Jaime Alguersuari has accused Red Bull of being “unfair” to some of its former F1 drivers.
The Spaniard made his debut amid some fanfare in 2009, as at the time he was the youngest ever grand prix driver.
But by the end of 2011 he, like teammate Sebastien Buemi, was dropped by the energy drink company, and today he can be found in the new all-electric Formula E series.
“Red Bull paid for my racing career since I was 15 years old and brought me into formula one,” Alguersuari, now 25, told Austria’s Laola1.
“But they were not fair to us drivers, and I don’t mean because they didn’t keep us but because of the late decision.
“They deliberately waited so long because they wanted to make sure that we couldn’t find a place in any other formula one team,” he added.
Now outside of the paddock, Alguersuari says he has no regrets, as he is “incredibly disappointed” with the direction F1 has taken in the past few years.
He is referring mainly to the spiralling costs, and that so much of the grid is therefore now filled by so-called ‘pay drivers’.
“I don’t think it’s a sport,” said Alguersuari.
“I used to believe it was, but now I understand the business — I’ve seen it, I was there, and I really hope that Formula E has a better structure and avoids the mistakes the others have made.”
He also said the sport has changed significantly from a technical point of view, insisting he doesn’t think a 17-year-old like Max Verstappen could have debuted in his era.
“When I started, formula one felt much more special. Unique,” said Alguersuari. “The physical requirements were enormous and you had to have trained perfectly, especially in the neck area.
“Now a formula one car is like a big Formula 3 car, and only a few seconds faster than GP2.” (GMM)