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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:55 am 
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word is going that Giedo van der Garde will be going to Caterham, Razia to Marrusia and Bianchi to FI. today.

if that is true that would be good seeing new blood in the sport, of all i will be looking closely at Bianchi, he seems like the next best thing


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:08 am 
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M.Nader -DODZ- wrote:
word is going that Giedo van der Garde will be going to Caterham, Razia to Marrusia and Bianchi to FI. today.

if that is true that would be good seeing new blood in the sport, of all i will be looking closely at Bianchi, he seems like the next best thing


Bianchi? Next best thing? On what basis?

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:17 am 
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He has been super quick in GP2, beating Sam Bird and Gutierrez. and the same in F3.5.

He has been able to be quite quick in his F1 tests.

His qualifying record in particular impresses me.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:47 am 
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I read these reports if true i am really not too optimistic for the next few years too many rookies the majority of which didn't even win gp2 or become runners up, and as last seasons gp2 was especially weak says a lot. Caterham will have one season of f1 driving between them the other has spent what 4-5 years of not being able to get near an f1 drivers seat, marussia will have a gp2 runner up and a guy who didn't even get top 3 overall in gp2 and didn't seem all that good at any point in a weak field, Bianchi has looked ok in tests but i think it may be a year or two early for him, same as bottas at williams looks like he could be good maybe a bit too early. But at least in Bianchi and bottas they have two drivers with a few years f1 experience fighting for points to get a bit of experience from


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:50 am 
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Assuming those rumours are true (I'm taking all of them with a pinch of salt, but just for argument's sake) Marussia and Caterham would have rookie drivers and Pic as their drivers. Doesn't sound too promising, because even though new blood is fine, Chilton and van der Garde don't interest me one bit, and Razia is doubtful.

Bianchi I'd like to see in a seat, he's the only even speculated rookie apart from Bottas I'm remotely excited about. Gutiérrez may prove me wrong, but I don't know too much about him.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:53 am 
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im stunned the FI have still not confirmed their lineups, and the other empty slots havent been sorted this late in the day.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:57 am 
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If Bianchi is at FI that pretty much confirms that financially they aren't in a good place.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:05 am 
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And no race seats for GP2 champ Valsecchi or Formula Renault champ Robin Frijns.
Van Der Garde finished 6th in GP2, almost 28, now that's really not promising.

The grids get so young and inexperienced. I don't think that's good for the sport. I prefer those youngsters to mature a bit more in lower series before they make the step to F1.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:09 am 
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Like I said in another thread, I think the GP2 champion should get an automatic contract for winning the title, and promoted to F1. I don't know how it would work, but they should get rewarded for it. It must be annoying to win a title, and then 3-4 drivers who you've just beaten get F1 race seats. I suppose Valsecchi is a bit older, but he's a champ, he should get something better than a test role.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:15 am 
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Very disappointed with Caterham if this is true. Although I've been impressed with Pic I think they should have kept either Petrov or Kovalainen for continuity, or at least brought in someone with a couple of years F1 experience.

I don't see them troubling the midfield this season.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:39 am 
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I don't really follow the lower formulas so well (I'm making it a priority to do so this year) but van der Garde at Caterham seemed pretty obvious to me.

I'd like to see Bianchi in F1, even though he's not exactly lit up the lower formulae, he's been performing fairly consistently against some strong opposition like Maldonado, Perez, Grosjean and Frijns. There's nothing indicating he'll be a great success, but then Vettel lost a title fight against di Resta and look where he is. Junior series aren't the definitive indicator of how a driver will perform in F1, and I'd rather see fresh blood than Sutil, who I thought was half decent but never showed great potential.

@jammin I think that's all good, but what about the WSR/FR3.5 champion? That series is arguably stronger than GP2 atm. F1 teams should have the right to judge talent for themselves, unfortunately money is more important than good judgement right now.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:03 pm 
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benmc wrote:
I don't really follow the lower formulas so well (I'm making it a priority to do so this year) but van der Garde at Caterham seemed pretty obvious to me.

