Jaime Alguersuari, 20
Scuderia Toro Rosso
Fresh-faced and one of the youngest in the field, Spaniard Jaime Alguersuari is gaining experience lap by lap in Formula One. Driving for Scuderia Toro Rosso, sister team of Red Bull Racing, he started in Formula Three at the age of 18 and moved onto Formula Renault 3.5 before making the jump to the big league with Formula One as a reserve driver in the second half of the 2009 season.
He got an unexpected promotion a few weeks later when Sebastien Bourdais left the team, and Jaime took his seat to race alongside Sebastien Buemi.So far he’s had a stable race season with only two retirements – let’s hope he can keep this up at the Singapore Grand Prix this year!
As the youngest driver in Formula One at the moment, do you feel like you have to work twice as hard to prove you can keep up with the rest?
No I don’t because if I did, it would mean I should not be on the F1 grid. I do feel though that I still have a lot to learn, and I have a lot of work to do but I don’t think my presence in F1 is questioned by anyone.
How do you feel your season has been going so far?
In terms of my own confidence, it is much better than last year, when I only did half a season. I have scored some points, but not enough of course, and it was a shame I lost my point for tenth place in the Belgium Grand Prix, which was one of my best weekends of the year.
How do you hope to do at the Singapore Grand Prix?
I am looking forward to racing in Singapore. Last year was my first experience of racing under spotlights at night and it was a fantastic event. This year it won’t seem new to me and I will know the track, so I hope I can have a good race.
Off the track, how do you prepare for a race?
I guess my preparation is the same as all the drivers, in that I do a lot of training to keep increasing my level of fitness. Usually, before coming to a circuit, I will have practiced it on our simulator to get a feeling for the right lines and corners, although this year, it is less important as all the tracks in the second half of the season, I have learned from driving them last year.
Talk to us about poker. It seems you’re quite a big fan – is that going to become your second career?
It’s just something I do for fun and I don’t ever consider it as a career.
How did you get started with poker, and which drivers do you play with?
I have always liked card games and I just started playing it with friends. I don’t usually play with other drivers, as we don’t get the chance to spend much time together. I just play with friends.
Tell us something about yourself that people might not know.
My hero is Che Guevara.
If you hadn’t become a race driver, what would you be doing now?
I would be a DJ because I really love doing that and I have DJ’d at quite a few F1 parties, which is quite a buzz.
The Singapore Grand Prix Night Race is on from Friday to Sunday, Sep 24-26.