Tost: Buemi and Alguersuari lacked the “right stuff”

F1 Fanatic round-up

Sebastien Buemi, Jaime Alguersuari, Toro Rosso, Montreal, 2011

Sebastien Buemi, Jaime Alguersuari, Toro Rosso, Montreal, 2011

In the round-up Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost says Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi weren’t good enough to race for Red Bull.

Links

Franz Tost Q&A: Toro Rosso looking for winners (F1)

“When we speak about the ‘right stuff’ for Red Bull Racing we are talking about a double world championship-winning team, which means that drivers who get elevated there must have the ability to win races and championships. And it was from that perspective that second thoughts set in when it came to Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari.”

Williams sure FW34 a step forward (Autosport)

Mark Gillan: “Sometimes the car can not look good in certain areas but there is not much lap time by improving those specific things, but in areas such as the low speed, where you get most lap time to gain, those are areas to investigate to always try to improve.”

Bahrain return comes under fire (The Independent)

“Ecclestone’s words were ‘sad and disappointing’, said the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights. ‘It is not a good message for the race to go ahead.’”

Why this year’s Bahrain Grand Prix should not be taking place (The Guardian)

“I’ve never been to Bahrain, though I may have the opportunity in a couple of months’ time. Meanwhile, though, I feel a deep unease. I know the country is changing, but there are still too many surviving hardliners in the police and military. I have spoken to people who are out there and their reports of violence and torture are just too vivid to be untrue. It took me back to 1990 and the terrors of South Africa, to a time when some naive folk still clung to the notion that politics and sport could be kept apart.”

F1 Authorities rally to support Bahrain GP (James Allen)

“Given the state of play at the moment, it?s inevitable that the opposition will take the opportunity to make its point when F1 comes to town, not by disrupting the event because it will be easy for the authorities to secure the circuit, but downtown, where the teams, media and sponsors? guests stay. It?s a prospect that few relish.”

Barrichello to announce plans at start of March (GP Update)

“As I told Bruno [Senna], we were not fighting each other but fighting the team to give us the place. I talked to Bruno and I wish him all the best.”

Brundle Q&A: The 2012 Grid (Sky)

“When I saw the ‘De la Rosa to HRT’ headline, I just thought ‘that’s a good move – Pedro will make a good team boss’. It was only when I read the story that I realised he was coming back as a driver!”

Green is the colour ?ǣ Part 2; Aerodynamics (Lotus)

“Building underground also opened up other advantages, such as the stable temperature. At a depth of just 1.5 metres the ground temperature rests at an almost constant 10???C all year round. This means the facility consumes less energy, as it will not be subject to the large external temperature variations of an exposed building and requires less energy to heat and cool.”

Sky Sports to unleash major campaign for new F1 channel (Brand Republic)

“The campaign, which includes TV, outdoor, press, digital and social media, will continue for the rest of the season.”

Comment of the day

Yesterday we saw the first glimpse of the Mercedes W03. Harry Palmer looks forward to its arrival:

I’m really quite excited about the W03, despite the disappointment of the last two Silver Arrows (hope over experience and all that). I hope the delayed release is deliberate and considered rather than because they misjudged things.

I think the fact they announced the intention so early suggests the former but we shall see! I’m not too fussed if it’s ugly as long as it’s quick (though I’d rather it didn?t look like its nose had been smashed in just before they took the cover off).
Harry Palmer

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Steve_P83!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Following several days of protests by pro-democracy groups in Bahrain, and an often brutal crackdown by the government, the GP2 Asia teams abandoned their attempt to hold a race at the circuit one year ago today:

Here’s an opinion piece I wrote the following day:

The F1 race was eventually cancelled, but not without months of wrangling.

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77 comments on Tost: Buemi and Alguersuari lacked the “right stuff”

  1. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 17th February 2012, 0:09

    Fair enough, you sacked them… but can’t you just keep it a bit quiet now?

