Silly season: 2014 F1 driver market

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    It took van Garde long to reach F1. But you’re not from under a stone I think! It takes more then talent, money and tittles to reach F1. Mark Webber didn’t win anything before F1 and was just 27 when he made his debut. Does it make him a bad driver, didn’t he deserve to be in F1?

    Petrov was just second in the championship (his 4th season with the best teams) because Grosjean moved up to Renault during the season.

    Maldonado took the title in his fifth season of GP2!

    Guiterez won his GP3 title, but in GP2 he had some poor performances.

    Perez was not better in the 2010 season over van der Garde. When you look at mechanical faillures van der Garde had during the season, while driving a good position for points and some stupid mistakes by the team threw him back in the standings. He didn’t win a race that season, but he was the faster one during the season. The stupid rules off GP2 with the reversed grid made it possible for Perez to land some wins. As the same rules made it that problems at one race kills you’re chances for the second. points. podium and championship. It is not because it’s van der Garde I say this, the same happend to Nasr and Coletti last year. When Nasr had no mechanical problems in a few of the first races (Belgium and Monza), he would have scored more points. But a problem in the first race leaves you without a chance for the second race. Why don’t they have a second qualifying for the second race?

    What championship did Kobayashi win?

    I’m following Kamu├» from his F3 period and always thought it was a great driver with a agressive aproach (wich a like a lot) and hoped he reached F1 once. But his performance in F3 and GP2 didn’t make him outstanding. While I was backing him on a few Forums, others where not confinced he could do well in F1. Now he is one of the most beloved drivers out there!

    Championship standing only tells us a part off the story! Offcourse Hulkenberg and Frijns are in a league off ther own where it comes to talent. Even Hamilton, Rosberg, Alonso and Vettel are amateurs compared to them. But Vettel is 4 times champion now and Hulkenberg is in his 4th season in F1 and still hasn’t won a race. While Maldonado has won his race already! Does it make Maldonado better then Hulkenberg?
    In F1 it is not what you can do in the car, but who do you know outside the car. That is what makes you’re career and decides if you can win the tittle or not!

    Prisoner Monkeys

    Do you actually stop and read your posts? What you have basically said is that it does not matter what van der Garde has achieved, because he might have achieved something different if circumstances had played out differently. If you get to the point where you are relying on “what might have been” and “if only” to defend a driver’s place in Formula 1, all you are doing is proving that he should not be.


    I’m saying the same as you, I only defent van der Garde as you are defending others!

    I think that a driver, if it’s van der Garde/ Pic/ d’Ambrossio/ Senna/ Petrov/ Perez/ diGrassi/ Guiterez/ Kvyat/ Ricciardo/ Vergne/ Bottas/ diResta/ Sutil/ Bianchi/ Magnussen/ Calado/ Bird/ Ericsson/ da Costa/ Rossi/ Jucadella/ Albuquerque and so on and so on, that can reach podia, win races and even championships througout his career in different kinds off lower class Formula cars, should have a go in F1! And all of the driver I just named did just that, but not all of them will get the opportunnity. One off the best examples off a very talented driver that I prevere to see in F1 is Parente. But with no budget he couldn’t make it!

    That is what i’m saying.

    So I really think van der Garde is good enough to compete in F1. When he can compete against most off the guys in F1 elsewhere, he can do it in F1 also under the wright surcemstances. But he needed budget to get there, unfortunatly others don’t have that!

    I think all the drivers named by me wouldn’t do more worse then Irvine or Webber under the same conditions! And when I look at the past the list with names could go on and on.


    “What championship did Kobayashi win?”

    2005 Formula Renault EuroCup
    2005 Formula Renault 2.0 Italy
    2008/9 GP2 Asia Series


    Formula Renault Italy?! That is the same as Formula Renault Benelux, France or Germany! He won it that fair enough, but that tells me no more then the Russian Lada cup 1.6 that Petrov once won!

    The Euroseries FR 2.0 is a other cup of tea instead! (comparing to the FR Italy) But not as highly ranked as a WSR 3.5 title does it?

    Really, the GP2 Asia series????

    That championship was a hoax, and it means less than the A1GP title off Hulkenberg with team Germany!

    Some drivers drove just one weekend, like Hulkenberg. I really like the driver Kobayashi, but I don’t think he is any better then Pic, d’Ambrossio, Guiterez or van der Garde! But I like his style more :-)



    The Euroseries FR 2.0 is a other cup of tea instead

    Disagree entirely. It is widely considered to be, alongwith F3 and GP2, as one of the tougher categories to win, and for the right reasons. It has crack teams and drivers every year.


    What I ment to say that the euroseries FR2.0 now is one off the toughest competitions, compared to the FR2.0 Italy. Up untill 2008 the F3 (German, English and Euroseries) was the best way, for 2008 and beyond the FR2.0 and WSR 3.5 seems to be the best way to GP3/GP2/F1.

