Alguersuari: “My biggest worry is fitness”
22 July, 2009
Jaime Alguersuari may be young and inexperienced but he is no stranger to single seater racing. He is the reigning champion of British F3 and now racing in the World Series by Renault, which was also the stepping-stone to F1 for big names including Robert Kubica and Sebastian Vettel.
In the middle of June, he was racing at the Hungaroring, and while grand prix pilots were idle last weekend, Alguersuari was in action at the Le Mans circuit. But as for this weekend’s 70-lap Budapest challenge, he admits: “The race is much longer than I am used to.” Fellow Spaniard Marc Gene concurs, believing Alguersuari may struggle in Hungary particularly in the area of neck strength.
Otherwise, Alguersuari is not overly worried, and mature enough to understand that although with no promises beyond the end of the season, Toro Rosso is allowing him to use the opportunity to prepare for 2010.
“In a lot of ways formula one is the very top, but it is still a racing car,” he told Spanish media on Tuesday. “There are two pedals and a steering wheel, like all the others. I know that it is going to be very difficult for me to arrive immediately with the same speed as the others, but I am calm and the team is not putting pressure on me.”
With a draconian testing ban in force, Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost believes Alguersuari’s debut is an example of how grand prix careers will now begin. He rejects outright any fears the youngster might be a danger either to himself or his F1 rivals.
“Jaime has a similar amount of experience (for F1) as did Sebastian Vettel in 2006, when he drove for the first time (in practice) for BMW in Turkey,” he told Sport Bild. “And Kimi Raikkonen had substantially less experience when Peter Sauber gave him his chance in 2001,” Tost added.
“Jaime is ready, I have no doubts. He is the most developed in the Red Bull junior programme, we are not going to put pressure on him and he will get better and better with every race as he learns.”