    They gave their reasons, but they are pushing it a bit too far, IMO:

    “They lack the ‘right stuff’ ” – “they are not winners” and so on.

    Brilliant quotes, really. Are they just trying to stop both of them from racing in F1 anytime soon? because if I were a team owner and I hear this stuff from their previous team boss, I’d think twice before offering them a cotnract.

    • snowman (@snowman) said on 17th February 2012, 0:12

      Agree and if they were so sure they were not the “right stuff” why wait until the last possible minute to drop them.

      • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 17th February 2012, 0:32

        Yeah, exactly.

        They surely knew before Brazil that they were not good enough. Or were they just waiting a 1-2 after a front row lock-out for Toro Rosso??

      • Pinball said on 17th February 2012, 10:41

        I agree 100%. They could have just told the guys mid way through last season that their contracts wouldn’t be renewed and given them a chance to find drives with other teams. Just because Red Bull has deemed them as having no potential, doesn’t actually mean they have no potential. It kind seems that every bad decision made at Red Bull and Toro Rosso stems back to Helmut Marko. He must be in pretty close with the big guy at Red Bull, cause he does a pretty good job of annoying the fans.

    • UKFan (@) said on 17th February 2012, 0:39

      They are over excusing, maybe if both Tost and Helmut keep trying to find reasons to fire 2 good drivers they’ll end up believing it.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 17th February 2012, 1:12

        @ukfanatic – There is a difference between hiring two good drivers, and hiring the two best drivers available.

        • Mike (@mike) said on 17th February 2012, 4:21

          Explain to me how one has the foresight to know which rookies will become the “best drivers” and then I will take that seriously.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 17th February 2012, 4:33

            Explain to me why Toro Rosso should have stayed with two drivers they were unhappy with. Yes, they’re taking a chance on Ricciardo and Vergne – but why shouldn’t they? Buemi and Alguersuari might be nice guys, but based on their results, we’ve already seen everything from them that we’re going to see.

            And no doubt Red Bull have that foresight you speak of. They can compare their 2011 drivers against their 2012 drivers by looking at simulator work, work ethic, attitude and so on. Consider this: Sebastien Buemi said that he had his eye on Mark Webber’s Red Bull seat. These comments coincided with a drop in his performance. One could make the case that Buemi became distracted by daydreaming about racing for Red Bull and so lost focus on the job at hand. Would you want a driver like that racing for you?

          • Mike (@mike) said on 17th February 2012, 5:42

            … Yes, I’m sure Buemi spent his time day dreaming…

            Jaime was 22, that’s not very old. I doubt you can give evidence that Vergne is more likely than Jaime to be a world class driver.

            And don’t give any of they had two years crap. Every F1 driver has to start somewhere and not all great drivers started out winning wet Italian GP’s because all the cards fall into your hands.

          • snowman (@snowman) said on 17th February 2012, 9:06

            It’s not about whether Alguersuri and Buemi were good enough, it’s about how they were mislead right to the last moment about keeping their drive then Tost and Marko keeping saying it was really obvious they were never good enough.

            I personally think Riccardo and Vergne were the right choice for the team, it is just the wy things were done.

          • vjanik said on 17th February 2012, 9:32

            STR is a team which is designed to bring new talent into F1. But paradoxically they had one of the most stable driver lineups in recent years. I really don’t understand why people were surprised by them changing their drivers. To be honest I expected them to change things up sooner than they did.

            Algersuari and Buemi are no longer new talent. They are established drivers now and their career is on their hands. F1 has always been ruthless in this way. Teams don’t keep drivers just because they feel sorry for them.

        • UKFan (@) said on 17th February 2012, 17:26

          I understand but I dont belive they will ever employ any STR driver to beat Vettel not even if that was possible.

    • Tost doesn’t exactly have the best reputation with how he treats his drivers anyway and I kind of got he thought that by the fact he fired them, actions speak louder than words… :P I read the whole thing and he doesn’t really seem to be that harsh. He’s asked about them and lists reasons why they were fired. Actually, I think he could have been a lot worse.

