Find out more about our subscriptions

Jaime Alguersuari 'very surprised' by Toro Rosso decision to dump him for 2012

Jaime AlguersuariJaime Alguersuari says he was very surprised by Toro Rosso's decision not to renew his contract to stay with the team in 2012, after the Italian squad announced an all-new driver line-up on Wednesday.

The Faenza-based squad revealed yesterday that Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne would replace Alguersuari and team-mate Sebastien Buemi from next year, in a surprising move by Red Bull's junior outfit.

Just the day before, Alguersuari had said he was not even considering a scenario in which he was out of the team.

The Spaniard admitted he wasn't expecting such a decision.

"I'm very surprised with the decision," Alguersuari said on his website. "Just a week ago, after winning the Challenge of the Stars in Florianopolis, I talked to Helmut Marko and Franz Tost and both talked to me about the plans they had for me for 2012.

"They talked with enthusiasm and they showed great confidence, also asking me to be in Madrid on Monday, for a great event by CEPSA where they made me insist about our project in F1 for 2012."

Although the 21-year-old admitted he found the situation "incomprehensible" because of the strong form he believes he showed during the 2011 season, he said he is not judging the decision because of the way he arrived in F1.

Alguersuari replaced Sebastien Bourdais mid-season in 2009, having not driven Formula 1 machinery before.

"I'm not going to judge the situation, because if I thought it was crazy that they made me debut in 2009 at 19 and without having done a single kilometre in an F1 car before, today's news was even more incomprehensible in the best moment of my sporting career," he added.

"I won't judge the reasons for the decision, because Red Bull gave me everything since I was 15, I have grown with them and I have become a complete driver in F1 at the age of 21."

The Spaniard said it was no drama losing his seat, and acknowledged that the support Red Bull had given him during the years had helped him become the driver he is today.

"I don't feel a victim because I've enjoyed the privilege of being in the best team in the world and with the best resources for seven years," he said.

"They brought me here, with them I won the British F3 championship at 18 and with them I've achieved the best result for a 21-year-old driver in F1 in 2011. They've taken a decision I respect, and I'm keeping an enviable sporting and emotional training."

He added: "It's not a drama, because I have a lot of plans for the present and the future. The surprise lasted a couple of hours. Enough to talk to my family, look at the street and realise that life is full of opportunities and challenges."

  More news  
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
Visit the shop
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
Paddock insight from group F1 editor Jonathan Noble
Grand Prix news updates from F1 editor Edd Straw
Breaking news feed
Live commentary feed
Alguersuari joins BBC 5 Live team
Tost: Alguersuari, Buemi no F1 stars
Alguersuari: I turned down a '12 seat
Horner excited to see STR duo's fight
Marko: Ex-STR duo 'were not winners'
Vergne: Ricciardo will have early edge
Q & A with Toro Rosso's Franz Tost
Tost: Toro Rosso a place for rookies
Q & A with Daniel Ricciardo
Ricciardo says STR drive a big relief
Ricciardo, Vergne to race for Toro Rosso