Ex-F1 driver has very ‘strange dreams’ and trauma because of Helmut Marko

Jaime Alguersuari raced with Toro Rosso in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

Former Formula 1 driver, Jaime Alguersuari, has revealed that he has been in therapy trying to overcome mental scars caused by Red Bull adviser, Dr Helmut Marko.

The Spaniard was signed up to the Red Bull junior programme at the age of 15, and he made his debut in 2009 with Toro Rosso, replacing the hapless Sebastien Bourdais.

He would partner Sebastien Buemi for the final eight rounds of the year, achieving a best finish of 14th in Brazil.

It was an underperforming car that saw the junior side finish last in the Constructors’ Standings on just eight points, but their position improved to ninth in 2010, and then eighth in 2011.

READ: Ex-F1 Driver Hits Out At Lawrence Stroll For Buying A Team For His Son

Both Buemi and Alguersuari raced for the Faenza-based squad in those two years, before being replaced by Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo, who had been with HRT in the latter part of 2011.

They moved on to Formula E after the series was introduced in 2014, while the Swiss has also played a key role in Toyota’s WEC successes.

Alguersuari has since retired from motorsport, and he has become a DJ, following three years in the pinnacle of motorsport during which he felt underappreciated by his boss.

In an interview with El Confidencial, the now 32-year-old said that “your rivals congratulated you more than the people on your team” and that “nothing was ever enough” for Dr Marko’s exacting standards.

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Alguersuari had barely been given any run time in the Toro Rosso car before his first appearance at the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix, but he was plunged into the role anyway.

“You can’t say no because you don’t know when it’s going to happen again,” he explained.

“Red Bull feels in a way like your parents, because they are the ones who have paid for your career to race, and they make the decisions.”

The Barcelona-born former racer divulged that he has nightmares of his tormenting experiences at the hands of the 79-year-old at the helm of the Red Bull driver programme.

“I’ll tell you one thing: I still dream, when I sleep I have very strange dreams, very strange dreams of that whole time,” added Alguersuari.

“Especially of the impotence and frustration of never getting there, 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 am convinced that Buemi 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.

“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 are fifteen years old. Strange calls that hang up on you in a minute…”

Since the departure of Alguersuari and Buemi, nine drivers have come through the Red Bull system, five of whom have ended up racing in the main fold at some stage.

Max Verstappen is one of them, and he is now set to secure his second world title on the spin, ten years after Sebastian Vettel won the third of his four with the Austrian side.

Since the interview, Alguersuari has elaborated on his comments on social media, asserting that Dr Marko’s system is an effective one.

“I want to clarify something reg. HELMUT MARKO,” he wrote on Twitter.

READ: Nyck de Vries meets with Helmut Marko to discuss 2023 Red Bull seat

“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.

“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 wouldn’t be who I am today without being inside RB.

“When competing at the highest level, whether is F1, football, rugby or golf in order to highlight it requires an extremely demanding mind to look for more performance. Even if you win RB will keep demanding you higher and higher and higher…”