Q & A with Jaime Alguersuari
|By Steven English
||Wednesday, July 1st 2009, 10:15 GMT
Jaime Alguersuari will take over Red Bull Formula 1 reserve duties with immediate effect, and while in the days of the testing ban that will not mean he will get to drive the car, he still believes he has moved a big step closer to an F1 drive, as he told AUTOSPORT.
Q. What does being reserve driver for Red Bull and Toro Rosso mean for you, given that you won't be testing the car?
Jaime Alguersuari: We all need some in experience in Formula 1, whatever it is. Testing in F1 is not much at the minute but anyway I think it's a good position to start with, to learn as much as I can from the F1 drivers and the team for next year and for the future.
The main objective this year is just to learn as much as possible, and of course I would like to test in the car after the season. At the end of the year there are still not many days of testing, maybe just three or four, not much. But any time you can have is good, that's what you want.
I will be going to the grands prix and, ok I don't drive the car there but you can still learn at the track. You spend the weekend with the team; watching, learning, working with them. You can experience the weekend and mentally put yourself in the car, so it's a good position to be in. And I feel like I have done well to deserve this opportunity in F3 and World Series.
Q. How has this season been going in Formula Renault 3.5?
JA: It's going quite well to be honest. Last year in Formula 3 the standard of the drivers was very good, but we were all rookies - so we didn't know everything, we made mistakes, and you could make a big difference. Now I am in a championship where a lot of the drivers have been three or four years in the series. They know the system, the tyres, the car, everything - and they have been doing it so long they don't really make mistakes.
So it's very tough to be at the front for a rookie. But still I have always been fast and competitive, I was leading at the first race at Barcelona until there was a problem with the fuel pump. For one reason or another we couldn't have a win yet, but we are always fast at the front and there are still six rounds to go. I'm not worried about the championship, there has been no one person outstanding out front of all the others, so it's still catchable.
Q. What is your plan for next season?
JA: My main objective and aim is to be as a race driver at Toro Rosso, this would be for me the best. It's going to be tough, also because there is not much testing to do. But once you get to F1, everything changes - we have seen that with guys like Sebastien Buemi and Sebastian Vettel.
My main goal is to get to learn in F1; to develop as a driver there, because it's the best place to learn. You have seen drivers start in Formula 1 very young, they learn there and get better, and I think that's what you want to do. Like Fernando Alonso, he started at Minardi at, what, 21? He learned there, he moved to Renault where he was still learning and he won championships there. Now you can look at guys like Vettel who are doing the same.
I think it is the philosophy of Red Bull to give drivers a chance to do that, and I think that's the best philosophy too. You see what Buemi has done, and what Vettel has been able to do, and it gives you a lot of confidence and motivation that you could do the same. You just have to trust in Red Bull and try to show them that you deserve a chance, and earn it. To be the reserve driver for Red Bull and Toro Rosso is very positive and for me it's just the first part of it.