Jaime Alguersuari has his post-Australia thoughts up on his website, and speaking for everyone here at F1B let me say: This is the first time we’ve had serious reason to think the Toro Rosso driver deserves to stick around in Formula 1 a little longer.
(Note there’s still skepticism, and we aren’t giving him a whole season of forgiveness, but this here is a start.)
So what’s got us making a little turnaround in opinion? In boils down to this quote:
“Schumacher took away a point, but without realizing it, he gave me much more.”
It sounds like, or at least his people are packaging it like, he’s gaining experience and knowledge. And as our own Paul Charsley would say, “I like a smart driver.”
Here’s more from Jaime, in reference to Michael Schumacher:
He taught me how to understand better the tires and how to maximize the gums. If they had been better preserved, I would have done one-stop strategy, and I’m sure I would have been able to secure the points. However, I realize that very soon I will be able to make better use of the tires, especially the soft ones. With the hard ones, I’m starting to be at its maximum performance level (although I have to preserve them longer).
Now, I really don’t mean to jump to overly quick conclusions, and I know the kid has a ways to go, but this at least sounds like a driver who isn’t a rookie anymore. Maybe in Malaysia, we’ll see a driver who doesn’t look like a rookie anymore, too.
Here’s more, reflecting back on the race and the battle with the seven-time champ:
“First of all, I did not realize the real meaning of it until I had slept over one night. While I was on track, I only cared about defending the first point, my point! in F1 of the attacks a gray F1 who wanted to take it away from me. I did not think if it was Schumacher, and whether or not this was going to be an epic. It was another driver, who wanted the same thing as me. The tenth point. I came up against Pedro, who was already without tires, but it was not easy to pass him and the race was finishing. We were three, with the same goal, and Michael and I . I went off slightly in a turn looking for space to pass Pedro, Michael took advantage of it, I closed him, I took him to the outside, wheel to wheel, but the next turn was favorable to him… I did not insist. Frankly, after two hours of GP, Pedro, Michael and I deserved the point, all three of us.”
Magnanimous. Thoughtful. A little humble and humorous. A good combination, I say. After all, this is a kid who couldn’t legally drink here in the United States. And we’ve heard plenty of more mature drivers act a lot less grown up than this.
Finally, I’m going to give Jaime props for saying this, because whether you like Michael Schumacher, you know it isn’t smart to get on the guy’s bad side:
About Michael, I can only say that he behaved like a super professional. He put a lot of pressure on me, but he didnâ€™t do anything that would result in a conflict between the two of us. Honestly, I think Schumacher will be among the best in the World Championship at the end of 19 GPs. The F1 World Championship is very long, and he will be at the front. ”
There is zero reason to antagonize the silver back unnecessarily.