F1 driver turned DJ felt hatred towards Red Bull and still has nightmares

The Red Bull driver programme is just as renowned for spitting drivers out as it is for producing stars like Max Verstappen.

Its junior team, currently known as AlphaTauri, was regarded as a sink-or-swim environment. Drivers who didn't meet expectations were soon dropped, often mid-season, and those who excelled could find themselves in Red Bull’s senior team ahead of schedule.

One driver who experienced the rough side of the Red Bull talent factory was Spaniard Jaime Alguersuari, who was left so disillusioned he felt hatred for key figures in the team and motorsport as a whole.

READ MORE: Red Bull 'problem child' Yuki Tsunoda keeps AlphaTauri place for 2023

Having made his F1 debut at just 19, Alguersuar spent two-and-a-half years racing for Red Bull's B-team, then called Toro Rosso, before being dropped at the end of 2011. He moved into Formula E in 2014 but after fainting at the end of a race in 2015, he quit motorsport altogether and became a DJ.

Alguersuari, now 32, has opened up about that health scare and how his experience with Red Bull left him feeling.

"Look, I think the body is the representation of the soul, and in the end, you have to listen to yourself," Alguersuari told Spanish publication El Confidential.

"You can ask my former team-mate in Formula E, Sam Bird. It was a very difficult year with the car. I didn't want to travel, I didn't want to go to races. I didn't wake up wanting to do that, I didn't enjoy [it] when I put my helmet on, racing.

"I had a huge frustration inside me that wouldn't let me live. I had a hatred that wasn't just against Helmut Marko [the team’s special advisor] and Red Bull. It was against the world of motorsport.

"But I didn't want to be bitter, which is what many people saw from the outside. I see it now when I read the interviews from back then. I say to myself: "Wow, this guy wasn't right."

"And my body was somatising all that, putting up with a life that exploded at one point. In Moscow [where he fainted] that was a physical warning, which had never happened to me in my life. I had to stop. Because I wasn't well. I needed a reset in my life. From then on things changed, and they have been very different."

On working in such a pressurised environment at Red Bull, Alguersuari added: "I'm going to tell you something: I still dream, when I sleep I have very strange dreams, very strange dreams from all that time.

"Above all the helplessness and frustration of never meeting expectations, of seeing Mr Marko always angry, telling me off. As if we were children. I see myself like that.

"This has created a trauma, and I'm convinced that [Sebastien] Buemi [who dropped at the same time], and many others, are going through it too. I have not been able to clean this, I have done therapies, and when I retired several psychologists helped me to deal with this to make a new life, but I wanted to deal with this to clean everything I had lived before.

Do you think there is too much pressure on young Red Bull drivers? Have your say in the comments section below.

"Now, even so, strange things come into my head. And sometimes I wake up like crying, when I've done a great lap, and I find Mr Marko's face and he's angry. All this, since you're 15 years old… Strange calls that hang up on you in a minute…"

Since that interview, Alguersuari has taken to social media to clarify his comments about Marko in particular. 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 1/1.”

He added: “I have not enough words of gratitude to RB and Helmut Marko because they have showed me a way of discipline, of dedication and hard f****ng work that is helping me out reach other goals in my life, in my music and I’m 100% sure I wouldnt be who I am today without being inside RB.”


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