Jaime Alguersuari has admitted he was “hurt” by Red Bull’s late decision to oust him from Toro Rosso. The 21-year-old announced this week that, amid speculation he might rescue his career with the reserve role at Mercedes, he will in fact be missing entirely from the F1 paddock in 2012.
In a Spanish-language statement, he admitted the career interruption was “unnecessary”.
“At the Brazilian grand prix, my continuity (at Toro Rosso) was confirmed verbally. After this confirmation by Red Bull and STR, we turned down a very good deal.
“A few days later, Toro Rosso sent me to the headquarters of (sponsor) Cepsa, and at a dinner I talked about my relationship with Toro Rosso and Cepsa with a script written at Faenza.
“No one has ever explained to me why, having fulfilled the expectations asked of me by the team, improving from 2010 and beating my teammate, I am stopped in December with no time to get a good position in 2012,” said Alguersuari.
He insisted, however, that he is not giving up on F1.
“I am thinking only of F1,” he said. “I am 21, have played 46 grands prix, I’m not a rookie driver anymore. Yes to Formula One, but not at any price.
“I contacted (HRT team boss) Luis Perez-Sala, my friend and former mentor, in December, but we both agreed – HRT does not have a car for me and I cannot spend everything at my age struggling to improve a car that far behind.
“Williams? That option never even occurred to me as nowadays they only want drivers who pay.
“In January I had discussions with one of the best teams that could be decisive in my future. I was received with great affection and respect and we have opened a path. For obvious reasons I cannot reveal the nature of our intention, but what I can say is that I will devote myself body and soul to F1 in 2012. I will prepare myself, with no contractual relationships with anyone, to be ready and available for any opportunity that arises.”