      As for the choice they made, I think they both did the right thing. They’re taking a gamble going for a fairly inexperienced line up but Buemi and Jaime showed in three years they were never anything special. Buemi was good to hang onto for a while as he was consistent (when he wasn’t blighted by bad luck to a Webber/Massa like level) and Jaime usually spent his Sundays fixing how badly he’d done on a Saturday. Vergne and Daniel are both in much better positions now and I got the feeling that STR (or RBR) were waiting for them to be in a position to step up. STR is a platform for young rising drivers and Buemi and Jaime don’t fit the profile any more. They’re still young but they’re not stars and in three years both failed to make a real impression on F1.

  2. snowman (@snowman) said on 17th February 2012, 0:10

    I have never really disliked a team before but Toro Rosso are fast changing that.

  3. Scalextric (@scalextric) said on 17th February 2012, 0:29

    Here, for example, is Buemi lacking the right stuff.

  4. GT_Racer said on 17th February 2012, 0:39

    If they were not the ‘Right stuff’ then why did Red Bull sign Buemi? They obviously saw something in him.

    Also odd how everyone from journalist’s to TV pundits, STR engineer’s & People from other teams see something in Jaime Alguersuari!

    I know having spoken to someone at STR that the engineering staff all think Jaime was great & think he would have done good things for them this year.
    Giorgio Ascanelli especially speaks extremely highly of Jaime.

    • GT_Racer said on 17th February 2012, 0:43

      Too add, I know that Jaime had an offer from Lotus which he turned down having been told he would be retained by STR.

      There are a fair few guys at Lotus who seriously rate him, Also understand he’s rated highly by at least one other big team & is likely to end up at this team as 3rd/reserve driver.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 17th February 2012, 1:10

      If they were not the ‘Right stuff’ then why did Red Bull sign Buemi? They obviously saw something in him.

      Yes, they saw potential in him. He failed to live up to expectations. Look at Jules Bianchi, who dominated the field in British Formula 3 a few years ago: everyone said he was a superstar in the making. But after two years in GP2, he is perhaps best-known for crashing into everyone at the start. Drivers can reach their peak before time, and Red Bull is under no obligation to commit to the Toro Rosso drivers. Especially when you look at the junior tiers; both Ricciardo and Vergne are highly promising. In Toro Rosso’s position, what would you do? Keep an under-achieving driver in the hopes that he might suddenly get his act together, or take on a talented youngster?

      Tost’s comments might seem brutal, but on a certain level, they’re brutally honest. Every team on the grid has to take the two best drivers available to them at any one time. If Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne are in a better position than Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari, then why on earth should they keep Buemi and Alguersuari around? It’s cruel, yes, but it’s the nature of the sport. You either perform, or you’re out. Toro Rosso clearly feel that Buemi and Alguersuari had shown everything they were capable of, and that it wasn’t enough to justify racing in 2012.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 17th February 2012, 2:01

          Thank you, @celeste

          I don’t understand why people seem to think Red Bull owe Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari something simply because they drove for the team. Were they good? Yes. But this is Formula 1 – being good simply isn’t good enough. You need to be great if you want to stay in the sport. Were Buemi and Alguersuari great? No. I could not see either of them stepping up to Red Bull in the future – and if either of them did, then I could not see them driving at the level expected of a team that competes for World Championships. People say that Helmut Marko places unreasonable expectations on Red Bull drivers, but they’re not just being graded against Vettel. They’re being graded against Vettel, Hamilton, Button (say what you want about him; he’s still the first and only driver to beat Hamilton in the points), Alonso and Schumacher – the drivers with the ability to take a car beyond its limits. Someone in the forums asked the other day if cars one through to nine were being driven by the nine best drivers in the sport. I’d say that cars one through to eight are (the sport has changed so much since 2009 that it’s impossible to judge Raikkonen v2.0). And if that holds true, then can anyone reasonably say that they could see Buemi and/or Alguersuari driving a car numbered between one and eight this year?

