Jaime Alguersuari has revealed that he turned down another offer for 2012 because he believed his Toro Rosso F1 seat was secure.
The Spaniard and erstwhile teammate Sebastien Buemi were both dropped when Toro Rosso opted to promote Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne to its 2012 race drives. Alguersuari insists that he had been assured by the Red Bull hierarchy that he would be kept on.
"I was verbally confirmed during the Brazilian GP," he said. "Hence, being confirmed by Red Bull and STR, I rejected a very good offer."
He added: "On Dec. 13, when Red Bull Racing told me that I was no longer part of the family I said that I was not going to judge them, neither was I feeling like a victim and that this was not a drama. But let me say just one thing: they hurt me, and moreover, it was unnecessary."
Although there are no more race seats available in Formula 1 for the upcoming season, Alguersuari said he was negotiating for a role with one of the leading teams and was not considering non-F1 options.
"I will never pay for a seat. In January I have had some conversations which might be decisive in my future with one of the top F1 teams," he said. "I must say that I had a very warm welcome – they paid me a lot of respect and we have opened a path.
"Obviously, I cannot reveal the nature of our intentions. All I will say is that I will be fully dedicated to F1 in 2012. My duty is being ready to deliver if the opportunity comes up. And that's what I'm doing now."
HRT and Williams still had vacancies when Alguersuari lost his Toro Rosso seat, and while he said he did not consider Williams – "today, they only need drivers who pay" – he did enter talks with the Spanish squad's boss Luis Perez-Sala before deciding against joining for now.
"We both had the same feeling," Alguersuari said. "HRT does not have a car for me today and I cannot liquidate my heritage at my age fighting to improve a car, which, of course, will be far behind on the grid.
"HRT is not an option for me now. I cannot bear to be penultimate on the grid every race. Luis did totally agree with me since the very beginning.
"Having said that, I believe that [Pedro] de la Rosa has wide enough capacity to develop and improve these cars as well as the team. Maybe this opens new opportunities for the future. I'm convinced that the team that manages HRT will be capable of having a competitive car in the future."