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Alguersuari to race for Toro Rosso 20 Jul 2009

Jaime Alguersuari (ESP) Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso Third Driver. Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, German Grand Prix, Preparations, Nurburgring, Germany, Thursday 9 July 2009. Jaime Alguersuari (ESP) Carlin British Formula Three and GT Media Day, Silverstone, England, 6 March 2008. Jaime Alguersuari (ESP) Carlin Motorsport Dallara Mercedes celebrates his championship win. British Formula 3 Championship, Rd21 & Rd22, Donington Park, England, 11-12 October 2008.

Toro Rosso have announced that Red Bull reserve driver Jaime Alguersuari will race for the team at this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix and for the rest of the 2009 season. Alguersuari replaces Sebastien Bourdais, who parted company with the Italian squad last week.

At 19, the Spaniard will become the youngest-ever driver in the 59-year history of the Formula One world championship when he takes to the track at Budapest’s Hungaroring.

“I would like to thank Red Bull for giving me this great opportunity to race in Formula One,” he said. “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.

“I am aware that I’m facing a very tough challenge, because coming into Formula One is never easy, coming into Formula One 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.”

Born in Barcelona, Alguersuari is the reigning British Formula Three champion and was competing in the World Series by Renault championship this year before being called on to make his Formula One debut.

Over the past few years he as made his way through the ranks of Red Bull’s young driver programme and, as a result, already knows Sebastien Buemi, his new team mate at Toro Rosso, well.

Explaining his choice of driver, team principal Franz Tost said: “Red Bull’s stated aim for Toro Rosso is that, when possible, it should be used to provide a seat for products of its young driver programme. We therefore chose Alguersuari as the most mature driver currently in the programme.

“I am well aware that over the next few months the team and Jaime will face a major challenge, especially because of the testing ban. But Red Bull is always ready for a new challenge. I do not expect anything from him for at least his first three races, during which he has to get used to the car, the team and to the Formula One environment.”