          Because I can’t.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 17th February 2012, 4:24

            None of us have said Red Buill owe them anything.

            What we are saying is after having cuddled their way into F1 and through it, kicking them out of their *****, too late for them too look for another drive, and saying that they are useless drivers when doing it is… Well, it’s not really a good sign for other prospective Torro Rosso drivers.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 17th February 2012, 6:54

            I think the real unfair thing in how they treated them was the fact that they were dishonest until they dropped them, then brutally honest.

            They should have told both guys that there is a good chance they will NOT be retained by August/September. That would have given them the chance to step up their pace, if they had more to show, or talk to other teams.

            And I really agree that its a bit strange to read how Buemi does not cut it but then read how great he is as 3rd driver at RBR. Where’s the logic in that.
            Not to mention that if Alguersuari really had a chance of a seat at another team, had he known in time, its almost as if Red Bull did not want to give him that opportunity.

          • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 17th February 2012, 20:01

            @bascb, I think the reality is that Buemi is just RBR’s new simulator monkey. His 3rd driver won’t lead to anything, like Gary Paffett at McLaren. Even if 1 of the drivers were injured and unable to drive, it’s doubtful he’d be the one to get a chance.

            And I think your description of how they were treated is right. That’s what most people are disgusted by, not the fact that they fired both drivers, which they were perfectly within their rights to do. Toro Rosso, like HRT, has a history of treating drivers like garbage though. The surprise was when they retained the drivers last year, not that they sacked them both this year. In reality though, many teams have treated their drivers this way in very recent history… Williams with both Hülkenberg & Barichello, Renault with Petrov, Caterham today with Trulli, and Force India with Sutil. All were dropped so late that they had no real options elsewhere.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 17th February 2012, 20:53

            @Us_peter, I agree with how we should see Buemi, still its a bit strange to hear Marko and Tost be so negative about him. You wouln’t hear McLaren say anything coming close to that about Paffet!

            As for Caterham and Trulli, as well as for Sutil at FI, they were certainly aware of the situation long before it was announced (I read somewhere that all FI drivers knew 3 months before it was announced, but they gave Sutil time to find a different drive with the advantage of not officially beeing on the lookout). I agree that sadly, its typical for STR and quite a usual way to go about things in F1 in general.

      • GT_Racer said on 17th February 2012, 1:35

        Toro Rosso clearly feel that Buemi and Alguersuari had shown everything they were capable of

        Franz Tost & Helmut Marko both say this, However the people in the engineering at STR & Giorgio Ascanelli (Who worked with Vettel & going further back Ayrton Senna) say that Jaime was only just starting to reach his full potential.

        You must remember with Jaime that he was thrown in the car at 19 with no testing, The finla races he did at the end of 2009 did nothing for him, Much of 2010 was him learning F1 & it wasn’t untill 2011 he actually began to really figure things out.
        According to the guys I know at STR they were massively impressed with how Jaime improved through 2011 & were expecting further improvement into 2012 & this is why so many of them are dissapointed he was dropped.

        From what I’ve observed, The only people within F1 who didn’t see much in him are Helmut Marko & Franz Tost. As I said all the STR engineer’s/mechanics, The TV pundits, Journalist’s & perhaps most importantly other teams all see something in him.
        Lotus were seriously intrested in him for a reason & they were dead serious about signing him.

        Im willing to go as far as to say that if Jaime Algersuari ever gets another go at F1, especially in a really good car he will make Tost & Marko look like idiots.

