F1 Winter Break
Alguersuari confirmed for BBC Radio 5 Live
Posted By: James Allen  |  06 Mar 2012   |  8:11 pm GMT  |  99 comments

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.

So he’s doing the radio for the right reasons; he wants to be in F1, close to the action and get himself back in the game and it’s to our great benefit.

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Best current/available driver out of a job for sure shame 🙁 It will be eating him up on the microphone on race days. Keep in peoples minds though. Reckon he will be on the grid at next seasons start at the latest 🙂


I'm sad that Jaime is not driving this year, and the way Red Bull behaved towards him was shameful. However, he is one of the most intelligent, articulate and engaging drivers out there, and he will be a great presence on the radio. But let's hope it's not for too long, as he should be out there sticking two fingers up to Red Bull.

Liam in Sydney

Never burn your bridges. You never know where you'll end up 🙂


"This afternoon we had a practice together in a studio, using last year’s Chinese Grand Prix and the results were terrific.."

Did he, at any point in the proceedings, say "And there goes... me! Go me!"


More like "And there goes my right rear wheel!..."

He was out after the first pit stop if my memory serves me well.


"Wow, i was looking pretty good there"...

Adam Baldock-Apps

Having watched many a friday practice Jaimes radio was always a highlight, he communicated so eloquently and precisely with the team I can't wait to hear him in more detail.

A shame he isn't racing this year as I feel given his early entry to F1, the changing "need for" Toro Roso within the RedBull eco system, the change in car development rules and being in a rookie only team meant he was thrown in at the deep end with his talent only showing towards the end of his tenure.

I look forward to this being a short sojourn into the media and a refreshed Jaime returning with a top 6 team in 2012, no disrespect JA.


Looking forward to listening to you both. Less than two weeks to go!


A smart move by Jaime, an even smarter move by BBC 5 live. Win win. 5 live get, as you said James; "the only one who has raced with new generation Pirelli tyres, KERS and DRS wings. This experience will be invaluable to our broadcasts" and Jaime keeps his presence felt in the paddock by attending each GP weekend.


Can't help but feel that although this is a win for BBC 5 Live, it's a losing move by Jaime. I'm thinking: yes, he will have some presence in the paddock, but it may not be the type of presence that will get him back in a seat of an F1 car.

He should be out there racing, like in Le Mans or DTM. I hope I'm wrong though, his is such a great talent and it would be sad to see it go to waste bec. of further F1 politics/marketing.


Don't agree. If you aren't at the party people can't ask you to dance


Who knows if someone crashes and is unable to race on race day Jamie could take over and provide his part of commentary from inside the car! 😛


Who are the main commentators for the BBC TV feed? Think i'll be watching on BBC with radio 5 live commentary....


Indeed. I have been wondering if perhaps British viewers who do not have Sky might have an opportunity here - getting F1 video through an internet stream or foreign satellite feed is both easy and inexpensive, but would obviously not come with english commentary (or not one you'd want). I will be watching the races in Europe (on German TV) with R5L commentary over the internet. I suspect I won't be alone.

Long past time Bernie licensed F1 over the Internet.


Ben Edwards (ex-ITV BTCC commentator) and David Coulthard.


Whaaaaat, Alguersuari as 5 Live co-commentator ---> Darn, what a surprise I got this morning!!!

I honestly don't see the connection for isn't Alguersuari Spanish?

Unless of course 5 Live has a new Spanish sponsor that I don't know of.

But anyway, last I checked, Alguersuari was supposed to be Mercedes' test driver? Maybe that deal didn't fall through.

Personally, I don't think this is the right move for the lad for he should be in the paddock everyday making himself seen and not locked away in a commentary booth for he's in serious danger of getting forgotten, just ask Anthony Davidson.

Also as a mere 21 year old, I very much doubt that he has the experience to be a good commentator & then there's the language/accent issue.

Luckily for him I guess, he will have our JA on F1 right besides him to correct him & show him the ropes but he should best get ready to get hit by a human tornado that's our JA on F1 when hostilities resume.