I'd like to see Bianchi in F1, even though he's not exactly lit up the lower formulae, he's been performing fairly consistently against some strong opposition like Maldonado, Perez, Grosjean and Frijns. There's nothing indicating he'll be a great success, but then Vettel lost a title fight against di Resta and look where he is. Junior series aren't the definitive indicator of how a driver will perform in F1, and I'd rather see fresh blood than Sutil, who I thought was half decent but never showed great potential.

@jammin I think that's all good, but what about the WSR/FR3.5 champion? That series is arguably stronger than GP2 atm. F1 teams should have the right to judge talent for themselves, unfortunately money is more important than good judgement right now.

Thats true, maybe there needs to be a set path to F1, or set tiers at least. I.E.

Top Tier - F1
Second Tier - GP2
Third Tier WSR/FR3.5/GP3

Etc. Sure the teams should be able to judge the talent for theirselves, but is that what they're doing? I find it hard to believe teams looked at Max Chilton and Davide Valsecchi and went "yeah, Chilton's definately going to be a better driver."
Its always been the case that money is going to be a wanted commodity by a team, given that it's a business afterall, but I just think champions should get some kind of priority. Maybe the champions should have a gauranteed sponsor package to go with their title which makes them more favourable to F1 teams too. Say Mobil or Bridgestone or Total sponsor GP2... maybe that sponsor should gaurantee to sponsor the winning driver for a year following his/her title win. A team would be more likely to say "yes, we'll take that Champion for x years." Or maybe they'll have a constant turnover of drivers through the yearly sponsorship change, but it'll get the champions into F1 and give them at least some chance to be there.

I apologise if what I say makes no sense, I tend to ramble about nothing in particular.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:38 pm 
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Seems that Marussia and Caterham just want to get through 2013 and then try and take advantage of 2014 rule changes. Marussia having 2 rookies sounds like complete madness and after getting rid of Glock just shows that they have no intention to properly compete this year. They talk up trying to beat Caterham but I cant see how these drivers will help them do it. If Caterham get Petrov or Senna they should comfortably beat them.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:12 pm 
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jammin78 wrote:
benmc wrote:
I don't really follow the lower formulas so well (I'm making it a priority to do so this year) but van der Garde at Caterham seemed pretty obvious to me.

I'd like to see Bianchi in F1, even though he's not exactly lit up the lower formulae, he's been performing fairly consistently against some strong opposition like Maldonado, Perez, Grosjean and Frijns. There's nothing indicating he'll be a great success, but then Vettel lost a title fight against di Resta and look where he is. Junior series aren't the definitive indicator of how a driver will perform in F1, and I'd rather see fresh blood than Sutil, who I thought was half decent but never showed great potential.

@jammin I think that's all good, but what about the WSR/FR3.5 champion? That series is arguably stronger than GP2 atm. F1 teams should have the right to judge talent for themselves, unfortunately money is more important than good judgement right now.

Thats true, maybe there needs to be a set path to F1, or set tiers at least. I.E.

Top Tier - F1
Second Tier - GP2
Third Tier WSR/FR3.5/GP3

Etc. Sure the teams should be able to judge the talent for theirselves, but is that what they're doing? I find it hard to believe teams looked at Max Chilton and Davide Valsecchi and went "yeah, Chilton's definately going to be a better driver."
Its always been the case that money is going to be a wanted commodity by a team, given that it's a business afterall, but I just think champions should get some kind of priority. Maybe the champions should have a gauranteed sponsor package to go with their title which makes them more favourable to F1 teams too. Say Mobil or Bridgestone or Total sponsor GP2... maybe that sponsor should gaurantee to sponsor the winning driver for a year following his/her title win. A team would be more likely to say "yes, we'll take that Champion for x years." Or maybe they'll have a constant turnover of drivers through the yearly sponsorship change, but it'll get the champions into F1 and give them at least some chance to be there.

