Despite it being his third year in the top flight, Jaime Alguersuari is still one of the youngsters on the Formula 1 grid.
The Toro Rosso deliver delivered an impressive performance in 2011, claiming seven points’ finishes with some hard-charging drives through the field. But this didn’t prove sufficient for the Spaniard to be kept on board for another season, with the team having just announced that he wouldn’t be part of their 2012 line-up…
Most drivers would have thrown the toys out of the playpen at the news, and while he would later describe his sacking as “incomprehensible”, Jaime kept his cool and offered nothing but praise for the support that the team, and its drinks giant parent, has given him during his fast-tracked passage to Formula 1.
At the time of our interview with him – times in the days following the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix – Jaime was upbeat and confident he had done enough to remain on board for another year.
We had held off publishing the interview to give it proper coverage during the off-season, and the timing of its publication (just 24 hours after his departure) is certainly, and unintentionally, ironic…
Nonetheless, our quick chat with him gave us a great insight into the workings of this very mature man, as he talks about his passion for motorsport, his relationship with Red Bull, and the release of his first DJ single…
We extend our deepest thanks to Jaime’s media team for their support in making this interview possible.
|Full Name:||Jaime Victor Alguersuari Escudero|
|Born:||23 March 1990, Barcelona (ESP)|
|First GP:||2009 Hungarian Grand Prix|
|Last GP:||2011 Brazilian Grand Prix|
|Wins:||0||Best Finish:||7th||Best Qualifying:||6th|
|2005||Formula Junior 1600 Italia, Tomcat Racing, 12 races, 2 wins, 4 podiums, 3rd overall
Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0, Epsilon Euskadi, Not Classified
|2006||Formula Renault 2.0 Italia, Cram Competition, 15 races, 1 podium, 10th overall
Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0, Cram Competition, 14 races, 1 podium, 12th overall
Formula Renault 2.0 Italia Winter Series, Cram Competition, 4 races, 4 wins, 1st overall
|2007||Formula Renault 2.0 Italia, Epsilon Red Bull, 14 races, 3 wins, 7 podiums, 2nd overall
Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0, Epsilon Red Bull, 14 races, 2 podiums, 5th overall
|2008||British Formula 3, Carlin Motorsport, 22 races, 5 wins, 12 podiums, 1st overall
Masters of Formula 3, Carlin Motorsport, 8th overall
Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix, Carlin Motorsport, 10th overall
Spanish Formula 3, GTA Motor Competición, 8 races, 3 wins, 4 podiums, 7th overall
|2009||Formula Renault 3.5 Series, Carlin Motorsport, 17 races, 1 win, 3 podiums, 6th overall
Formula 1, Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR4, 8 races, Not Classified
|2010||Formula 1, Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR5, 19 races, 5 points, 19th overall|
|2011||Formula 1, Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR6, 19 races, 26 points, 14th overall|
|2012||Pirelli F1 Tyre Test Driver|
You started out in karts at the age of eight. What initially attracted you to motorsport, and who were your motorsport idols when you were growing up?
Indeed, I started racing in karts at age 8, just for fun on weekends. I come from a family closely related to the motorsport, so since I was young I lived very close to this world. My father was a motorcycle racer and it was he who introduced me to this.
As a child I had a poster in my room of Michael Schumacher, so you can imagine what it means for me today to be competing with him.
When did your relationship with Red Bull begin, and how important have they been in your rise through the motorsport ranks?
My relationship with Red Bull began when I was 15 years old. I was elected to join the Red Bull Junior Team, a program of young talented motorsport drivers of Red Bull, after convincing them in a test in Estoril in Portugal, with 25 drivers who aspired to the same.
You’ve now finished your third season with Scuderia Toro Rosso. How is your relationship with the team, and with your team-mate Sébastien Buemi?
My relationship with the team is extraordinary. They are a second family to me. I feel a deep personal and professional respect for each of the people who form the Scuderia Toro Rosso, from managers to mechanics, I feel respected and loved. My relationship with Sébastien Buemi is good as well, we have similar ages and nobody knows better than him my reality, since he is on the same team. He has always helped me. He is the best teacher I can have in this profession.
What are your thoughts on your performance in the 2011 season, particularly given your early season difficulties with Pirelli tyres? You racked up several points’ finishes, including some impressive drives through the field…
I’m happy. Since I am in Formula 1 this is my best season. It is true that at first we had adaptation problems to the tyres, but I always said it was a matter of time, I knew that sooner or later we would find the perfect set-up. I managed to finish seventh twice, my best races in this category. I finished the 2011 season with 26 points, 11 more than my team mate Sébastien Buemi. I cannot be more pleased with my performance, the team sees it and I feel very supported by all of them. I already think of the 2012 season.
You’ve made it well clear that you’re targeting a seat at the senior Red Bull Racing team in the future. What do you believe you need to achieve to be the strongest possible candidate for a seat there, should Mark Webber elect to retire at the end of 2012?
Personally I shall endeavour to do what I have always done: give everything of myself and do the best I know. Like I said before, Red Bull chose me with 15 years old, I’ve been with them since and they are the ones that have guided my career until today. The day they believe it’s appropriate for me to make the leap to Red Bull Racing, I’ll be the happiest person in the world, it would be an honour for me to get to this point someday.
You helped launch the All Stars Indoor Karting Barcelona event, which will occur next year at Palau Sant Jordi. Can you tell our readers a bit more about the event, including some of the big-name drivers who will be joining you on the track?
I am particularly pleased with this event as it is the first time something like that is organized at home, in Barcelona. This is a unique and exclusive venue, a karting race in an indoor track between twelve drivers who represent the most important disciplines of motorsport.
Under the same roof several stars from Formula One, MotoGP, Indy Car, Moto2, Superbike and World Rally Championship will get together.
An unprecedented event in Spain, it will be an exciting race against a MotoGP world champion like Jorge Lorenzo, as well as some of my colleagues in Formula 1 such as Jerôme d’Ambrosio, Buemi and Liuzzi among others…
There will be three categories: All Stars GP, KF2 and Open RACC. During the venue, the 12 drivers of the All Stars GP category will dispute three finals. At each end, the ten top drivers score similarly to the F1 World Championship (25, 18, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 1). With the total sum of the score we will obtain the winner of the first edition of the Indoor Karting All Stars GP. I guarantee it will be a great show, people who come to this event won’t be disappointed!Even Rally Champion Dani Sordo will be there! All drivers will compete with the same kart of the Intrepid brand, a vehicle designed for the Karting elite that the public may also be able to purchase after the event!
Pastimes in motorsport and music are not ones people would typically associate together. What attracted you to DJing, and what artists have influenced you, musically?
In my opinion music and sport are fully compatible, it’s just about keeping the correct balance and taking both seriously.
When you are passionate about something it’s easy to find time for it.
Musically, I was influenced in the beginning by older icons like Sven Vath, which are part of electronic music history, and now I like very much the sound of younger artists like Maceo Plex, Uner or Edu Imbernon.
Can you talk us through the process of creating Organic Life? What are your thoughts on the success it is currently enjoying?
Organic Life is a track produced a while ago. It reflects my love for jazz and soul, its electronic but at the same time funky and jazzy. And for me this is what music is about, being organic.
Your first single is a great track to drive to. What’s your favourite music to listen to when you’re on the road?
Lately I like Nicolas Jaar, which is again very jazzy. His last album is great.
Images via Corbis Images, LAT and Scuderia Toro Rosso