With that in mind, I had to do a bit of a “double take” at a tweet posted this evening by Formula 1 driver Jaime Alguersuari. Having lost his drive with Toro Rosso at the end of 2011, Alguersuari has been testing tyres for Pirelli this year, with the canny idea that this will put him in the ideal place to jump back in to a race seat for 2013, with a better idea of what to do with his tyres than any of his competitors.
Alongside this work, he has been acting as a race summariser for BBC 5 Live, but hasn’t been seen in this role since the start of October. In advance of the Japanese Grand Prix, 5 Live producer Jason Swales tweeted that Alguersuari was “racing in the World Karting Championships as part of his preparation for 2013“. There seems to my ear to have been an air of confidence about Alguersuari for some time, as if he knew what he was doing even if nobody else did.
His name has been mentioned in connection with just about every available seat, most notably those at Sauber (now filled by Nico Hulkenberg) and Force India (vacated by the same). In the meantime, everyone has been drumming their fingers waiting for the Lotus/Renault/Benetton/Enstone team to confirm this year’s crash magnet Romain Grosjean as Kimi Raikkonen’s team mate for a second season.
Which makes this picture all the more intriguing.
Posted to give fans an insight into his training machinery, it appears to my possibly-over-eager eye to show the man himself lying on a massage table or similar, attended by somebody in a Lotus F1 team sweatshirt or fleece.
Now there are many possible explanations for this. It might not be a Lotus garment, and it could just be the context that’s leading me to see it as one. Jaime’s personal physio may also work for the team, and happen to have picked that top out of the wardrobe this morning. Lotus may provide physiotherapy services to anybody they’ve ever been associated with (Alguersuari himself confirmed he had talks with the team last year).
Or F1’s youngest ever driver might have just, whether by accident or design, whether as race driver or reserve driver, chucked an unexpected spanner into the 2013 driver market.