    So I think you didn’t understand me correctly!

    But while it was a great achievment to win the Euroseries FR2.0, a convinsing title claim in the WSR3.5 is a bit more of a achievment don’t you agree?


    @lars75 The same argument is for WSR. In its early years, it wasn’t a very good championship. Look at the year in which VDG won. The other drivers in it were Julien Jousse, Fabio Carbone, Miguel Molina, Mikhail Aleshin (in his third season in WSR), Charles Pic, Bertrand Baguette, Esteban Guerrieri, Salvador Duran, Alvaro Barba and the list goes on. Not a very strong lineup by any means. It has become better now, as most F1 teams tend to send their junior drivers there.
    Also, account for the fact that they had A1-style sprint-feature weekends back then, which made it considerably easier to dominate a particular weekend, than that is possible by the two-in-one weekend WSR has now. You have to qualify twice now.


    @wsrgo Yes you’re completly wright! Back then it was more easy.

    So a FR 2.0 Euroseries means even less then a WSR3.5 back then. But Heikki Kovalainen and Robert Kubica both won that same championship in the easier years and are highly ranked F1 drivers. Van der Garde wins that title also and is counted less then Kubica and Kovalainen. I don’t understand it!
    The same is more or less for Sutil and de la Rosa! Both won the relative weaker Japanees F3 championship and are respected F1 drivers.

    It seems that not everybody is objective about quality off drivers!

    Van der Garde competed against Sutil, Kobayashi, di Resta, Vettel, Hamilton, Pic, Maldonado, Grosjean, Guiterez, Perez, Bianchi and Chilton. That are 12 off the 22 drivers in the current F1. A view others are Kubica, d’Ambrossio, Senna and diGrassi. He raced them all to the finish, scored podiums and wins amongst them and was in the top off all the rankings at that time. Not everyone is able to win, and he hadn’t the best material (without 2006 ASM F3 season, that was dramatic and Barwa Addax 2010 and 2011). In 2011 he should be the runner-up in the championship but that was taken from him!
    But when you can race all off them before F1 and you are aible to win races and score podiums, you’re also caipable off doing that in F1 is my believe!


    I found this interview with Will Stevens interesting. He’s continuing with Strakka for a 3rd season of 3.5, recently joined the Caterham young drivers’ programme, and thinks winning the title would give him a good chance of F1 in 2015.

    Since when were Caterham F1 interested in drivers who’ve won things? He’ll need several million other reasons to persuade Tony Fernandes to give him an F1 drive – and if he becomes champion, he can do better than Caterham…

    Looking at Martin Whitmarsh or Helmut Marko’s reasons for choosing Magnussen or Kvyat, there’s more to it than just winning the title. That helps, of course, but consistent speed, coping with pressure and avoiding silly accidents seems to count for a lot.

    Iestyn Davies

    I guess what the analysis of results is aimed at is trying to determine whether a driver is up to “F1 level” or not. Some drivers can be on the cusp, and at that point budget is what makes a difference (which increases the more the smaller teams are squeezed for cash). Generally, a title or two shows that the driver can beat his competitors over a season, but sometimes a driver may have faced an exceptional talent in the ladder (e.g. Sutil runner up to Hamilton in the F3 Euroseries, di Resta vs. Vettel etc.), and thus while without the title, we have a direct comparison to an F1 front runner.

    Giedo has plenty of these throughout his junior ladder and is on that F1 cusp, along with others like Pic and now Chilton. Others on the cusp may get a chance or miss out e.g. Calado or Frijns, perhaps as they have slightly less budget. Giedo was indeed World Karting Champion, but it seems that after being on the F1 fringes for a couple of years, his pace only improved in the Caterham when the suspension was improved mid-season. This also correlates with the ‘half-season bed in time’ that there now is with the lack of proper testing. Added to his skills for calling the tyres in changing conditions, and that puts him ahead of Pic, despite Pic having some potential left (unless he has now maxed that out in 2012/13).

    Development curves are also important, hence Marko and the like use them in making decisions. Chilton still has some way to go on this hopefully, so may get faster in 2014 and even 2015 before we see him matching the rest of the grid on pace. These guys who take a while to get there (VDG, Bird) really need the backing to give them the time to make it, while others like Bianchi can literally sit in any car and get most of the pace out in the first few runs, but then may find it hard to reach the highest level needed consistently to be dominant in a front running car (and not a number 2 driver). Others like this could be say Liuzzi or Trulli (also WKCs), and perhaps this is what Ferrari is waiting to analyse before plumping for Bianchi over a Hulkenberg.

    Iestyn Davies

    2014 will indeed be make or break for Stevens.. once hailed as the next big thing, he is now at risk of falling behind upcoming youngsters, a bit like how Giedo did. He’s still young, but someone like newly Red Bull backed youngsters Gasly, Lynn, or Ferrari backed Marciello could conceivably be in F1 before him.

