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Unhappy Alguersuari slams F1 auction

ESPN Staff
February 16, 2013 « Martin Brundle welcomes driver changes | HRT sells remaining assets »
Jaime Alguersuari claims Toro Rosso was not on the level with him after he was dropped at the end of 2012 © Sutton Images

Jaime Alguersuari, who in the 2011 off season lost his race seat with Toro Rosso after two-and-a-half years, has slammed the way Formula One "has become an auction".

Alguersuari, 22, is currently a test driver for Pirelli but he had hoped to be able to find a drive with another team only to find those positions filled by those who brought sponsorship with them.

"I never imagined that after Red Bull's incomprehensible decision not to count on me in 2012 ... I would have to fight so much outside the track," Alguersuari said in a statement issued by his management company. "I have been convinced most of the 2012 season that my seat was secured in a team that usually scores. They did tell me and I believed it to be true.

"Those who committed themselves with me have given me reasons that I must accept but that I do not share. F1 has become an auction."

Alguersuari was realistic that raising sponsorship in his homeland was unlikely. "Although Spain's economy is in the worst shape in our modern history, and except for Banco Santander no other company considers Formula One as a profitable and sustainable business, I know how old I am, I know my track record and I'm convinced that I deserve a winning car in F1."

But new Marussia driver Max Chilton said drivers having to bring money to secure a seat had been a feature of the sport for years but that without talent the cash was immaterial.

"There's plenty of [pay drivers] on the grid and in my experience the sport has never changed," he told Sky Sports. "I think it's always been that way and it probably will always be that way, some of the legends in our sport had to bring backing to get into it.

"But the one thing I can say is teams will always look at talent first. They want to see you can put it on pole position and then win races in junior categories. Then if you've got both of those in place it's about you use your opportunity in F1, how you learn from the best and become the best driver possible.

"No team's going to let you behind the wheel if you're not up to it."