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F1: Alguersuari Says Toro Rosso Axe 'Very Surprising' Photo:
 
 
Mike Stevens | Dec, 16 2011 | 0 Comments
  • Alguersuari says Toro Rosso axe 'very surprising'
  • No testing has hurt F1 comeback - Schumacher
  • Hulkenberg not fussy over 2012 teammate
  • Minardi driver Sala takes control at HRT
 

Alguersuari says Toro Rosso axe 'very surprising'

Jaime Alguersuari has admitted surprise at Red Bull's decision to oust him from the Toro Rosso team.

In recent days, the 21-year-old Spaniard has sounded confident about keeping his seat with the Faenza based team.

Alguersuari admitted the news was therefore "very surprising and unexpected".

"Just a week ago after karting in Brazil I talked with Helmut Marko and Franz Tost and they told me they had plans for me in 2012," he revealed.

"They did so with enthusiasm and showed a lot of confidence in me.

"So after talking with them (now), I thought of three things: first, I will not judge the situation because it seems crazy that after debuting at 19 years old without ever doing a lap in F1 before, today's news seems to be a major misunderstanding in the best moment of my sporting life.

"I will not judge the decision because since 15 years old Red Bull gave me everything.

"Second, I am not a victim because for seven years I have enjoyed the privilege because of them. And third, there is no drama, because I have many plans for the present and the future.

"The surprise lasted for a couple of hours but I have talked to my family and realised that life is full of opportunities and challenges."

Already, speculation has begun that Alguersuari could switch places with Daniel Ricciardo at HRT, where in 2011 Red Bull had a driver deal in place with the Spanish team.

The move would also give HRT an all-Spanish line-up, following Pedro de la Rosa's recent signing.

Alguersuari's Swiss teammate in 2011, Sebastien Buemi, has a much more uncertain future.

The 23-year-old is yet to comment, but his close media confidant Roger Benoit - the veteran Blick newspaper correspondent - said Buemi "has no plan B".

"Without millions of dollars in sponsors there is not even a back-of-the-grid team with a vacancy for him," he said.

Germany's Auto Motor und Sport speculated that Red Bull might appoint either Alguersuari or Buemi as the championship-winning team's 2012 reserve driver.

The report said the duo might struggle to find a seat elsewhere in F1 because of the "Red Bull stamp on their foreheads".

(GMM)

 

No testing has hurt F1 comeback - Schumacher

It is the nature of modern F1 that has contributed to Michael Schumacher's difficult comeback so far, the seven-time world champion has insisted.

Two years ago now, the famous German - who will turn 43 next month - announced his return after a three-year break to the sport he once dominated.

Having scooped an incredible 91 wins and 154 podiums in his first career, Schumacher is yet to return to the rostrum after one of his 38 Grands Prix with Mercedes since 2010.

It has been speculated that Schumacher is now either too old to perform to his old standards, or no longer fully focused and determined.

"Some have questioned whether my mood has changed. It would be nice if outsiders didn't make guesses without knowing," he said in an interview with Italy's Corriere della Sera.

Schumacher insisted that F1 is a "major challenge", both for himself and for Mercedes-Benz, who are still building up their Brackley based works team.

He acknowledged: "I thought that I might be (on the podium) at least a couple of times. Together we have to work hard to improve performance but we are not afraid of that.

"In F1 there are no magic wands.

"In the past we did a lot of testing," said the former Ferrari driver. "Today not, so I have had some problems with the tyres. I have not learned how to interpret them correctly.

"Previously I came to the race weekend knowing what was coming. Now the tests don't come until Friday and I am still getting used to this system."

Schumacher's existing contract runs out at the end of 2012.

"Will I be here in 2013? There is no hurry yet to think about it," he said.

(GMM)

 

Hulkenberg not fussy over 2012 teammate

Nico Hulkenberg has admitted he will be "delighted" if his "long" wait to return to the GP grid finally ends on Thursday.

Force India is expected to announce that the former Williams driver will step up from the reserve and 'Friday' role to join Paul di Resta on the grid in 2012.

Some media commentators, however, insist that it will be team incumbent Adrian Sutil confirmed alongside Scottish rookie di Resta, leaving 24-year-old Hulkenberg out in the cold again.

Whichever way it goes, Hulkenberg told the German news agency DPA he is ready for 2012.

"My preparation schedule is quite normal, with a training camp in January and then the usual routine throughout the year," he said.

If his grand prix return is confirmed as expected, the final question will be the identity of Hulkenberg's teammate - Sutil or di Resta.

"For us drivers it's really not that important. I get along with Adrian just as well as I do with Paul," he said.

(GMM)

 

Minardi driver Sala takes control at HRT

Former Minardi driver Luis Perez Sala has taken over as team principal at HRT.

The news, announced in a media statement issued by the Spanish team on Thursday, follows Wednesday's news that Colin Kolles has stepped down.

52-year-old Spaniard Sala, who contested 32 grand prix weekends with Minardi at the end of the 80s, was appointed as an official advisor by HRT's new owners Thesan Capital earlier this year.

"It is the best decision we could make," said chief executive Saul Ruiz de Marcos, who revealed that Manfredi Ravetto, formerly the team's director of business affairs, is also leaving the team.

(GMM)

 
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