I apologise if what I say makes no sense, I tend to ramble about nothing in particular.


I know exactly what you're saying, and I think IndyCar has a system similar to what you're describing, the 'Road to Indy' sponsored by Mazda. It operates a four-tier system, F2000, Pro Mazda, Indy Lights and the main series. The champions of each series earn a scholarship to help them move up to the next series, and the last two Indy Lights champions have signed deals with IndyCar teams.

Problem is, in the current economic climate, who will stump up the large amount of money needed for a driver to sign to an F1 team? Anyone who agrees to such a deal would be coughing up much more than Mazda does. Is the scholarship driver going to be able to stay in F1 beyond their rookie year? And which series gets the money given that FR 3.5 and GP2 seem to be so evenly matched?

Also, if you look at GP2, six of it's eight champions have graduated to F1. Of the two that didn't, one (Valsecchi) was stuck in junior formulae for an eternity and never made much of an impression before 2012, while the other (Pantano) already had previous F1 experience in 2004, when he struggled badly. By the time he won GP2, he was nearly 30. I think it's entirely understandable that F1 teams would overlook a driver who they believe may struggle to adapt quickly to F1, considering that driver took years to adapt in junior formulae. Look at James Calado for an example - Valsecchi was clearly better than Calado in GP2 this year, but if you ask F1 teams and fans who is more likely to make it in F1, they'll say Calado and with good reason.

I understand that van der Garde is older than Valsecchi, did much less and still looks like he'll get an F1 drive, and I admit that there are some injustices (such as Aleshin and Wickens going unrewarded for beating Ricciardo and Vergne in FR 3.5) but I don't think the system is too badly broken. Maybe that has something to do with pay drivers (i.e Maldonado, Perez) being very competitive now.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:07 pm 
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There is to be a press conference this afternoon at a Dutch sponsor/partner of Caterham in which van der Garde will be present, its expected they are to announce him as the 2nd driver


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:07 pm 
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Van Der Garde now confirmed: http://www.caterhamf1.com/news/2013/gie ... ace-driver


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:09 pm 
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So its all down to Force India now, the last available seat for the pay drivers' sponsors to fight over.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:11 pm 
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Don't think van der Garde was the best choice but I am very happy that rookies are still getting a shot.

The whole Schumacher/Barrichello/Trulli/de la Rosa thing was starting to look bad.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:17 pm 
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If the Force India driver is Bianchi or another rookie, over 25% of the grid at Australia will have never taken part in an F1 race before. For some reason, that scares me.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:22 pm 
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Cue another Suzuka 1998 'start' farce [found it on video last night and rewatched it, hence it's fresh in my mind!]

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:27 pm 
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There was a tweet by DiResta welcoming Bruno Senna as his teammate which was deleted swiftly.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:34 pm 
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All three are in clear financial difficultly be that long term or only short term. They need extra money from drivers. Marussia and Caterham probably have very little chance of points again this year as a result, one has two complete rookies and the other one rookie and one driver with only a year under his belt.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:37 pm 
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jammin78 wrote:
If the Force India driver is Bianchi or another rookie, over 25% of the grid at Australia will have never taken part in an F1 race before. For some reason, that scares me.

agree fully even more so that it was a particularly weak gp2 field and the shear amount of drivers getting seat from said field.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:39 pm 
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Button, Alonso and Webber each have more race starts than the Force India, Williams, Sauber, Marussia, Caterham and Toro Rosso drivers combined. I presume the case will still be the same when Force India announce their second driver.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:40 pm 
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jammin78 wrote:
If the Force India driver is Bianchi or another rookie, over 25% of the grid at Australia will have never taken part in an F1 race before. For some reason, that scares me.

