When Jaime Alguersuari became the youngest ever driver to partake in a Formula One race weekend, all eyes were on the young Spaniard and the exciting racing career that lay ahead of him. Just six years on from his first record-breaking drive in a Formula One car, Alguersuari announced his withdrawal from all motorsports to focus on a career on music. A former member of the Red Bull junior team leaving motorsport aged just 25, the same age as fellow Red Bull junior Sebastian Vettel was winning his third consecutive world championship, obviously seems incredibly early to ditch racing altogether as such a talented racing driver, but there is more to this story than meets the eye.
Earlier in the year it was made public that Jaime Alguersuari wasn’t able to race at the season finale of the FIA Formula E Championship on ‘health grounds’. According to a statement made on his social media, Alguersuari had fainted due to lack of hydration and exhaustion. The statement read:
On June 6th, after the Moscow ePrix I suffered a faint as a result of dehydration and extreme exhaustion during the race. As a consequence of this faint I had some medical tests done, with successful results, and at the moment my license is temporarily suspended until the FIA makes sure that I’m fully able to carry on with my sporting career.
My health is safe and I’m in shape, and I’m absolutely convinced I can compete this weekend, but for security reasons we need to delve into medical research. For this reason, together with Virgin Racing, the FIA and the doctors we’ve decided not to take part in the London ePrix this weekend. It’s a shame because it will be the last ePrix of the season and I wanted to race in front of our fans, but we must be respectful with the FIA’s procedures.
I want to wish all the luck to my team Virgin Racing in the last ePrix of the 2014/15 Formula E season.
Although Alguersuari claimed his tiredness and not tacking in enough fluids meant he couldn’t race in London, news broke several months later that Alguersuari had in fact missed out on securing his seat at Virgin for the 2015/16 Formula E season as he was “still waiting for the final diagnoses,” as said in another statement this August. This public report on his racing career also saw Jaime continued to thank everyone for their support and confirmed he would announce his future plans in September.
This ‘September statement’ was announced this week, were Jaime confirmed he “could” continue to race, but was choosing not to. According to Alguersuari, “I could stay for the money but I need a change. What makes me happy is music, I am going to make music.”
It has always been apparent that Jaime Alguersuari had an interest in music. In various biographies or interviews he would talk about his passion for music and Djing and saw him create an alter ego, DJ Squire, releasing a debut EDM album in Spain in 2011.
As for his racing career up to this summer, it was more than enough to make him a worthy contender for an F1 drive. Karting since he was eight in Spain and claiming great success in various Formula Series, he became the youngest-ever driver to make a Formula One debut: a record now broken by Max Verstappen. Alguersuari secured this drive as he was called to replace Sebastien Bourdais at Toro Rosso for the Hungarian Grand Prix, but his ability on track was so impressive he retained the drive for the rest of the 2010 season. He managed two top-10 finishes in 2010 and continued with the team into 2011 before becoming a Pirelli test driver from 2012-2013.
Although Jaime Alguersuari claims to have a clean bill of health, I think there is an underlying health problem which has resulted in him being advised not to race. As he is so passionate about music, he has chosen to peruse this career full-time and leave racing behind. As I said, this is just my theory as to his retirement at such an early age. I do hope to see Alguersuari take an interest in broadcasting and using his knowledge of cars to educate others, however if he wants to turn his back on racing completely I wish him the best of luck with his music career.