SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO has confirmed the worst kept secret in Formula One by announcing teenager Jamie Alguersuari will replace Sebastien Bourdais at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Alguersuari was long touted as the next driver to receive Toro Rosso?s poisoned chalice, with the team having turned over no fewer than four drivers in three seasons, and is set to become the youngest-ever driver to compete in Formula One at 19 years old.
The previous record holder was Kiwi Mike Thackwell, who made the grid for the 1980 Canadian Grand Prix for his first of only two career F1 race starts, while he failed to qualify on three other occasions.
The Faenza-based outfit was keen to elevate Alguersuari to a race seat due to the in-season testing ban, hoping to provide the Spaniard with much needed experience ahead of the 2010 season.
Having raced in the World Series by Renault this year, Alguersuari said he is under no illusions of the difficult learning curve facing him in the remaining eight races of the season.
"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,? he said.
"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."
Despite his F1 commitments however, Carlin Motorsport boss Trevor Carlin said Alguersuari plans to continue racing in the World Series.
"It will be a tough learning curve for Jaime this year, but he is mature enough to learn quickly and make the most of this great opportunity. Jaime intends to continue racing with us in World Series this year, but obviously his F1 commitments will take priority,? he said.