BARCELONA, May 7 (Reuters) - When Jaime Alguersuari says he is in tune with Formula One, the Spanish driver and part-time DJ means much more than just enjoying the sweet sound of a V8 engine at full throttle.
For the 20-year-old, the closest thing the glamour sport has to a teen spirit, making music is a consuming passion that triggers the same emotion he experiences when qualifying his Toro Rosso race car.
“I am crazy for music. I couldn’t live without it,” the fast-talking youngster told Reuters in an interview in the Spanish Grand Prix paddock, his words gushing out in fluent English.
“I love sounds and I love electronic music, that’s one of my biggest passions in life.”
Alguersuari has his own studio in Barcelona where he mixes and produces the tracks that he uses in his other existence as an accomplished DJ.
Performing to crowds of 10,000 in Ibiza and Barcelona, it is much more than just a hobby.
”It can be an idea to mix the sound of engine noise with some electronic stuff,“ he said. ”They are two things which are on the same path, I would say.
”In Formula One you have to push and be aggressive. If you are not aggressive you are not made for Formula One and in music, it’s a bit the same.
“I want to put all my power, all the maximum performance I can, also in music. In playing, in effects, in echo, delay, looping, so many things,” he enthused.
”You can put a-cappella with different sounds, you can do so many things in music, it’s so exciting. It’s like the qualifying lap in Formula One.
“When you play in a big festival, with 7,000 or 9,000 people and they are dancing with what you put on, it’s amazing.”
Alguersuari would be the first to admit he behaves like a teenager and he is in no hurry to grow up.
He is hooked on Facebook and Twitter, sending out a stream of messages in capital letters, while also a bit of an online poker addict.
“Sometimes I don’t realise the caps are on but sometimes it’s because I like to shout. I like to be very warm, to let people understand what I‘m doing ... I get crazy sometimes,” he said.
”Some time I will grow up and I hope to be world champion,“ he said cheerfully. ”But I am 20 and I love also my other life ... I like to do these kind of things because I am still young.
“I am in Formula One because I enjoy it and have fun. That’s it.”
Despite his status as the sport’s youngest driver, the Spaniard has shown an increasing maturity on the track this season after last year’s steep learning curve.
He has kept returning seven-times world champion Michael Schumacher behind him for lap after lap and also scored his first points in Malaysia last month.
It is all a far cry from his debut in Hungary last year when he earned immediate notoriety after some suggested he could be a liability -- with one British newspaper asking whether he was Formula One’s most dangerous driver.
At the time he had only ever driven an F1 car in a straight line.
Sitting in his team motorhome, with an endless supply of energy drink on hand should he need perking up, the youngster laughed at the memory.
”Hopefully in so many years time this will be something to laugh at, like we are doing now,“ he said. ”But I can tell you at the moment (when it happened) it was not so big a laugh.
”I wouldn’t say I was the most dangerous man but for sure the situation was dangerous ... it was a bit risky.
“But the team helped me a lot. Everyone was great with me, they never pressured me. They said ‘Look, take it easy. you cannot do anything, we cannot achieve anything with you because you are a baby in this, you have no idea.'”
This weekend he will be one of three Spanish drivers on the starting grid, with Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso the main attraction in the double world champion’s first race on home soil for the Italian team.
Editing by Tony Jimenez. To query or comment on this story email firstname.lastname@example.org