        • celeste (@celeste) said on 17th February 2012, 13:01

          @GT_racer I actually will like to see the interview where Giorgio say that, the only one that I saw was the one were he said he was ready to let them both go and get new drivers…

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 17th February 2012, 2:32

        @prisoner-monkeys

        People say that Helmut Marko places unreasonable expectations on Red Bull drivers, but they’re not just being graded against Vettel. They’re being graded against Vettel, Hamilton, Button (say what you want about him; he’s still the first and only driver to beat Hamilton in the points), Alonso and Schumacher – the drivers with the ability to take a car beyond its limits.

        Very good comment. A thing that annoys me is when people (like quite a few on the James Allen forum) can’t even come up with a solid argument that Buemi/Alguersuari were superstars, so they have to fall back on excuses about how the STR3 was a better car than the STR6. That it was impossible to win in an STR6.

        But Toro Rosso weren’t demanding a win from pole. They just wanted a driver that showed champion potential. If Alonso can do it in a Minardi, the excuse about not having a good car evaporates for Buemi and Alguersuari.

        Toro Rosso don’t operate like other midfield teams, which is unfortunate for Buemi and Alguersuari, since they were reasonable midfield drivers, but indeed, I didn’t get the impression that they would blitz F1 any time soon like the drivers you mentioned. And they had almost three years each to show it.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 17th February 2012, 2:59

          I think the reason why people are so critical of the move to drop Buemi and Alguersuari is that both of them had done enough to justify staying in the sport. They weren’t totally incompetent. But they were both under the impression that they would race for Toro Rosso, only to be unceremoniously dumped a week later. If it were any other team, most people would say “tough luck, guys; that’s the nature of the beast” and move on – but because it’s Toro Rosso, people use this as an excuse to attack Helmut Marko.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 17th February 2012, 4:25

            Erm… No, I think if any team does that people will complain.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 17th February 2012, 4:35

            So you don’t think that people are overlooking Helmut Marko’s influence in the decision? I have seen people take every opportunity that presents itself to attack Marko, and often for less than dropping two established drivers without warning. People would probably criticise any team for dropping their drivers the way Toro Rosso did. But they criticise Toro Rosso more because Helmut Marko is unpopular.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 17th February 2012, 6:09

            That’s not what I said.

            I think that if any team drops too young drivers in the way that Torro Rosso has, then the team will be criticized.

            People are complaining, and their complaints will naturally be directly at the decision maker. In this case, Marko.

            That’s not confusing or controversial.

          • Slr (@slr) said on 17th February 2012, 8:57

            When Virgin dropped D’Ambrosio, the team was criticised. Fans will clearly criticise any team that drops drivers who are worthy of a place in Formula One.

          • phildick (@phildick) said on 17th February 2012, 9:24

            @prisoner-monkeys

            But they criticise Toro Rosso more because Helmut Marko is unpopular.

            Not surprising given that his management style resembles me of “Wall Street” Gecko ;)

          • phildick (@phildick) said on 17th February 2012, 9:26

            I mean Gekko, of course ;)

          • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 17th February 2012, 13:18

            @Prisoner-Monkeys, I think that today we can see that you aren’t right it is only because it is about STR in the talk about Trulli->Petrov in the Caterham.

            There is a difference because many feel Trulli has had ample time in F1 and is over his peak while those two could still have, as you indeed say, a career in F1, although in a different team, so that’s a difference, and makes (some) people glad Petrov, who also still could have something to show in F1, gets a chance.

            But the in both cases, the upset, if there is one, is mainly about the late moment of the change.

            In the case of STR/RB driver program, it isn’t helped by the repeated clear reasons why the were never going to be retained (so why didn’t you tell them that then Tost/Marko?).

            Of course, partly just questions asked by media, I know, but a month later, maybe the RB driver program could acknowledge that once again they aren’t very good at managing exit-strategies?

            I do feel that is a task for a program that intends to train drivers, as it is a given not all can reach the top. Maybe not Tost’s job, but Marko should take it personal that almost every single guy that didn’t make it to the top (ie. RBR car) was dumped without ceremony after years of working with him.

