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Author Topic: Should new F1 drivers 'Prove' themselves with 'Lesser' teams?  (Read 729 times)

Offline Jericoke

Ferrari isn't interested in letting their junior drivers jump right into the red cars,rather they want them to prove themselves 'further down the grid'.


Is this the right way to do it?  If a driver belongs in F1, does it make sense to intentionally put them in a bad car? 

Vettel and Alonso both entered the sport 'down the grid' and did quite well.  Hamilton and Jacques Villeneuve entered at the pointy tip of the sport and did quite well. 

Rosberg entered at the midfield and took years to win a championship, did that serve him well?  Button's entry in the sport was mess about where he could and couldn't race, and I think it did the sport a disservice as a whole.

I think either a driver belongs in F1 and should drive the best car available, or they don't belong in F1.  If Ferrari doesn't think their junior drivers are worthy of driving the red cars, then cut them loose.  Let another driver who is worthy get their shot.

Offline Dare

Re: Should new F1 drivers 'Prove' themselves with 'Lesser' teams?
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2017, 05:17:37 PM »
  • Publish
  • Doesn't matter where you start it's where you end up at the
    right time. Some never arrive there or if they do the non existing
    team order kill their chances
    democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those
    who are
    willing to work and give to those who would not."

    Offline Alianora La Canta

    Re: Should new F1 drivers 'Prove' themselves with 'Lesser' teams?
    « Reply #2 on: September 10, 2017, 08:19:00 PM »
  • Publish
  • I think it depends on the team. Some teams are simply better for a rookie to start at than others, and it's not always correlated to the speed of the team.

    I believe Ferrari's instincts are correct - for itself. It is the most pressured team in F1, from a media standpoint, so any driver going there must be rock-solid. A rookie by definition cannot prove this, even if their junior record is perfect. The Ferrari team have all seen unprepared drivers get crushed by that expectation, not only in F1, but even with some of their development drivers in GP2! They also know that their development scheme is relatively low in structure, and that the level of guidance in their F1 team for a rookie is low even by F1 standards. They've never had an incentive to engage in rookie hand-holding, so they have never developed that side of it. At that point, caution in employing rookies is understandable. Most importantly, they have the ability to simply select the right people for them, most of the time.

    McLaren were a great team to start at in the Ron Dennis era because of the in-team communication method worked very well for some and the team being very good at providing disciplined support. However, they were only a great team for a specific kind of driver. If you didn't need the support (e.g. Montoya, Senna, Prost) it was awful, and if you had a different style of communication to McLaren (e.g. Kovalainen, Perez), it wasn't any good either. Alonso failed on both counts. Of course, some of the people I've used as examples weren't rookies at the time, but the principle would have been equally applicable to them had McLaren been thinking of getting them straight from junior formulae.

    Red Bull is not such a good environment, and to me Toro Rosso doesn't solve the problem. This is because it is the opposite to the old McLaren system - constantly moving goalposts, command-and-control leadership, little reliable support once arriving into F1. If it was possible to start elsewhere and still go to either Red Bull team later, that would be the best thing.

    (Note: Vettel did precisely that, because he raced for BMW - if only for one race - prior to starting at Toro Rosso. So did Ricciardo, with Hispania. They're Red Bull's two greatest home-grown successes. I don't think that's a coincidence, because BMW provided that little bit of extra disciplined support he needed at the time, and he just needed to carry that structure to Red Bull/Toro Rosso).

    Mercedes probably could take a driver straight from F2 and help them well... ...but why bother, when there are so many of its development drivers being used as pawns to help secure customer teams' loyalty and do rival teams favours (to be banked in paddock politicking later)?

    Of the other teams:

    - Force India has historically shown itself to be a good place to train up as a rookie.

    - Williams has also been a good place, but only for bold, stubborn self-starters (which is why I'm surprised Lance Stroll didn't stay splattered after his reputation fell from a great height while there - I hadn't taken him as being like that at all, but maybe he is and I didn't notice).

    - Haas has a sample size of zero, so I'll reserve judgement.

    - Renault won't be a good place for a rookie until it stabilises itself, which may take a couple of years.

    - Sauber is an awful place for a rookie at the moment. It had better improve by next year.
    Percussus resurgio
    @lacanta (Twitter)
    http://alianoralacanta.tumblr.com (Blog/Tumblr)

    Offline Irisado

    Re: Should new F1 drivers 'Prove' themselves with 'Lesser' teams?
    « Reply #3 on: September 16, 2017, 01:22:13 PM »
  • Publish
  • I agree that it depends on the team.  The trouble is that there aren't enough teams.  Smaller teams at the back can be an excellent proving ground for a young driver because the pressure is less intense and expectations are lower.

    It also depends on the driver.  Some drivers benefit from being out of the spotlight to hone their skills or prove their credentials, while others can leap straight into a top team and perform immediately.

    I think that there is room in Formula 1 for both approaches, but more teams are needed for this to be feasible.
    Soņando con una playa donde brilla el sol, un arco iris ilumina el cielo, y el mar espejea iridescentemente