Anyway good luck to Jaime and isn't it cool that 5 Live now has two James' up in there more so James' that also have the same initials i.e. JA ---> Marriage made in radio heaven perhaps.


Oooo JA on F1 I hope kept us a recording of your trial of the Chinese Grand Prix.

Very interested in hearing your reaction once Jenson jumped Vettel at the start & when Lewis got past Sebi for the lead... Lol... Happy days!


What about DC's accent then?

Jaime's english is fine and within the driver's world (even in Spain) everyone uses english terminology.


And on the accent issue - I manage to understand Jamie Witham on the Eurosport Superbike coverage so Jaime should be no problem!


A new Spanish sponsor? No, I don't think Jaime is a pay-commentator 🙂


I’m sure Alguersuari will be racing by the end of the year when he gets mid season call up when HRT realise they’ve made the same mistake again by hiring Narain Karthikeyan. They’ll get sick of Karthikeyan putting it in the wall constantly, being 6secs a lap off and never making the 107% rule.


Karthikeyan is just a regular F1 driver (nothing special, I'll give you that), he's not awful.

When did he "put it in the wall constantly"? And 6 seconds off pace - as if Liuzzi was much better, I mean, what do you expect from a HRT. And what you say about 107% rule - again, it's a HRT. What do you expect?


He's always said that he didn't want to go to HRT. Seriously who would? I think if the only offer you'd get is HRT your F1 dream is over.


I agree it seems more common for a driver to work with their national broadcaster (the Spanish for Jaime) but I don't think he will do badly working for a British one. His English is fine; I don't think the BBC would have gone for him if they knew he wasn't very comfortable in the language and I think he also spent some years at a boarding school in Ipswich which helped him learn.

Drivers tend to get media training these days and, if not, give so many interviews I also believe he'll be articulate. Commentary is new to him hence there may be some teething problems, but James has experience and will, in all likelihood, take any necessary steps to help him settle.

Agreed Davidson didn't get back into F1 via the commentary route but I'm not sure how hard he was looking by that time; he had a deal in sportscars and I don't recall him being linked with teams between 2009-11 as he was in 2004-05 as BAR tester, for example. I don't know the details of the BBC's contract, but Jaime will go to the races and hence will be in direct contact with the guys he hopes will employ him - and it all might be with expenses paid.

Finally, (and this can be a confusing one) to say a deal has 'fallen through' is to say that it wasn't completed when negotiations were taking place for a deal. Hence if Jaime didn't end up at Mercedes despite being in negotiations with them about a testing contract then the deal would have 'fallen through' and not 'not fallen through.'


@ Rishie

Hence if Jaime didn’t end up at Mercedes despite being in negotiations with them about a testing contract then the deal would have ‘fallen through’ and not ‘not fallen through.’


You're right!

That's confusing.


Great news i am really excited to hear his comments it is nice to see him so happy again.


Great for Jaime.

Congratulations to BBC Radio5 for the quality broadcasting. Jaime is a great addition to this fantastic team of professionals.

Hope he gets into a top team (maybe replacing Schumi).


Extremely strong R5 F1 team. Will definetely be listening to James & co in Oz. And I do that by choice!


+1 to that.

Infinitely better than listening to the guys on One HD.

Grayzee (Australia)

How do get JA commentry in OZ? Channel 10 get the BBC tv feed, with Brundle and DC.

What choice do we have?

Am I missing something........


@Grayzee - there are legitmate websites and IPhone apps that will live stream any radio station from aropund the world. I use one and listened to the 5Live commentary of Arsenal vs. Newcastle on my way to work the other morning.


Channel 10 are taking Sky commentary this year - Croft/Brundle

Brundle tweeted

Heard Channel 10 Oz are taking my commentary with @CroftyF1 Hopefully many other countries will too for year 16. Getting my one-liners ready 12:41 PM Feb



All praise and glowing words for Jaimie. What an U-turn

This is what you reported on January 8th indirectly questioning his intelligence.

