journey in F1 came to an end in 2011 after two-and-a-half seasons with Toro Rosso.

He was dropped despite outscoring teammate Sebastien Buemi.

“The way [Red Bull] act is sometimes not fair,” he said. 

“What they did with me and Buemi was not a very generous, sporting manner to get rid of two drivers.

"It was not decided on results, it was decided on commercial and other interesting things. But that's the way F1 works and you have to accept it.

"But, I had a good time with them and I enjoyed every single moment. But even the pressure moments are fine. If you cannot deal with the pressure, you cannot deal with the moment you have a winning car and are about to become world champion. You have to deliver.

"I agree with the way they work. I just don't agree with how sometimes they apply things to some drivers. 

“If you don't deliver results and are not where you should be, they have the right to get you out because they are asking you for the best."

De Vries is the latest driver to feel Red Bull’s wrath, losing his seat after only 10 grands prix with AlphaTauri this season.

"He had very little races to show his total performance,” Alguersuari said. 

“I'm sure there was much more coming from Nyck. If there was no growth of performance from the first race to the last, they have the right to do that.

"At the end of the day, F1 is about beating your team-mate. He has the same tools as you. My whole goal when I was at Toro Rosso was about beating my team-mate, making sure I ended the season with more points than him. That was the only way I could provide money to my team. Money means delivering results."

Read More