Jaime Alguersuari was unveiled today as the final member of the BBC Radio 5 Live presentation team for 2012.
The 21 year old from Barcelona will be my co-commentator, with Jennie Gow the pitlane reporter.
Today in London the BBC teams from TV and Radio did a press day, meeting with journalists from web and newspapers.
Alguersuari comes to broadcasting after two and a half years as a driver with Toro Rosso; last year he had a strong second half of the season, as he took the improved Toro Rosso and made some bold strategies work for him. The key was his strong pace on worn soft tyres, which he pushed for long middle stints.
From Canada onwards he was in the points 7 times in 13 races, with outstanding drives in Italy and Korea and strong runs in Canada, Valencia and India. He scored 26 points last season, one less than Paul di Resta and 63% of Toro Rosso’s total points.
Among broadcasters he is therefore by far the driver with the most current experience of this generation of F1 cars, the only one who has raced with new generation Pirelli tyres, KERS and DRS wings. This experience will be invaluable to our broadcasts,
This afternoon we had a practice together in a studio, using last year’s Chinese Grand Prix and the results were terrific; he’ll hit the ground running in Melbourne and I think it’s going to be a great year.
“It’s great to be part of the BBC’s F1 commentary team on Radio 5 live,” he said. “It will be interesting to look at the action from a different angle and bring that excitement and insight to listeners. Given that I’m still only 21, this agreement permits me to return to F1. It promises to be another exciting season and I can’t wait for it to start.”
He should be in an F1 car and no doubt will be again; he was caught out only by being told in mid December by Red Bull that he wouldn’t be retained for 2012, when it was too late to secure another drive.