Jaime Alguersuari has admitted surprise at Red Bull’s decision to oust him from the Toro Rosso team. In recent days, the 21-year-old Spaniard has sounded confident about keeping his seat with the Faenza based team.
Alguersuari admitted the news was therefore “very surprising and unexpected”.
“Just a week ago after karting in Brazil I talked with Helmut Marko and Franz Tost and they told me they had plans for me in 2012,” he revealed. “They did so with enthusiasm and showed a lot of confidence in me.
“So after talking with them (now), I thought of three things: first, I will not judge the situation because it seems crazy that after debuting at 19 years old without ever doing a lap in F1 before, today’s news seems to be a major misunderstanding in the best moment of my sporting life. I will not judge the decision because since 15 years old Red Bull gave me everything.
“Second, I am not a victim because for seven years I have enjoyed the privilege because of them. And third, there is no drama, because I have many plans for the present and the future. The surprise lasted for a couple of hours but I have talked to my family and realised that life is full of opportunities and challenges.”
Already, speculation has begun that Alguersuari could switch places with Daniel Ricciardo at HRT, where in 2011 Red Bull had a driver deal in place with the Spanish team.
The move would also give HRT an all-Spanish lineup, following Pedro de la Rosa’s recent signing.
Alguersuari’s Swiss teammate in 2011, Sebastien Buemi, has a much more uncertain future.
The 23-year-old is yet to comment, but his close media confidant Roger Benoit – the veteran Blick newspaper correspondent – said Buemi “has no plan B”.
“Without millions of dollars in sponsors there is not even a back-of-the-grid team with a vacancy for him,” he said.
Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport speculated that Red Bull might appoint either Alguersuari or Buemi as the championship-winning team’s 2012 reserve driver.
The report said the duo might struggle to find a seat elsewhere in F1 because of the “Red Bull stamp on their foreheads”.