The first paragaraph is about Jaime and Beumi and the second about their replacements. Advertenly or inadverstently, a reader got the impression that both Beumi and Jaimie were not intelligent enough. Comments from the readers support this evidence.

"Both drivers showed some signs of doing well, Alguersuari in particular seemed to be getting stronger in the second half of the season and put in some very strong drives, using the clever strategies devised by Giorgio Ascanelli, but the company has unlimited tools for measuring performance and progress and they could see that both didn’t have what it takes to become winners in the highly competitive environment of F1

Whether they have the consistency, the intelligence and, above all, the speed to make it as Grand Prix winners, the next two years will tell us, as that is how long they need to be given to prove themselves"

Liam in Sydney

I think James means that, although Jaimie is a good driver, he is not the 'world champion material' kind of driver that RB were looking for. But that still means you can drive for any number of teams. He will get another shot at it, for sure.


Hi James, I am a little bit puzzled by your opinions on Jaime. You put him as 5th driver on your list of best drivers of 2011. Then you were very supportive of STR decision to drop him, talking about engineers of STR saying that he was not intelligent enough in the track to be a top driver. Now you praise him again. What is your real opinion about his abilities as F1 driver?

Liam in Sydney

I don't read it that way. There is no conflict with anything that James has said.


One more reason to switch to Sky. 🙁


Why would the make up of the BBC's radio commentary team have any bearing on your decision to switch to Sky? Sky don't provide any radio coverage, making your statement irrelevant.


James, with commentary this year, what does it mean for your other commitments from last year? We have become accustomed in oz to seeing you in our coverage, is that still carrying on, and will you still travel to all the races?


I'll still be on Network 10 yes


…so just to fill up your day you’ll be on breakfast duties and doing the bbq at the end of day as well??.

Grayzee (Australia)

Bugga, bugga, bugga!

Okay! Now I'm upset 🙁

I have just learnt I am unable to get to Melbourne this year(I'm from QLD) due to work commitments.

Soooo.......Have a great time down there, everybody...I'll be watching on One HD, again!

Ah well, there's always next year......

Liam in Sydney

...which means your Aussie GP weekend is going to be very full. 🙂


Hope he has a clause in his contract that lets him go racing if an F1 team gives him the call up! Biggest disappointment of the off season surely was learning he did not get a ride for 2012. Glad to hear he's still going to be involved in F1 though.


Would that not be rather obvious!


Great news!

Looking forward to there being two JAs on F1 in the R5 commentary box next year!


Hi James,

This is great news for you guys, over the pond, that is. Will the Radio 5 broadcast be available stateside?

Congrats to Jaime for having a voice in F1, I'm sure he'll do very well. I've enjoyed listening to the insights Anthony Davidson offered in the past - with Jaime's more current experience, I only wish I knew where I could tune in to listen to his insights.


may turn out to be the best broadcast team of all. I presume Jaime will also be blogging ??


You're right, James next time you see him tell him to contribute to JA on F1 it would be great to have a driver's point of view


Great choice on second commentator. I'll definitely be listening into the radio commentary when I'm watching on One here in Australia (I need the commentary during the commercial breaks!).

Grayzee (Australia)

Okay! Now I AM missing something! What radio commentary in OZ?! Where? How? What? Who?

You mean we have a choice?

Please inform this dear Aussie(who thought he had it all covered) of what it is I am missing....... 🙂


Hi Grayzee

We (Australia)) are getting Brundle and Co on SKY I believe as main race feed. You can also get 5Live on your internet if you get your own VPN via sites like my-private-network.co.uk for a small monthly fee. I have just tried it and it works fine. Then you have all bases covered!!..To get the podcasts you don't need the VPN


Seriously - what an absolutely waste...such a good looking team doing radio! 🙂

I wonder which Radio 5 Live team member will call the podium correctly for Australia. I have a feeling Jennie will out do the men.


Didn't expect this.. Great news for the vast majority who aren't on pay tv.

Like said somewhere before, Sky poached half the BBC crew but the Beeb has just went out and got much better replacements.