Why is it scary? They are all professionals who've been racing for over a decade, this isn't their first rodeo, and in F1 there'll be less traffic for them to deal with than in GP2 for example.


With Marussia's and Caterham's line ups it's obviously they've figured out that drivers mean less than the cars do, so have taken the decision to get more money to improve the cars more, then when the car is better get a driver who can taken advantage.
No point having an amazing driver if the car is terrible.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:42 pm 
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Lentulus wrote:
jammin78 wrote:
If the Force India driver is Bianchi or another rookie, over 25% of the grid at Australia will have never taken part in an F1 race before. For some reason, that scares me.

Why is it scary? They are all professionals who've been racing for over a decade, this isn't their first rodeo, and in F1 there'll be less traffic for them to deal with than in GP2 for example.


With Marussia's and Caterham's line ups it's obviously they've figured out that drivers mean less than the cars do, so have taken the decision to get more money to improve the cars more, then when the car is better get a driver who can taken advantage.
No point having an amazing driver if the car is terrible.

I didn't say they're incapable or that they're going to cause mayhem, I just said that for some reason it scares me. I just find it strange to have a quarter of the grid complete rookies, I don't know how often we get such an inexperienced grid, after having such a massively experienced grid last year. There was only two complete rookies last year wasn't there?

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:44 pm 
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M.Nader -DODZ- wrote:
There was a tweet by DiResta welcoming Bruno Senna as his teammate which was deleted swiftly.

No there wasn't, it was a hoax.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:14 pm 
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So Van Der Garde is official now at Caterham.

I think this is the start of the end for Caterham... Would not be at all surprised if they packed in at the end of this season or if they were sold on. Complete lack of ambition! I was pleased to see them sign Pic but they needed a leader in their driver line up - not a journeyman GP2 driver.

Good Luck

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:16 pm 
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I'm very much torn on van der Gerde getting the second Caterham seat. On one hand, credit to Caterham for supporting a driver in GP2, giving him some Friday running, and ultimately promoting him into F1. On the other hand, I really don't rate him, and I could list a dozen drivers I would've preferred to see get the seat ahead of him, at least three or four of which Caterham were linked with. Why not grab somebody like Alguersuari, who is six years younger (which is hilarious in itself), has more F1 experience, Pirelli knowledge and $$$? For their sake, I hope he proves me wrong and makes the most of the opportunity.

This is all great news for Charles Pic, though. He outscored him as teammates in GP2 two years ago (despite van der Garde having an extra season of experience) and ought to have a decent shot at comfortably out-pacing him this year. Which can only reflect well on him if bigger teams come knocking, even if beating GvdG wouldn't be anything too special.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:19 pm 
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A shame about Van Der Garde. It would be easier to tell how good Pic is if they put him up against a decent benchmark. He compared well to Glock and would benefit from a teammate he could learn from.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:22 pm 
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Well as McGregor has come on board as well i don't think it was a case of them supporting him more he was a known quantity who was bringing in cash, he hasn't looked a force in years in 2008 i think he looked promising winning but never even been a force at gp2 even with more experience than most of them. He hasn't been good enough since 2007 for f1 and arguably his results were worse last year but gets a seat... Go figure


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:28 pm 
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If Grosjean is the hopeless case some think he is, Valsecchi might be in the best position of all of the above mentioned guys, with the likely promotion from Lotus' 3rd driver to RoGro's seat sometime during the season. The others are in back marker or definite midfield cars, while Valsecchi would be dropped into a car that should be competing for podiums and wins.

(Though my hunch is Grosjean will cut down on the bad, at least enough to maintain his seat for the full season... but as gambles go, from Valsecchi's perspective it might be a good gamble... less certainty than the others with guaranteed seats on the opening grid in lesser cars, but with more potential to make a splash in a very good car if things break wrong for Grosjean, and right for Valsecchi.)