      • nackavich (@nackavich) said on 17th February 2012, 5:11

        +1 as well. Pretty much nailed all logical collective thought there.

      • Arrrang (@arrrang) said on 17th February 2012, 10:11

        Sure that Toro Roso could (even should) sign two best available drivers. I would be delighted to see Schumacher and Alonso racing for them one day…
        But for me the thing is obvious (Buemi and Algersuari are both good drivers. We will see if the replacement was to best thing to do. For sure its to early to talk about it now- lets give the new boys a chance) – the way they were “not re-signed” (fired) gives me the creeps.
        @prisoner-monkeys correct me if you think I’m wrong but both of Toro Roso drivers were told to give it all in 2011 seasson ’cause one of them might get a chance at top team (RBR). For me the hole thing looks like:
        You go to work and your work mates tell you that your boss wants to see you in his office (you think: “finally I’m going to get my promotion! I’m working for a good company my paycheck looks good, but I know I can do better. I took the job one year ago and landed in the 2nd best of ours marketing teams and now’s the time to start playing with the big boys!). You go to see him and he says: “Mate I was looking at the marketing result of your crew for the 2011. (You think: “yes baby! we got all that we colud even little bit extra. To bad that we are selling things nobody needs. But that’s gonna change!”).
        And I see that your team doesn’t give us to much profit but I know that you have done all you could.. (You think: “sure I did! I was overdoing myself all year.”)
        .. but I think that’s not enough. So I had to find some fresh blood as your replacement. Your the easyest link to change and I already had seen all you can do. It seems you are just lacking “the right stuff“… Cross your fingers for us in 2012. Now get the hell out of my office!

        for me it just does not seem right. I would not want to be in the skin of Algersuari or Buemi. But thats just me- probably I dont get “the nature of the beast”…

      • matt90 said on 17th February 2012, 12:44

        I’m pretty certain he means why did Red Bull hire him as a reserve if they openly talk about how he wasn’t good enough, not why did they hire him for Toro Rosso in the first place.

  5. COTD goes to martin brundle!

  6. David-A (@david-a) said on 17th February 2012, 0:57

    I agree with Tost and Marko’s opinions that Buemi and Alguersuari were decent drivers but didn’t show they were champions in the making.

    But I just wish they’d shut up about it already and concentrate on evaluating Ricciardo, Vergne.

    • celeste (@celeste) said on 17th February 2012, 1:18

      I´m guessing they keep talking about it, because people keep asking about it.

      They have to answer.

      Anyway, I´m not crying over any of them, nor I was shocked, we knew by the pictures of Vergne singing in Brasil that he was in, and they werent about to let Riccardo go.

      Ascanelli had already said back in september I think that both driver weren´t going to grow anymore in the team, so why keep them?

      Is the same logic that Force India, supposely, apply to Sutil: “He is being 3 years with us, so I guess is time to try something new”

      And I love Brundle comment about De la Rosa, he may be likeable but hw is all, he should give room for some one else…

    • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 17th February 2012, 8:48

      “Buemi and Alguersuari were decent drivers but didn’t show they were champions in the making”
      Jenson Button at his beginning was not so brilliant too
      you cannot judge if a driver will be a champion or not because there are a lot of factors that can determinate that
      as for Torro Rosso or (Red Bull)’ they are free to run their team as they like but what bother me the most is they are always saying that “We are always looking for Champions Like Vettel & Both Algursuari & Buemi are not like him”
      but neither Vergne & Ricciardo are like him !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 17th February 2012, 8:55

        Jenson Button at his beginning was not so brilliant too

        I think the German Grand Prix and Spa qualifying in Button’s debut year were pretty good indicators of his potential, and a lot of people picked up on them at the time.

      • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 17th February 2012, 13:24

        I seem to recall that Button was highly rated when he started. Though his time with Renault was spotty, BAR were very happy to have him (recall the contract dispute …), and it showed with him getting a 3rd in WDC for them. The lack of competitive team/car since then somewhat put him out of the minds of many people until 2009 though.

