The HRT team has ruled out Kaime Alguersuari as a potential candidate for the second seat next to Pedro de la Rosa, but are keen to get a “young driver with a lot of potential.”
Alguersuari seemed to be the logical choice for the Spanish outfit, after he lost his job at Toro Rosso, as did his team mate Sebastien Buemi. But the team, who recently signed veteran Pedro de la Rosa, says that Alguersuari would not be a good fit for the team.
HRT has been very interested in making their team as Spanish as possible, so the decision not to employ Jaime Alguersuari, who has completed 46 races for Toro Rosso and had two and a half seasons under his belt, is peculiar. According to technical director Jacky Eeckelaert, neither Alguersuari or Dani Clos are in the running.
“I don’t think it’s in the interests of the team to have a second Spanish driver,” Eeckelaert said. “The same goes for the drivers approaching retirement.”
A rather strange comment, given the fact that they hired de la Rosa who is 40 and though his career is much longer than Alguersuari´s, only has 86 races to his name, with a total of 35 points. Alguersuari 31 points. Add to the mix that the team is relocating to Spain and the new chassis is build in-house, and you have a recipe for a slow start. So, nothing new then…?
“We hope to continue our battle at the back of the pack with Virgin (Marussia),” Eeckelaert said. “It is difficult to aim higher. The Dallara chassis we used in our first two seasons was clearly not good enough. So in our German workshop we have built our own HRT to be powered by the Cosworth V8. We started fresh in September, later than the others, and so we cannot have fantasies.
“The new owners decided to move the team with the result that 90 per cent of the staff in Germany will not follow us. This is unfortunate because even if the car did not work, the team was beginning to work well together. Now it’s as though we are beginning again with a new team.”
There could be more to the decision about their drivers than what meets the eye. The likely scenario is that they simply could not find a Spanish driver with a big enough wallet. Alguersuari´s backers could have advised him not to sign as HRT is a worse deal than Toro Rosso. It is believed that Jerome d’Ambrosio, Vitaly Petrov and Bruno Senna are all on the shortlist.