Jaime Alguersuari Q&A: I want an issue-free race 07 May 2011
When Sebastian Vettel scored a win for Toro Rosso at the 2008 Italian Grand Prix, he made life very difficult for all the drivers who followed him into the Italian teams ranks. For Jaime Alguersuari, who recently took a surprise P7 on the grid for the Chinese event, the Toro Rosso which he drives for and the Toro Rosso which Vettel drove for back in 2008 are two very different teams. Even so, Alguersuari is confident he can enjoy some good results this season if he can get to the finish line without any issues, as he explained exclusively to Formula1.com
Q: Jaime, you seem to be on the pace but then it doesnt seem to show in the results. Why is that?
Jaime Alguersuari: Somehow it is difficult. It hasnt been the best start to a season for me when it comes to results. But there is nothing to worry or panic about. Ive got a few problems with the car and hopefully we will solve them over the next few races. The objective is to finish races with no technical issues and then we will look at what we can achieve and where it will land us.
Q: Paddock pundits believe you are on an upward curve and are just a blink away from a great result, but then it doesnt happen
JA: Yes, I feel the same. Somehow the penny has to drop sooner or later. I think in such a situation, where you think you are ready for a great result and it doesnt happen, you have to keep focused. Your personality has to work more than your talent on the track, as recovering after every race is crucial in such a situation. I never expected a wing failure in Malaysia. I never expected to lose a wheel in China. I will not call this bad luck because I dont trust good or bad luck, as I dont believe in depending on that. I do my best job inside the car and I hope the team has learnt from these lapses. Hopefully we can finish this race tomorrow without any further problems.
Q: You are now in your second full season of Formula One racing, are you eyeing a move to a different team soon?
JA: Well, for the moment I am focused on the job that I have. My objective for tomorrow is to finish the race without any issues on the car and to see where I finish. The season is long and I think there are big opportunities for us, as we havent shown the full potential of the car so far in a race. We do have a competitive car, but there is still a lot to work to do with tyre degradation. As I said, my main objective is to have a race without any issues.
Q: To what extent are you targeting Red Bull Racing?
JA: For sure I would like to join Red Bull Racing as soon as possible and it would be the same as with Toro Rosso - its family. They have been with me since I was 15 years-old and a junior driver, so to stay with Red Bull is the number one goal. But I dont know when it will happen. At the moment I am with Toro Rosso and I feel very good here. I have learnt a lot with them and there is still a lot to learn, and that is what I am focusing on.
Q: What exactly is the team expecting from you this year? This might be a make or break season for you
JA: For sure the objectives have changed. What we are aiming for - and I must play my part in this - is to finish in P8 in the constructors championship. And that means work. For sure we drivers have to deliver and the team needs to develop the car. I am very confident in that because at the next race we will bring an update that will hopefully help us.
Q: Is there any anxiety about your Formula One future? Other drivers from the Red Bull driver programme could be breathing down your neck
JA: No, because to get a good result in the constructors, the experience of my team mate and I cannot be replaced with another driver at the moment. Sebastien (Buemi) and I are doing a good - and very similar - job. If he is 11th, I am twelfth, or vice versa. That is where the car basically is and so I am confident. We are targeting teams, which are bigger than us, like Williams or Force India so it would be great to finish the season at least ahead of one of these teams. We are working hard on that.
Q: Franz Tost, Toro Rossos team principal, would like another win as he managed with Sebastian Vettel in 2008. How likely would that be this season?
JA: We are in very different times. Toro Rosso in those days was very frequently in the top ten before he won his magic race. Nowadays the situation is totally different. The car is entirely made by us. And we are constantly improving. The difference to last year is significant and I know that there is still a lot to come. This is only the fourth race! We are definitely targeting points finishes, but to take on the Red Bulls or the McLarens or Ferraris is quite unlikely. Or only thinkable in a chaotic race, where anything can happen.
Q: Your P7 position on the Chinese grid caused quite a stir. How surprised were you and how did it happen?
JA: I think that was a bit misleading because being in the top ten is not really our position. We were lucky in Shanghai and probably very unlucky today. I had hoped that I at least would finish two rows in front. But thats how things go. China was out of the ordinary because we had much faster cars behind us and that is not the usual situation.
Q: How disappointed were you when your race ended after nine laps? You could have scored points
JA: But it would have been difficult. Because both Renaults were behind me and they definitely have a faster car than us. Maybe I could have finished 11th or even tenth. My guess is that one point should have been possible. At least I would have tried very hard to land that position.
Q: What do you have in mind this weekend?
JA: Well, the qualifying didnt go so well. But the good thing is that Ive been able to save a set of tyres, so this should work in our benefit. Other than that I just hope for an issue-free race. I think I am not asking too much.
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