GP2 trap explained… Alguersuari also fell for it

II have received many comments regarding the post on Alvaro Parente and what I called the “GP2 trap”.

The GP2 trap is when a competitive driver (such as Parente) begins to deeply believe that the lack of pace he suffers is due to the team and not to his driving. This belief is further strengthened when the driver thinks…. “if I was at ART (or iSport or Barwa….) I would be winning races.”

We all know GP2 has different levels of teams and I have written extensively on why that is and why it is now a vicious cycle that is killing the so-called “GP2 backmarkers”. If you are a driver and you find yourself there then you must internalize several things:

  • If you’re not in a “top team” ask yourself why.  Is it because I’m not good enough? Because I don’t have enough budget? Because I was too late?
  • If you’re not in a “top team” what should you do? Complain and whine?  Blame all my troubles on the team?

Bottom line, if you find yourself in an Ocean or Super Nova, you’d better take the opportunity of being in GP2 and make the most of it.  I pick on Alvaro Parente because he’s a talented driver and he has the chance of making Ocean a top team in just one year.   If Monteiro knows his team is slow, then he needs to handle it in-house with Alvaro and keep Alvaro away from these comments, which will just end up making things worst for the image of ORT.

Another who fell in this trap is British F3 champ Jaime Alguersuari.  Highly protected by his family’s interests yet highly supported by Red Bull cash, Jaime did not go to GP2 but preferred to race in the World Series by Renault (category created and now managed by his father).  So far, so good.  Only problem is that Jaime openly said he did not go to GP2 because there were no seats in the “best teams”.  Come on!!  You want me to believe an F3 champ with Red Bull cash could not find a seat at iSport or Racing Engineering?   I think it’s highly unlikely.

He was either too late on deciding, had no intentions on ever going or is scared of how vicious GP2 can be for a young champ like himself.  Take your pick….

….or maybe we should as Dr. Marko?

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7 Responses to GP2 trap explained… Alguersuari also fell for it

  1. Big' says:

    Alguersuari was pretty slow in his test with Isport at Jerez no?
    It could explain something.

    More than average like Pic or Turvey.

    • Big' says:

      Pic and Turvey were pretty fast.

    • gp2 insider says:

      Yes, he was pretty slow and I think he got a bit of stagefright with GP2. WSR is a perfectly viable alternative, though if he does not win it, it will be much, much worse than if he is in the top 5 in GP2. Either series was a risky bet for an F3 champ/Red Bull driver, but to get to F1 you’ve got to take some chances. I my opinion, Alguersuari has made a mistake and Dr. Marko will be very strict with his sponsorship cash in 2010. Even worse for Alguersuari, Marko has already “chosen” Hartley to be the next Buemi, giving him test roles at both F1 teams! Come on Jaime, prove him wrong at least!

  2. Diogo Oliveira says:

    I think that Alguersuari didn’t go to GP2 because he’s young and have time/money. He’s doing step by step, like Parente did because in 2007, he was in conversations with iSport International.

    • gp2 insider says:

      I disagree, and the difference with Parente is he didn’t have as much cash as Alguersuari when he went to WSR. I’m willing to bet (and maybe you can ask him) that if he would have had the money for GP2 in 2006 and 2007, he would have gone after winning the British F3 title.
      I am convinced Alguersurari (and his advisers) felt this was the least risky move. Like I said, Dr. Marko’s opinion at the end of the season is the only thing that matters at Red Bull, so Jaime had better win WSR to have a chance – and so far it’s not looking too good.

  3. Lucía Giminez says:

    I’m following up with interest this blog and I admire its author because I have the impression that he is one of the persons who has the most information and details about the Championships preceding the F1.

    I am also a fan of Jaime Alguersuari.

    The projection of a driver always brings controversy.

    There are very few chances of reaching the F1 and there are hundreds of drivers every year who try it out with plenty of sacrifice of their families and their economies.

    Does anyone believe that Fernando Alonso was largely accepted as universal champion when he ran the Formula 3000 in 2000?

    Probably 80% of the drivers of the F3000 of that year as well as their entourage did not see Fernando as a possible double F1 champion with 24 and 25 years.

    Do you know why?

    Because then, he was only 19 years old and he was the youngest of the F3000, he only won one race (Spa) and he finished 4th in the championship.

