• Jul 21, 2009
It's official, Ladies and Gentlemen: Sebastien Bourdais' career in Formula One is finished. In his place will be the youngest driver ever to race in F1, Spanish pilot Jamie Alguersuari. Scuderia Toro Rosso, out from whose cockpit Bourdais has evidently climbed for the last time and which Alguersuari will now call home, says it's taking the opportunity to promote one of its top protégés and doesn't expect the young Spaniard to begin yielding results immediately – especially since he has barely had the opportunity to even test the car away from the limelight of a Grand Prix weekend. Leg-up opportunities aside, it can't be ignored that with Alguersuari comes sponsorship cash from two major companies backing their countryman's career: Oil giant Repsol and savings bank La Caixa.

Alguersuari will be driving alongside Swiss driver Sebastien Buemi, both of whom will be wringing out a significantly updated car at the upcoming Hungarian Grand Prix. Missing out on the new package only served to further irritate the departing Bourdais, who, far from taking the dismissal lying down, has announced that he's looking into legal repercussions for STR's premature termination of his contract. Meanwhile, veteran test driver and close confident Marc Géné says that the timing of Alguersuari's race debut could make his the most challenging in F1 history.

But Jamie and the Red Bull Junior development program that brought him up through the ranks aren't about to take it easy – while racing in F1 for Toro Rosso, Alguersuari will continue to compete in the Formula Renault 3.5 championship in which he was already racing, making his one heck of a learning curve. Official announcement in the press release after the jump.

[Source: Scuderia Toro Rosso | Image: Peter Fox/Getty]

PRESS RELEASE:

ALGUERSUARI JOINS SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO

Scuderia Toro Rosso is pleased to announce that, as from this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix, Jaime Alguersuari will drive for the team, alongside Sebastien Buemi. The 19 year old Spaniard will thus become the youngest ever driver to take part in a Grand Prix weekend.

Jaime Alguersuari: "I would like to thank Red Bull for giving me this great opportunity to race in Formula 1. Ever since I started racing this has been my dream and thanks to the Red Bull Junior Programme I will now realise my ambition of lining up on a Grand Prix grid. I am aware that I'm facing a very tough challenge, because coming into Formula 1 is never easy, coming into Formula 1 in the middle of a season is even harder and doing so without any testing is really difficult. But already I feel that I am getting great support from the team, who have quite a reputation for looking after rookie drivers."

Franz Tost: "Red Bull's stated aim for Scuderia Toro Rosso is that, when possible, it should be used to provide a seat for products of its Young Driver Programme. We therefore chose Alguersuari as the most mature driver currently in the programme. I am well aware that over the next few months the team and Jaime will face a major challenge, especially because of the testing ban. But Red Bull is always ready for a new challenge. I do not expect anything from him for at least his first three races, during which he has to get used to the car, the team and to the Formula 1 environment."

Jaime Alguersuari

Date of Birth: March 23, 1990
Place of birth: Barcelona (SPAIN)
Height: 181cm
Weight: 65 kg

• 118 races
• 17 wins
• 36 podiums
• 17 pole positions
• 8 fastest laps


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 14 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      I bet halfway through next season, he's not going to produce results, and then they'll get another driver.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Simply Bourdais has not produced the result like Vettel in the same car. If I was team manager I would go and get someone who can.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Smug Bastard!
      • 5 Years Ago
      As a fellow Frenchman, I'm a bit sad to see Bourdais go, but let's face it, he simply hasn't produced results, especially when compared to what Vettel did in the same car last year.

      I hope that Jaime (might want to correct the spelling, Noah) can perform better as I rather like the STR Team.
        • 5 Years Ago
        LOL. But what to do with Narain Karthikeyan or Kazuki Nakajima?
        • 5 Years Ago
        No he's just anglicizing all those weird funky foreigner names into something understandable. You'll soon see Phillip Massa, Ferdinand Alonso, Timothy Glock, Nick Rosberg, and John Carl Fisichella as well. For the sake of comprehension of course.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Just let it go Bourdais, you're not going to win this argument.
        • 5 Years Ago
        His CONTRACT probably says it all & wins him any argument!
        • 5 Years Ago
        His CONTRACT will probably win him the important arguments
      • 5 Years Ago
      I would be a little hesitant about accepting that seat, Toro Rosso seem to go through a lot of drivers and smear them in the press saying they lack talent.

      Last year Bourdais wasn't lighting the world on fire but with a teammate like Vettel it's a little hard to shine but if you look at his numbers he did well.
      This year Red Bull have obviously pulled some funding from them and the car is lacking pace, instead of saying the car is uncompetitive they say Bourdais is crappy and we miss Vettel.

      It just seems like TR is not a place to go if you want to forward your career this year, unless you possess Schumacher-esque skill.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Correction: Repsol is definitely NOT heading to Toro Rosso. The spanish company -according to their own PR reports- only wants to renew their contract with HRC in MotoGP.
      Don't know if "La Caixa" will sponsor Toro Rosso or just Jaime, but it is not looking alike.
      IMHO, the catalan is fast enough to drive a F1 car. He was the youngest champion in British F3 (in his debut season!), and also he has developed all of his -still brief- career in Red Bull's Rookies Program. He deserves a chance... And by the way, Bourdai's performance wasn't even close to average. Sorry for him, but it's time to leave.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Bourdais has struggled in the same car in comparison to Vettel. If I was team Manager get someone else who can produce similar numbers to Vettel.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. So it happened to a less-nice one in Bourdais.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sounds like the Scott Speed saga all over again
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