Is Jaime Alguersuari set to return to the F1 grid?

Jaime Alguersuari’s plans on returning to the Formula 1 grid will be revealed “very soon”, according to comments he made in the Spanish press.

The 22-year-old racer was dumped from Toro Rosso’s driver line-up during the 2012 off-season and has since been consigned to working as one of Pirelli’s tyre testers while dovetailing this with stints in the BBC Radio 5 Live commentary box at several Grands Prix this season.

The Spaniard has been strongly linked with a return to the 2013 grid in Force india’s line-up. These rumours have since strengthened on the back of the recent announcement that Nico Hulkenberg would move from the Silverstone-based team to Sauber for the 2013 season.

In a Q&A column in the Spanish-language sports daily AS, Alguersuari was asked if he had in fact missed out on an opportunity to return to the F1 grid, with more and more seats being confirmed for next year.

Already, Red Bull Racing, Ferrari, McLaren and Toro Rosso have finalised their complete race line-ups, while Williams is almost certain to announce its line-up – believed to be Pastor Maldonado and Valtteri Bottas – in the coming days.

Lotus and Sauber have half of their line-ups already sorted – in Paul di Rest and Hulkenberg, respectively – while the driver pairings for Force India, Caterham, Marussia and HRT (assuming they’re even in operation) are unconfirmed.

“I will reveal my plans for 2013 to all my fans very soon. Thank you for your support!” he told a fan, who playfully suggested he would have hired Alguersuari if he was in charge of the McLaren team.

It is widely believed that Force India will retain Paul di Resta for a third season in its race line-up, and Auto Motor und Sport has reported that the team will announce its line-up at the Brazilian Grand Prix this weekend.

The report claimed that the team was looking at a long list of drivers, including reserve driver Jules Bianchi, current racers Heikki Kovalainen and Bruno Senna, along with the likes of GP2 Series racers Davide Valsecchi Luiz Razia, Johnny Cecotto Jr and Rodolfo Gonzalez.

Some of the long-shot contenders apparently included Rubens Barrichello – who was in Austin trying to sniff out te chances of an F1 return – and former World Champion Jacques Villeneuve!

Sources closer to the team suggest that Alguersuari is one of three candidates being closely considered, alongside his former Toro Rosso team-mate Sebastien Buemi and former Force India racer Adrian Sutil.

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.
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