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:34 pm 
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Z3RoadstarTXF1 wrote:
If Grosjean is the hopeless case some think he is, Valsecchi might be in the best position of all of the above mentioned guys, with the likely promotion from Lotus' 3rd driver to RoGro's seat sometime during the season. The others are in back marker or definite midfield cars, while Valsecchi would be dropped into a car that should be competing for podiums and wins.

(Though my hunch is Grosjean will cut down on the bad, at least enough to maintain his seat for the full season... but as gambles go, from Valsecchi's perspective it might be a good gamble... less certainty than the others with guaranteed seats on the opening grid in lesser cars, but with more potential to make a splash in a very good car if things break wrong for Grosjean, and right for Valsecchi.)

As we saw last year in Monza, it's not very easy to jump in the car in the middle of the season with little to no experience. Not even a points finish is guaranteed even if the car is competitive. Sure, maybe JDA is not the best of the best, but I wouldn't say he's the worst either and he did have more experience than Valsecchi would have. Anyone jumping in on the fly is going to have tough time, so to speak. Grosjean's going to have to cause some serious incidents if he's to be replaced in the middle of the season.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:43 pm 
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Back and midfield are going to be scary with so many noobs. Chilton, GvdG, Bottas, Razia, Gutierrez maybe Bianchi. Only 2nd year for Vergne, Pic. Third(ish) year for Perez, di Resta, Hulk, Pasta, Rogro. Its hard to believe people like Seb and Lewis are veterans now.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:48 pm 
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ashley313 wrote:
Back and midfield are going to be scary with so many noobs. Chilton, GvdG, Bottas, Razia, Gutierrez maybe Bianchi. Only 2nd year for Vergne, Pic. Third(ish) year for Perez, di Resta, Hulk, Pasta, Rogro. Its hard to believe people like Seb and Lewis are veterans now.

I'm not worried that we'd see anything stupid. I think being prone to stupid incidents is more about the mindset than experience alone. Maybe we see some spins and other normal rookie mistakes but I seriously doubt anyone should be scared.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:49 pm 
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All of the "veterans" are in the top 5 teams, with only 1 of those 10 cars occupied by a relative noob. Interesting. And telling.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:58 pm 
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froze wrote:
Z3RoadstarTXF1 wrote:
If Grosjean is the hopeless case some think he is, Valsecchi might be in the best position of all of the above mentioned guys, with the likely promotion from Lotus' 3rd driver to RoGro's seat sometime during the season. The others are in back marker or definite midfield cars, while Valsecchi would be dropped into a car that should be competing for podiums and wins.

(Though my hunch is Grosjean will cut down on the bad, at least enough to maintain his seat for the full season... but as gambles go, from Valsecchi's perspective it might be a good gamble... less certainty than the others with guaranteed seats on the opening grid in lesser cars, but with more potential to make a splash in a very good car if things break wrong for Grosjean, and right for Valsecchi.)

As we saw last year in Monza, it's not very easy to jump in the car in the middle of the season with little to no experience. Not even a points finish is guaranteed even if the car is competitive. Sure, maybe JDA is not the best of the best, but I wouldn't say he's the worst either and he did have more experience than Valsecchi would have. Anyone jumping in on the fly is going to have tough time, so to speak. Grosjean's going to have to cause some serious incidents if he's to be replaced in the middle of the season.


D'Ambrosio showed he's good enough to be in F1 from his year at Virgin, I don't put his failure to score points down to him at all. As you say, it's a big ask to come in mid way through a season having barely driven the car.

Caterham hiring GVDG has made me lose all respect for them. Petrov was the obvious choice having driven for them for a year and showed up Heikki, as well as earning them their 10th place in the last race of 2012. While he doesn't seem to come with as much sponsorship as he used to, I think he still had some to offer. Together with Pic who seems pretty quick, all they have to do is provide a reasonable car and I'm confident that pairing can maximise it. If they're in THAT much trouble that they need to hire a fairly average GP2 driver Fernandes should stop mucking about sponsoring lower formulae and put some money into his F1 team. If they disappear from the grid I will not miss them.

