Spanish teenager makes F1 history

PARIS: Spanish teenager Jaime Alguersuari becomes the youngest ever Formula One driver after Toro Rosso announced Monday he will replace sacked Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais until the end of the season.

The 19-year-old reigning Formula Three champion has been a reserve driver with Toro Rosso's sister stable Red Bull since July 1. He will make his debut for the Italian outfit at the Hungarian Grand Prix on July 26.

"I'm know I'm facing a very difficult challenge. Getting into Formula One is never easy but doing so in the middle of the season is even harder," admitted Alguersuari.

"Not being able to test the car makes things even more complicated."

The Spaniard added: "I want to thank Red Bull for giving me this superb opportunity to race in Formula One. It's my dream since I took up racing. Thanks to Red Bull's junior programme I'm going to achieve my dream of taking off from the starting grid at a Grand Prix."

Team principal Franz Tost said he wouldn't be expecting too much from the youngster initially.

"I'm not expecting anything special from him for the first three races he competes in, which will allow him to get to know his team," said Tost.

"While Formula One will be very new to him, as a driver who has come up through the ranks of the Red Bull Junior Team young driver programme, he knows his new team-mates well," Toro Rosso added in a statement.

Alguersuari has competed in 118 races from junior karting to Formula 3 and Formula Renault. He has had 17 victories and 36 podium finishes.

Bourdais was sacked last week following lacklustre performances in this year's Formula One campaign. The 30-year-old scored just six points from the 27 Grands Prix in which he competed.