I and still probably most others are still not impressed with the way Red Bull/Helmut Marko treated Buemi and more so Alguersuari so at least it worked out in some way!!


Still feel Toro Rosso should have kept him as he proved last year he was a capable points scorer. While he doesn't have the experience of winning in f1 (yet) he can and I am sure provide the idea of how tough it is to be a young driver in F1.


Good news for Jamie, he really shouldn't be commentating on the races though but in them! Also, I presume you chose last year's chinese grand prix a) because it was exciting and b) because Jaime retired early (and was actually the only man to retire in that race).... awkward moment when his wheel decided to bounce away?


I'm sure he wont have many kind words when commentating on Toro Rosso...!


I know it's only radio James, but please take him shopping for some new clothes.

Best oflukc for the seaon.


Good news on the New BBC Radio 5 Live team.

Noticed all 3 of you have your 1st name starting with J! James, Jennie and Jaime!

I hope we get the old You James, the one who gets excited, the one we remember on ITV (Hopefully you dont do what other radio commentators do, talk about things we cant see).

Jennie showed during the Canadian GP last season how well she can hope with F1 Broadcasting and great to see her back in Sports Broadcasting after her shock drop from MotoGP.

and Jaime is a shock choice, he is young but as you mentioned he has the experience of DRS, KERS and such.

Look at the old BBC Radio 5 Live Team - Croft, Ant and Natalie, they were good and I hope they do a good Job on Sky Sports but BBC has found some quality replacements and all 3 of you have got some pressure in replacing the trio mentioned but you are all well known professional broadcasters so BBC 5 Live have pulled some strings in a top quality team.

Going to be a good F1 Season coming up! and to hear the Chequred Flag Podcast is still happening alongside your regular podcast James, this will keep all F1 enthuaists busy!

Mike from Medellin, Colombia

James, will live BBC Radio commentary be available for every race this season or for just those broadcast live on BBC TV?


Except Valencia. I haven't seen a live race there yet.




Your best looking co-commentator to date! You should get a scarf like that.

I remember the BBC showed an interview with JA back to with Hamilton. If you had never heard of either of them you would have said JA was the Brit. He is an excellent orator.

Friday's on the 5live Xtra were one of the highlights of my season last year. Looking forward to more quality stuff.


Re the photo, which one is Alguersuari?


Are you inferring that James Allen looks like he's still 21?


mmm James Alguersuari is on the left and Jaime Allen is in the center!


It's good to have Jaime on board and I wish him well. I think he was quite good when he took part to Peter Windsor's The Flying Lap.

However, he'll be measuring up against Anthony Davidson and Karun Chandhok who have both been outstanding as far as radio commentary is concerned.

The one person of your team I am also looking forward to is Jennie Gow. If she can be as good as she was last year when standing in for Natalie Pinkham, she will be fantastic. Great, great voice.

Adrian Newey Jnr

James - when will the podcasts begin?


Friday in Melbourne


I know this sounds weird but I was immediately struck by Jamie's first broadcast I saw - He was just totally Natural .... an immediate feeling of just " relaxation and knowledge " .... like Jenson but with a bit of a foreign accent ....... and it was obvious he had a flair / skill for interviews or broadcasts.

James, Jamie and Jennie .... the 3 J's ........and actually this shows how good the Beeb are at picking people. Good Luck for the season ... have a gas that's all we want.

( Shame the Beeb didn't drop DC and his nervous style )


JA + JA 'thinks' umm seen that somewhere before.

Got It!

'So, the race is about to start, time to hand you over to the cometary Binks.


James sorry if someone else has already asked this: I'm curious about the 'this might help him back into a car next year' angle. Would it really be beneficial to Jaime for getting back into an F1 car after 'moving' to the media/radio? Wouldn't team bosses feel it's a career move, 'away from the action' (Yes I know the action is right there, through your window, but maybe it's the wrong side of the fence?). Still it's FAR better than 'nothing' and he deserves that at least!


No, if you look at how F1 works, it's a good bet I reckon


I agree with James. Alguersuari is now guaranteed to be present at every race this year, and you can bet he will take every opportunity when not commentating to show his face in the paddock.

