Former Crimson Bull Junior Driver Recollects ‘Trauma’ on His Approach Up the F1 Ladder



Jaime Alguersuari at the 2011 Japanese Grand Prix.

Jaime Alguersuari on the 2011 Japanese Grand Prix.
Picture: Peter Fox (Getty Pictures)

When Jaime Alguersuari retired from motorsport, he was a mere 25 years previous however had already seen sufficient of the racing world to burn him out. His struggles largely stemmed from his backing by the Red Bull Junior Program, which had supplied assist by way of his profession and in the end landed him a seat in Method 1. Now, he’s opening up concerning the trauma he nonetheless holds from his years in this system.

Alguersuari made his debut in F1 on the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix, throughout which period he was a mere 19 years previous and have become the youngest F1 driver to compete in a race. He was ushered into the game as a mid-season substitute for Sébastian Buemi regardless of his lack of expertise being referred to as into query — and it promptly kicked off a dismal 2.5-season run with Scuderia Toro Rosso. In his first season, Alguersuari failed to attain a single level. The next 12 months, he was outperformed by his teammate. On the finish of 2011, his last 12 months of F1, Alguersuari and Buemi had been each changed by Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo.

Three years later, Alguersuari returned to racing to compete with Virgin within the brand-new Method E collection, however earlier than the finale doubleheader in London, he introduced his retirement from motorsport, citing unspecified well being circumstances, an absence of affection for the game, and the momentary suspension of his racing license. He moved right into a DJ profession as a substitute.

Now, Buemi has opened as much as Spanish outlet El Confidencial about his traumatizing time in motorsport, as reported by The Race:

Chatting with Spanish outlet El Confidencial, Alguersuari acknowledged that he was “fortunate to be helped by Crimson Bull for a few years”, however careworn that he was “stuffed with ego and prickly” in his time in F1.

He badly struggled to make peace with being lower unfastened by Crimson Bull. “It made me a infantile individual,” he mentioned. And although he feels he has modified, he nonetheless feels the affect of being within the Crimson Bull pressure-cooker.

“I let you know one thing – once I sleep, I nonetheless have very unusual goals of that point,” he mentioned. “Particularly concerning the impotence and the frustration of by no means making it, of seeing Mr. [Helmut] Marko at all times indignant, telling us off. As if we had been kids.

“This has created a trauma – and I’m satisfied that Buemi and lots of others are additionally going by way of it.

“I’ve not been capable of erase this. I’ve finished remedy, once I retired a number of psychologists helped me… now, even so, unusual issues come to my head. And generally get up, like, crying, having dreamt of getting finished an awesome lap solely to see the face of Mr. Marko, indignant.”

While it wasn’t explicitly mentioned at the time of his retirement, it was rumored that Alguersuari was struggling with that nasty split from Red Bull. He had mentioned it had impacted his mental health, but details about the matter were few and far between.

And Alguersuari’s experience didn’t happen in a vacuum. Red Bull also allegedly put pressure on driver Jean-Eric Vergne to maintain such a low weight during races in order to be more competitive with his teammate Daniel Ricciardo that he was taken to the hospital after events. Pierre Gasly and Daniil Kvyat have both experienced the cruelty of promotion and then demotion between Red Bull Racing and junior team Scuderia Toro Rosso (now AlphaTauri). Time and again, Red Bull’s Junior Program has displayed a tendency to show favor to one driver, often at the detriment of everyone else.

Alguersuari continued in El Confidencial that he has made some tentative peace with the decision from Red Bull but that there are still aspects of it that bother him. For example, he argues that Red Bull held something of a grudge against both him and Carlos Sainz Jr. due to the fact that both drivers had famous fathers. Of course, it’s worth noting that Red Bull’s current lead driver, Max Verstappen, also has a famous father.

However, the fact that Alguersuari was so deeply impacted on a mental and emotional level should imply that changes needed to be made within the Red Bull program. Recent reports that Yuki Tsunoda has sought a sport psychologist to temper his moods could be a promising sign — or it could be the exact opposite.

Whatever the case, Alguersuari is once again finally returning to the motorsport world, this time in the form of karting. At 32 years old, it’s a bit late to get his restart, but it’s good to see him making more peace with what was an immensely difficult time.

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