In a bombshell of an interview, former Toro Rosso recruit Jaime Alguersuari disclosed the nasty details of life as a Red Bull Academy junior. The 32-year-old described how mentally upsetting those days were for him, due to the constant pressure to be the best, and the incessant scoldings that he had to tolerate as a young kid. He even said he still has “very strange” dreams about the time he spent in F1, and how he sometimes wakes up in tears after having nightmares of Helmut Marko berating him for a mistake.
Alguersuari’s F1 career took off in a flash when he was called upon to replace Sebastian Bourdais halfway through the 2009 season. At that time, he was the youngest-ever F1 driver and he had almost no experience handling an F1 racecar. But even though he gave it his all to perform well, he felt like “your rivals congratulated you more than the people on your team” and “nothing was ever enough” to be fitting of the Red Bull driver title.
At age 15, Alguersuari signed up to become a Red Bull junior driver, and by the time he was 19, he was told to drive at the Hungarian Grand Prix without any prior experience. He gave account of the countless therapy sessions he had to attend to get rid of the mental scars his days at Red Bull left him with.
Jaime Alguersuari modifies his statement to soften the blow on Helmut Marko, says “Red Bull Junior system works”
After giving those scathing comments about the Red Bull Junior Academy, Jaime Alguersuari made a surprising 180° turn as he tweeted, “I want to clarify something reg. HELMUT MARKO. I am deeply thankful to have met him when I was 15, Helmut was my teacher and someone who always asked me to deliver to push and boost myself forward and beyond. This is the Junior team system and it works.”
Jaime Alguersuari’s remarks seem to have raised suspicions among the fans that Red Bull had pressurized him to tweet about Helmut being a teacher who encouraged him. While the Spaniard previously said that he gets nightmares thinking of Marko giving him a thrashing, his second tweet said, “I wouldn’t be who I am today without being inside RB.”
I want to clarify something reg. HELMUT MARKO. I am deeply thankful to have met him when I was 15, Helmut was my teacher and someone who always asked me to deliver to push and boost myself forward and beyond. This is the Junior team system and it works 1/1
— Jaime Alguersuari (@SquireMusic) September 23, 2022
There is a high chance that Jaime Alguersuari was approached by the Red Bull publicity team after he criticized their Junior Academy and Helmut Marko’s teaching methods so publicly. But as of now, all these are rumors and nothing concrete has been established as to why Jaime Alguersuari decided to tweet in support of Red Bull after his remarks on their “nightmare”-ish Junior Academy.