Cristóbal Santiago Alvarez (born 12 January 1995) is a Uruguayan racing driver who has previously raced in FF3M for the Blaze team and is currently racing in the FGT3 championship. He will make his FF2M debut for the 2014-15 FF2M Asia series with STV Racing.
Alvarez is the youngest of three siblings to a single mother. His father's identity is unknown, although it is rumoured to be Luis Blanco, an incarcerated gangster who was sentenced for corruption and money laundering. Combined with living in the slums of Montevideo, Alvarez's childhood was a bit of a rough one. Nevertheless, he found a crutch in the form his local go-kart circuit. Even as early as seven, he quickly gained a reputation as a bit of a silent assassin. He hardly spoke to anyone, yet he was blisteringly quick, and when this was noted by other drivers, his response tended to be just a single shrug. His mother and two older sisters noticed his talent and threw everything into his potential racing career.
After winning a series of karting championships including the 2011 South America National Karting League, Alvarez was invited to race in the 2012 FF4M SudAm championship for Team Zeta alongside Juan José Gomez, whose wealthy background and arrogant personality clashed with the introverted Alvarez. The Uruguayan responded to being called an 'uncooperative mute' by metaphorically destroying his Colombian teammate on track. In fact, Alvarez would win three out of the six races and be in strong contention of the championship, but the more consistent Tomas Gonzalez would clinch the championship in the final race.
Finishing in the top four earned Alvarez a place in the 2013 FF3M championship for the Blaze team alongside fellow FF4M rival João Vitor Oliveira. Once again, Alvarez's withdrawn nature was brought into question as Oliveira accused him of hiding set-up information. Much like in the previous formulae, Alvarez's response was to crush his Brazilian teammate in a similarly convincing manner compared to Gomez. It was at Pau where Alvarez established himself as a championship contender by doing the double. More podium finishes followed at Aragon, Paul Ricard, and Monza before two more wins at Zandvoort and Suzuka put him well in contention for the final meeting at Macau, but unfortunately, Alvarez suffered a difficult couple of races that left him 4th in the drivers championship.
Shortly before the start of the 2014 FF1M season, the AFIA announced a new support series as an outlet for unemployed and retired FF1M drivers, which included those unable to race in FF2M and FF3M. Alvarez was one of those drivers, so he joined the Seafayrer team and had another South American driver as his teammate in the form of former FF1M driver Lucas Di Grassi. Although the same lack of communication existed between the two teammates, Di Grassi was more than experienced enough to not let that get to him and despite a podium finish in the opening race at Melbourne and finishing in the top ten in the opening six races, Alvarez was outpaced and outscored by his Brazilian teammate. The final meeting in Macau saw Alvarez replaced by Fabio Leimer as the Swiss driver was favoured by Seafayrer.
Alvarez was gutted at not being able to race at the final FGT3 meeting as he was keen to make amends for his disappointing Macau meeting in 2013. He feared the end of his racing career, but luckily, he managed to land a drive in the 2014-15 FF2M Asia series with STV Racing, meaning he would drive at Macau after all.His first FF2M meeting came early after team boss James Brickles dropped Max Chilton before the final meeting of the 2014 Europe series at Barcelona. Despite qualifying 16th, Alvarez had a strong debut as he avoided the incidents and utilised an early pitstop to run as high as 3rd before being overtaken by Stoffel Vandoorne and Jaime Alguersuari, but Brickles and Alvarez were delighted with 5th. The sprint race was rather more inauspicious after a first lap collision with Itsuki Yoshida left Alvarez way down the order.
|2014-15||FF2M Asia||STV Racing|