Jaime Alguersuari will be returning to racing this year
The 31-year-old ex-Formula 1 driver will be competing in the KZ division of the World Karting Championship
It's been a while since we've seen Jaime Alguersuari on the track. The 31-year-old ex-Formula 1 driver fully retired from racing 6 years ago to pursue his post-F1 career as a music producer and DJ (where he is known as DJ Squire), something which he's had moderate success in since. However, it seems that the racing bug has bitten him again, as not only has he been testing karts during the pandemic as he has been unable to tour or perform live due to COVID-19 restrictions, but he has announced that he will be returning to competitive racing!
Alguersuari will be competing in the KZ division of the World Karting Championship this year. It'll be the first time he's competed in that series since 2013, where he finished 9th in the world championship final behind Max Verstappen (who finished 1st) and Charles Leclerc (who finished 2nd). He is expected to return at the world championship event at Kristianstad in September this year.
Speaking to Autosport about his decision, the former Toro Rosso driver said that he now has "a very different view of racing now than when I was 20" and it was his hope that his return to karting would help to close "an emotional circle which was not really closed".
"I’ve been testing go-karts and having sensations that I didn’t feel for a very long time... When I started racing, I was smiling inside the helmet and it was just driving for pure love. Now when I’m back on a go-kart, I have the same feelings and I thought, ‘Why shouldn’t I be back in a situation where I’m competitive and I feel like inspiration back to my life?’"
"I struggled a lot, after F1", the Barcelona-born driver explained. "After I retired, I did not want to hear a word of racing. I didn’t watch any F1 races because it was difficult for me to accept what happened. But now I’ve come through all of that, time makes it easier."
Whilst Alguersuari's aim this year is primarily to race for the enjoyment of racing, he has stressed that if he wants to make a proper comeback and return to cars he will have to be able to be competitive with the rest of the field. "If I’m not at the level that I expect, to be in the top 10 of the best world go-karting drivers, I won’t do a proper comeback... I can feel I have the speed and have those feelings that drove me to perfect my driving. If I don’t have that feeling inside me, I would not even try at all."
Could we maybe see a full-on racing return for Alguersuari? If he does well in his stints in karting this year, I would say it's a definite! As a former British Formula 3 champion and somebody who was formerly part of the Red Bull system, Alguersuari definitely had decent driving talent when he was racing previously. If he can tap into that talent once again, it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect that we could be seeing him in GT cars or even single seaters again in 2022.