    Alguersuari is going through a similar situation, last March 23th he turned 19, please take a look at his CV.

    At 15 he debuted in Italy in the FR 1600, he finished 3rd, during the same year he grasps his second karting championship in Spain, as well as the runner-up of the ICA World Cup Asia Pacific in Suzuka, and finishes 3rd at the Open Masters in Italy.

    The only driver of the new generation that at 15 years old combines karting and single-seaters.

    Due to his talent he is hired by the factory Intrepid and becomes one of the few karting drivers to be under contract.

    That same year he was the best driver of the Red Bull tests in Estoril.

    In 2006 with 16 years old, he won the Winter Series of the FR 2.0 (4 wins out of 4 races, 4 fastest laps and 4 pole positions). He’s the best rookie in the Eurocup FR 2.0 and he is the youngest to reach the podium of the FR 2.0 with 16 years old.

    In 2007, with 17 years old, he becomes the runner-up of the FR 2.0 Italian and finishes 5th the Eurocup 2.0.

    And in 2008, with 18 years old, he becomes the youngest champion in history of the British F3, fighting for the title with 4 wonderful young drivers: Oliver Turvey (22),Brendon Hartley (19),Sergio Perez (18),Atte Mustonen (20).

    I have been following up Jaime’s career since he debuted in karting, I’m a fan of karting.
    I am pretty sure that his CV is maybe one of the best ever at his age. The balance between age, categories and results is under my point of view unbeatable.

    Regarding the GP2 test in Jerez with ISport, you should know that Red Bull gave him only one day of test and, on top of it, this testing day was the second day and not the first one in Jerez.

    In the morning, when all the drivers who had tested the day before were making time with new tyres, Jaime, 18 years old, had his first contact with a single-seater of 600HP.

    In the afternoon it is worth remembering that he obtained the 12th best time of the testing session and he was the only driver who was able to improve the timing of the morning session.

    So, I would like to clarify here that Jaime Alguersuari had just one GP2 test day.

    I do not know what the policy of Red Bull with their drivers is, but I must state that Jaime and Brendon Hartley debuted in the World Series this year and that Jaime is the youngest of the whole grid.

    It is not fair then to consider Jaime’s participation in World Series by Renault like a poor step in his emergent career. For sure Red Bull must know better that anyone why Jaime has been sent there. In fact that category saw the young Vetter in the lead before joining Formula 1.

    At the same time is not fair to match Jaime with the rest of the grid (apart from rookies) as all title contenders excepting Pic have been competing in the category for at least 3 years.
    A young guy, even doted of a great talent cannot arrive there and win all races. The championship has just started and the new rookies (especially Turvey, Hartley and Alguersuari) have shown their great attitudes since the very first test.ç
    Can the rest of guys (the ones with 3 years of experience) say that they leaded their first tests sessions and were in the Top 6 in their first races. I do not guess so…

    I reiterate, 19 years old, at this age Lewis Hamilton had just won the FR 2.0 UK and started his 1st season of F3 Euroseries.

    I am convinced that Red Bull has done a very good bet with Jaime, with Hartley, with Buemi (finished 6th in the GP2) and with Vettel.

    Since 2001, more than 110 pilots have gone through the Red Bull Junior Team program.

    Do you know how many have lasted more than 4 years in the program? 4.

    Vettel, Buemi, Hartley and Alguersuari.

    This must be due to something.

    • gp2 insider says:

      Lucía,

      Brilliant piece on Jaime Alguersuari and his career to-date. I couldn’t agree more and in no way am I criticizing his obvious talent and speed – just his choice for 2009. Jaime should know, as you well highlight at the end, that Red Bull (read Dr. Marko) is an ever-changing beast, and he should try and maximize what’s available to him.

      Now, questions that come up…. Why did Jaime only have 1 GP2 test? Did Red Bull make the decision for him not to go to GP2?

      All I say in the post is that Jaime fell in the GP2 trap, nothing more, nothing less. If Jaime didn’t want to go to GP2… great! My point is, don’t justify it by saying that he would have gone, but he was late to picking up a “good seat”.

      I wish all the best to Jaime in his WSR season, and I hope this weekend he can prove his talent. Most of all, I wish him continued backing from Dr. Marko, and hope to see him at least as an F1 reserve driver soon.

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