Jaime Alguersuari admits he was surprised by Toro Rosso’s decision to axe him, but he is refusing to be critical of STR and Red Bull.
Many pundits believed the Spaniard’s seat for next year was safe, but Toro Rosso decided to give both Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi the boot, replacing them with Red Bull Junior drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne.
The 21-year-old revealed that Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko and team principal Franz Tost recently told him he was still in their plans for next year.
“I am very surprised by the decision,” he told Spain’s Marca. “Just a week ago I talked with Helmut Marko and Franz Tost and they told me they had plans for me in 2012.
“They did it with enthusiasm and showed a lot of confidence in me, they also asked me to be in Madrid on Monday for a day with CEPSA [a sponsor] where I talked about our F1 project in 2012.”
Alguersuari, who started out as a Red Bull Junior driver and made his debut with STR midway through the 2009 season, is keeping his spirits up and also refused to criticise Red Bull.
“I will not judge the situation because I thought that they were crazy give me a debut in 2009 at 19 years and three months, without ever having completed a mile in F1 before. Today’s news seemed like the greatest misunderstanding during the best moment of my sporting life.”
He added: “I am not a victim because for seven years I have enjoyed the privilege of being at the best team in the world with the best resources, they brought me here and with them I won the British F3 International Series at 18 years and with them I achieved the best results for a 21-year-old driver in Formula 1 in 2011. At the end of March I will turn 22 with 46 GPs behind my name. They have taken a decision which I respect, but I am left with an enviable level of experience.
“The surprise lasted a couple of hours for me. I needed to speak with my family, watching Street, was in Madrid, and realised that life is full of opportunities and challenges. ”
Toro Rosso hand seats to Ricciardo and Vergne