Having said this, Marussia should gun for Petrov now. And if Petrov has any sense he'd try to get in there too. Chilton seemed fairly impressive in GP2 (more so than VDG anyway) and there are worse people to learn from than Petrov. Of course it opens the door wide open to Russian sponsors too.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 5:04 pm 
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ashley313 wrote:
Back and midfield are going to be scary with so many noobs. Chilton, GvdG, Bottas, Razia, Gutierrez maybe Bianchi. Only 2nd year for Vergne, Pic. Third(ish) year for Perez, di Resta, Hulk, Pasta, Rogro. Its hard to believe people like Seb and Lewis are veterans now.


To be honest I'm not even thinking of the likes of Maldonado, Hulkenberg and Perez as newbies now! Which is bad, because they are and should still be given some leeway (except for Pastor, he can be a class A pillock) when they balls up. But the Hulk is now a shoe-in for a top seat, Perez & Grosjean are already there. Button and Webber don't have long left and Alonso & Massa won't be much further behind. This would leave Rosberg as the most experienced driver by a year, then Hamilton and his Vettelness.

Trivia: which season after 1970 (before that it's kinda limited by the start of F1)'s most experienced driver had the least starts? If Button, Alonso, Webber and Massa retire within 3 years Rosberg will be most experienced with 10 seasons. Doubt that'll happen, Button and Alonso will probably go on until they're 40 but it could do.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 5:08 pm 
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Volantary wrote:
Caterham hiring GVDG has made me lose all respect for them. Petrov was the obvious choice having driven for them for a year and showed up Heikki, as well as earning them their 10th place in the last race of 2012. While he doesn't seem to come with as much sponsorship as he used to, I think he still had some to offer. Together with Pic who seems pretty quick, all they have to do is provide a reasonable car and I'm confident that pairing can maximise it. If they're in THAT much trouble that they need to hire a fairly average GP2 driver Fernandes should stop mucking about sponsoring lower formulae and put some money into his F1 team. If they disappear from the grid I will not miss them.

Likewise. Seems like Caterham are getting a lot of negative feedback on their facebook page and losing likes rapidly. As a Kovalainen supporter, I wanted to believe that he'd get the seat, but I would've understood if they'd chosen Petrov instead. As you said, Petrov did secure them the 10th in WCC and it was my understanding that he could've brought in some money too, which wouldn't have been the case with Kovalainen. GVDG on the other hand seems like a very strange choice and a bad one. I don't mean this with any disrespect to him, I'm sure he's a perfectly respectable racer and a nice guy, but let's face it, that seat wasn't given to him by merit.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 5:10 pm 
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Volantary wrote:
ashley313 wrote:
Back and midfield are going to be scary with so many noobs. Chilton, GvdG, Bottas, Razia, Gutierrez maybe Bianchi. Only 2nd year for Vergne, Pic. Third(ish) year for Perez, di Resta, Hulk, Pasta, Rogro. Its hard to believe people like Seb and Lewis are veterans now.


To be honest I'm not even thinking of the likes of Maldonado, Hulkenberg and Perez as newbies now! Which is bad, because they are and should still be given some leeway (except for Pastor, he can be a class A pillock) when they balls up. But the Hulk is now a shoe-in for a top seat, Perez & Grosjean are already there. Button and Webber don't have long left and Alonso & Massa won't be much further behind. This would leave Rosberg as the most experienced driver by a year, then Hamilton and his Vettelness.

Trivia: which season after 1970 (before that it's kinda limited by the start of F1)'s most experienced driver had the least starts? If Button, Alonso, Webber and Massa retire within 3 years Rosberg will be most experienced with 10 seasons. Doubt that'll happen, Button and Alonso will probably go on until they're 40 but it could do.

Don't forget Kimi.

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