With only three full seasons in the sport and at the tender age of 19 years 125 days, Jaime Alguersuari became the youngest and arguably least experienced Formula 1 driver in history. He replaced Toro Rosso’s Sébastien Bourdais for the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix after just two straight line tests and that elevation drew concern for some.
Early career and the ascent to Formula 1
The son of a 1970s bike racer of the same name, he started racing in 2005 and won twice in the Italian Formula Junior 1600 series. He graduated to Formula Renault with Cram Motorsport and won the end-of-season winter series. Supported by Red Bull, he continued in that category in 2007 with Epsilon and was runner-up in Italy.
He also made his Formula 3 bow that year in Spain and the youngster joined the crack Carlin Motorsport team for the 2008 British F3 Championship. Having won three times so far he entered the final weekend of the season with only an outside chance of the title. But team-mate Oliver Turvey endured a nightmare at Donington Park while Alguersuari scored a double triumph to snatch the title and become the youngest British F3 Champion to date.
Formula 1 with Scuderia Toro Rosso
He remained with Carlin to race in the 2009 Formula Renault 3.5 Championship and dovetailed that with Formula 1 after his Hungarian debut. Sixth in the former, Alguersuari showed impressive maturity in his eight GP starts, a substantial accident in Japan apart.
The Spaniard battled the returning Michael Schumacher in Australia at the start of 2010 and scored points in Malaysia (ninth), Spain (10th) and Abu Dhabi (again ninth). He qualified seventh for the 2011 Chinese GP and sixth in Belgium but finished no higher than seventh in Italy and Korea. That was not enough for Toro Rosso and Alguersuari was released at the end of the season.
Former racing driver, aged just 25
Alguersuari worked as a test driver for Pirelli and as a commentator on BBC Radio 5 Live during 2012 as he plotted an F1 return that never materialised. He raced for Virgin’s Formula E team before announcing that he was retiring from motor racing to pursue a career as a DJ.