I would guess this puts him in a stronger position to get a future drive than the other drivers let go recently.




Sad but true.

John Ferdinand

Good riddance! And take Alonso and HRT with you. 


Ouch! That's very direct...


Respect for Jamie - only 21 and able to commentate in a second language.

Sounds like a good team.

Sky has poached most of the big names (appart from EJ of course!) but the BBC has put together two very promising comentry teams for TV and radio.... Don't write off the beeb just yet 😉


Which Sirius channel will you be on?


Is it possible to listen to BBC 5live commentary in Australia? How?


You can listen via the BBC website but I'm not sure if it would work in Australia. I recall that it worked for me for a while when I was in New Zealand but it stopped working once my laptop detected that it was no longer in UK! http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/bbc_radio_five_live


Look further up the comment 20 reply by Mike J.

Need to subscribe to a VPN service, relatively small cost



Can you tell me if JA will be be racing in any championships next year?

I'd assume so as he'd want to stay on top of his game as much as possible.



No, he's doing some kart events but decided not to go down the road of other motorsport categories


And very wise not to too at his age and stage in career.


Sorry, I mean this year.


I'm from Australia so won't get to hear your coverage, but I'm positive Jaime will do great, very smart and speaks very well. However I'm very sad to not see him on the grid...


Is he going to be the DJ for the Jingle's as well??

Is the 5Live commentary going to be from the races or from the UK? I thought the latter previously, but that would presumably mean no third driver role for Jaime...


From the races. I'm sure we'll hear Jaime's music. Album is called Organic Life


Congrats to Jamie - I think it'll be a good team.

Looking forward to the 5Live team this year as I'm doing the RTL/5Live thing - as I'm sure are many others.

The only slight challenge I face is getting the video and audio in sync - James, any chance you can count the lights at the start of the race?

That way I could pause the audio when you say "1 light" and resume it when the video shows 1 light.

A lot to ask I know - but I'm sure that it would be greatly appreciated by everyone with the same set-up as me


Sounds like a pretty formidable partership, especially from a technical point of view. The one unknown is if the two of you will build up any chemistry in your partnership, and there's absolutely no way of knowing that beforehand, time will tell.

One thing no-one has mentioned is that it takes balls to do a live commentary job that's not in your native language, so if Jaime pulls it off I will be extra impressed.

I very much look forward to listening to you both, and good luck for the coming season.


It's a coup for 5 Live: he'll be able to provide fantastic insight into exactly what it's like to be an F1 driver in current machinery.

It's a travesty that he doesn't have a drive for this year, though. Whether Toro Rosso thought he was destined for the top or not, leaving it 'til the last minute and then dropping him when the merry-go-round had all but stopped was not only cold, but also rather unprofessional. It could have killed the career of an older driver stone dead, but I'm hopeful Alguersuari can get back into F1 or maybe at least try GP2 next season.


Great to have an up-to-date driver on your team James. I really hope he can chip in here too, that will bring a whole new dimension to the comments.

As an aside - will the Sky situation be changed if Ofcom find that BskyB is not a "fit and proper person" ?

Links - but I'm sure you have better info 😉





I dono about Alguersuari as a commentator, but i suppose Chandhok would have been a better bet....


It's a massive shame he isn't racing, but like Hulkenberg, Grosjean, he can comeback better and ready for the next season because he is good enough for a good drive with a team like Mercedes and he is still young. Will be interesting though to hear him on the radio.


Happy to know that Jaime is back in the circus, even as a commentator. At least, he's gonna have a lot of exposure. Just for the record, I'd like to remind you that Jaime Alguersuari belongs to a family of motorsport journalists, being his father the founder of a very popular motorcycle's magazine in Spain and his grandfather was a very respected and renowned photo journalist, so he is not alien to this world in the slightest. And his english is quite good, not like mine. I apologise for my poor english. Anyway, I feel happy for him and look forward to read some Jaime's entries at James Allen's blog during the season, I think he's a good fit for that, too.

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