    He’s also got to contend with Alexander Rossi (or potentially Robin Frijns), while Caterham are continuing to take drivers with backing (they aren’t McLaren). I can see these two conceivably leading Caterham’s sports car efforts in the future. They also have other youngsters winning titles on their junior ladder in FR2.0, like Weiron Tan and Matt Parry, recent McLaren Autosport Award winner.


    The problem is that Magnussen did not perform that good in F3 (German as well as British) and needed his time in WSR 3.5 as well. It doesn’t make him a worse driver and he could become a great driver in F1 as well. While drivers like Frijns, da Costa and Vandoorne where there a lot faster, and immediatly could fight for the titles where ever they showed up.

    But the backing of Ferrari, RedBull and McLaren is a help for drivers like Bianchi, Kvyat and Magnussen. Bianchi didn’t do well (on his reputation as a ace) in GP2. And with his speed, the team and experience he should have won the title in WSR 2012, even before the last race off the season. Frijns didn’t have the experience or best team around and still got the title. That is a great performance and that is what everybody saw. He turned RedBull down several times and wanted to make his own choices. He has to feel comfortable with the team and car to perform. His choices paid out so far, but he cannot acspect from Ferrari, RedBull and McLaren to turn down their own multi million investments. They invest millions of Dollars in their young drivers to see some surface ready for F1. And with drivers like Magnussen, Vandoorne, Kvyat, da Costa, Gasly, Marciello, Bianchi and a few others they all have more then respectable drivers for F1 seats. Frijns in my upinion is better then all off them, but not that much better to turn down their investments!
    There is a new rissing star on his way to F1, Max Verstappen! All the young driver programms wanted him, but his father Jos Verstappen turned them all down so far. Because they want to make their own choices as long as possible. Up untill now it worked perfectly, just like with Frijns. But I think that they have to chose a young driver programm at one point to make the last step.

    As for Stevens :-) I think he can battle for the championship in 2014, but their are some youngsters that could do the same! For Sirotkin, he has to top the rankings as well and beat his young and talented teammate. When he is not aible to batlle for the championship and/or beat his rookie teammate he wouldn’t have a go at Sauber for 2015.
    The WSR 3.5 is without daCosta, Vandoorne and Magnussen. So it could be a litlle less hard for them to top the rankings this year. But with Gasly, Sainz jr, Marciello there are some strong competitors in good seats.

    I think that Vergne will be fired at the end off 2014 in favour of Sainz (if he preforms well). It’s all about the money! Da Costa has no financial backing, while Kvyat has backing from some Russian investers. Both drivers performed strong in their championships, but it made it easier to pick Kvyat after winning his GP3 title and strong F3 performances combined with his financial backing. When Kvyat had a done bad last year they would pick da Costa. But now the financial backing is the bonus that comes with the talent for STR.
    All the talented drivers have some financial backings to make them interesting for the driver programms. Sainz has some great financial partners with him, without RedBull. So a strong perfomance from Sainz this year makes him top contender for the seat next to Kvyat next year!

    There is more then meets the eye with the young driver programms or sponsorships. From the start off their carreer the money they bring makes the seat they get. The seat they can buy, makes if they can clinch a title. McLaren bought the best seats possible in F3 and GP2 for there aces Magnussen and Hamilton. RedBull did so for all their drivers as Ferrari paid for the seats of Bianchi. Carlos Slim paid for the carreer of Perez and Guiterez. And so on and so on!!!

    Prisoner Monkeys

    The problem with your argument is that it is still relying on what van der Garde could have achieved if circumstances were different. McLaren picked up Magnussen and Vandoorne and tailored a programme for them – but look at McLaren’s programme compared to Red Bull’s. Red Bull go through dozens of young drivers, but McLaren very rarely (if ever) let someone go. McLaren clearly invest a lot in their young drivers, and are very careful in who they pick. If they did not pick van der Garde, then they did not pick him for a reason.

    At the end of the day, your argument for van der Garde seems to hinge on the fact that he is Dutch. But what I have never understood is why so many people in the Netherlands seem to think that Formula 1 owes the country something.


    The Dutch motorsport media once suggested Michael Schumacher was to become Jos Verstappen’s manager and would land him a test drive with Ferrari. While Schumacher would remain their lead driver. After being asked this, Schumacher and Verstappen had a laugh about it in front of some Dutch journalists, who did not like that.

    Point being: we’re right up there with the Italians when it comes to ‘we’re the best when we win and we suck when we lose’. However, when neither happens, we get this sort of stuff.

    I’d like to propose a ‘Talk about Giedo van der Garde’ thread, though. There’s a page going on about him, which is more in succession than driver signings that already happened.

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