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Alguersuari's fate due to Marko row?

NEWS STORY
29/12/2011

Mat Coch writes:

Reports in the Spanish media suggest that an argument between Jaime Alguersuari and Helmut Marko over the Korean Grand Prix weekend could have triggered the Spaniard's demise at Toro Rosso.

Alguersuari and 2011 teammate Sebastien Buemi were both dumped in mid-December in favour of Red Bull juniors Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne, reportedly without notice from the team or Marko.

Video of a heated discussion on the Friday of the Korean Grand Prix weekend has appeared on the internet which shows Dr Marko disciplining Alguersuari, who refuses to accept the Red Bull boss's comments. The conversation stemmed from an incident during one of the practice sessions when Alguersuari had held up Sebastian Vettel, prompting some unhappy gesticulations from the German once he finally got by. Marko said that Vettel should have been let through sooner to which Alguersuari asks if he should pull aside for any car that comes up behind him, a comment which resulted in an angry response from the Austrian.

Pitpass has it on good authority that a decision regarding Alguersuari's future, and his replacement, had been made as early the Singapore Grand Prix weekend, well ahead of the conversation in Korea, though it's unlikely the Spaniard knew his fate at that point. It has however been suggested the 21-year-old's place within the team was already on shaky ground, his eighth place in Canada alleged to have invoked a performance clause which prevented the team from replacing him with Daniel Ricciardo mid-season. Without that clause it's understood Alguersuari would have been looking for a new seat long before now.

There is potentially a silver lining of sorts as since his dumping by Toro Rosso, Alguersuari has been linked with a move to HRT. The team has openly confessed its desire to become an entirely Spanish team and with the only other opening, at Williams, likely to be secured by either Adrian Sutil or Vitaly Petrov, it seems the only option if the youngster is to remain in Formula One.

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