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PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:48 pm 
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So yes in a few weeks the F1 championship starts with no Italian drivers on the grid since 1970.
This fact has been lamented by Trulli, Domenicali and other Italian drivers. Recently Patrese did the following statements:

Quote:
"We know how important the Ferrari team is. I remember Imola in 1983 when the fans cheered when I crashed because a Ferrari - not an Italian driver - was going to win.

"The best three drivers now are Alonso, Vettel and Hamilton, but maybe Ferrari - if they wanted - could have an Italian as the second driver in the team, particularly as Massa hasn't looked good in the last couple of seasons. They could take a small risk to take a young Italian driver, but this hasn't happened since the time of Michele Alboreto.

"Italian drivers don't get help from a team. Ferrari have their driver academy where the Italian F1 champion gets an F1 test but nothing seems to happen after that. I think there are good young Italian drivers but they need to be given the opportunity to prove their ability."


Is there lack of talent as there was no real Italian WDC contender since Alboreto finished runner-up in 1985? I would say no since they produce so many good drivers in moto GP and successful drivers in other racing series. However not in F1 and few are actually given an F1 opportunity. Ferrari is also the only real Italian team on the grid (as STR is from Red Bull) whereas we had smaller teams at the end of the eighties and early ninties giving Italian drivers a chance (Minardi, Dallara, Osella...).

I don't think Ferrari is to blame for not giving chances to Italian drivers if they are not good enough. They are there to produce cars that win races and championships and take the best driver that can deliver that no matter the nationality. I think however that if Ferrari gets cheered on before the Italian drivers it isn't actually good for boosting the latter's chances. I don't think that mentality can be changed. Ferrari is a phenomenon (not only in Italy but worldwide), something that has been there for a long time and probably will stay for even longer. Even those who don't know anything about racing or cars have heard about the scarlet red cars.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:05 pm 
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I actually think that it is precisely due to lack of talent.

Ferrari aren't averse to taking on Italian drivers, Alboreto was there for several seasons in the 1980s, they gave Capelli a chance in the 1990s but he turned out to be a Frentzen, thriving in lesser machinery, for whatever reason I don't know.

In the 2000s, Trulli by his own admission turned Ferrari down. Interesting that Fisichella never went there between 2000-2007, but remember Ferrari had taken Massa on as a reserve driver for 2003, in the days when a lot of testing was allowed, they obviously saw something in him.

And as it turns out, with Fisichella and Massa in championship winning/capable machinery, I think Massa gave a better account of himself, Ferrari made the right decision.

Italy have not had a champion since Alberto Ascari, that's amazing considering their love of F1...well, love of Ferrari if you ask Riccardo Patrese, who when he retired at Monza there were cheers because a Ferrari had taken the lead. They haven't had a regular race winner since Alboreto. Compare that to the British F1 scene, where there has constantly been an idol to inspire others...Clark and Stewart for Mansell, Mansell for Button, Hamilton for the F1 grid of 2022.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:53 pm 
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Not sure we can rely on Ferrari to provide Italian drivers, that's not really their job.

However, there are three italian drivers in GP2 and given then general perception that a rapid GP2 pedaller has turned into a reasonable F1 driver (see the last few candidates), this may spell success in the next two or three years for an Italian driver to be on the grid again. That, of course, is up to them...

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 3:06 pm 
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hittheapex wrote:
I actually think that it is precisely due to lack of talent.

Ferrari aren't averse to taking on Italian drivers, Alboreto was there for several seasons in the 1980s, they gave Capelli a chance in the 1990s but he turned out to be a Frentzen, thriving in lesser machinery, for whatever reason I don't know.

In the 2000s, Trulli by his own admission turned Ferrari down. Interesting that Fisichella never went there between 2000-2007, but remember Ferrari had taken Massa on as a reserve driver for 2003, in the days when a lot of testing was allowed, they obviously saw something in him.

And as it turns out, with Fisichella and Massa in championship winning/capable machinery, I think Massa gave a better account of himself, Ferrari made the right decision.

Italy have not had a champion since Alberto Ascari, that's amazing considering their love of F1...well, love of Ferrari if you ask Riccardo Patrese, who when he retired at Monza there were cheers because a Ferrari had taken the lead. They haven't had a regular race winner since Alboreto. Compare that to the British F1 scene, where there has constantly been an idol to inspire others...Clark and Stewart for Mansell, Mansell for Button, Hamilton for the F1 grid of 2022.


Heard that story and in my opinion that was just rude. They should be neutral at least but when fanaticism prevails there is no common sense.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 3:40 pm 
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Well, that's fanaticism for you. I saw the same thing when Schumacher crashed at Silverstone with fans cheering when he crashed in 2000, though once they realised he had broken his leg, it was quiet except for the sounds of the cars going past slowly. I suspect they hesitated to cheer next time they saw a rival crash.

I must make a correction to my original comment, Patrese retired at Imola, the OP actually referred to this directly.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 4:03 pm 
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That was wrong too and i won't exclude myself, i was happy to see Schumacher out of the race, even though i didn't actually cheer for his accident.

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