Tyre-tester: 'F1 is an auction'
ALL ABOUT MONEY: Former Torro Rosso driver, Jaime Agluersuari who raced during 2011 (above), claims F1 teams favour money over talent. Image: AFP
Author: ALAN BALDWIN
Pirelli tyre tester Jaime Alguersuari has vented the frustration of failing to secure a Formula 1 race seat by saying the sport has become an auction favouring money over talent.
The 22-year-old Spaniard has been trying to find a way back to the grid since he and Swiss team mate Sebastien Buemi were dropped by Red Bull-owned Toro Rosso at the end of 2011.
He had sounded confident about his chances but those hopes have been dashed with lower-ranking teams favouring drivers who can bring sponsorship (ready heavy money) with them to shore up strained budgets.
The only remaining vacancy is at Force India, with which Alguersuari had been linked, whose decision now looks like a choice between their former driver Adrian Sutil and young Frenchman Jules Bianchi.
Alguersuari said: "I never imagined that after Red Bull's incomprehensible decision not to count on me in 2012 I would have to fight so much outside the track. I've been convinced most of the 2012 season that my seat was secure in a team that usually scores. They told me and I believed it to be true."
Alguersuari said he hoped "the value of my sporting career and the verbal commitments received would materialise with my return to F1 in 2013. This has not happened".
"Those who committed themselves with me have given me reasons that I must accept but that I do not share. F1 has become an auction."
'I DESERVE A WINNING CAR'
The Spaniard will continue working with Pirelli and has not given up hope of returning to GP racing despite the difficulty of securing backing in debt-stricken Spain.
"Although Spain's economy is in the worst shape in our modern history and except for Banco Santander no other company considers F1 as a profitable and sustainable business, I know how old I am, I know my track record and I'm convinced that I deserve a winning car in F1," he said.
Double World champion Fernando Alonso will be the only Spaniard on the grid this season at Santander-backed Ferrari. The country's only F1 team, HRT, folded after the end of 2012.