      • Balu R said on 17th February 2012, 17:03

        I think people tend to confuse Button’s mid years with his early years when they talk about his lack of good results.

        Button was extremely highly rated when he made his debut ..the next big thing in british racing.

        In 2004, he got 3rd in championship and was most impressive after schumacher. Even before that there were many races he was good at including lots of top 6 finishes and may be couple of podiums.

        Coincidentally honda produced the worst cars in 2007 and 2008 right during hamilton-mania and people just forgot Button during that period and concluded that he was always a mid-field driver ..

        Most of the older F1 fans am sure have fond memories of Button from his first few years in F1(though admittedly there weren’t as good as hamilton or vettel)

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 17th February 2012, 13:20

      @david-a I never really saw either of them leading RBR but I do think that they can’t have come to this conclusion so suddenly. A bit of decency can go a long way and they could have helped them with a bit more notice.

  7. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 17th February 2012, 1:00

    I hope the delayed release is deliberate and considered rather than because they misjudged things.

    I believe they did it deliberately because they know exactly how the W02 handles and behaves and Pirelli have overhauled their tyres. The difference between the hard and soft compounds is said to be about 0.7 seconds per lap, or roughly half of what it was last year. It might not sound like much, but Mercedes decided to take the W02 to the Jerez test in order to understand the 2012 Pirellis better. Because they know how the car behaves, they can learn more about the Pirellis – and learn it faster – than the other teams, who have to wade through all the data on their new cars and figure it out before they can start to understand the tyres. Mercedes will go to Barcelona with an understanding of the Pirellis that they can then apply to the W03, and work out how it behaves – and once again, learn it faster than the other teams learned theirs.

    • nefor (@nefor) said on 17th February 2012, 1:40

      I know where you’re coming from but didn’t a few teams do that last year and it didn’t appear to help them?

      I was going to give McLaren as an example but they had so much trouble with the 2011 car I doubt anything learned from the tyres would’ve helped.

      • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 17th February 2012, 13:28

        Exactly, to me they are a good example of it working. I think the pretty good tyre warming up, and conservation on the McLaren last year were for a large part thanks to the first test running with the MP4-25.

        Even if it was initiated bc. they needed more time with their exhaust system, and probably would have done that very differently had they known just how much trouble that would give with getting the new car running, that first test still worked well for them over the season, once they fixed exhaust situation.

  8. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 17th February 2012, 1:28

    Not sure about Buemi but I think Alguersuari should have been given another chance to probe himself,I am not a big fan to have a team of two Rookie driver for a new season,but that’s how Red Bull will want their sister team to do.

  9. Dan_the_McLaren_fan (@dan_the_mclaren_fan) said on 17th February 2012, 6:32

    I just absoltuly don’t understand how Tost says Buemi and Alguersuari weren’t good enough, and how he actually knows that Vergne and Ricciardo will be better without comparing them in the same car. Maybe the car was crap and Buemi and Alguersuari managed to score points with it nevertheless, but maybe it was a fast car, and could have scored more points : we’ll never know the true potential of these two drivers. We can only say that Alguersuari is as good as Buemi (or maybe a bit better), but we’ll never know if they are strong drivers.

    Same thing for Vergne and Ricciardo : we have two rookies who could only be compared to each other. Except if one of them really outperforms the other one, their performance will be strongly related to their car.

    Vettel might have impressed in his STR years, he did it against an experienced racing driver, three-time Champ Car champion. He didn’t do it against another promising rookie.

  10. OOliver said on 17th February 2012, 6:36

    A bit strange for Tost to still be kicking his ex drivers even after he has kicked them out.
    A team that doesn’t have a long term objective, rather one comfortable being used as a test team.

  11. BasCB (@bascb) said on 17th February 2012, 7:13

    I must say, that I was rather supprised that STR kept their drivers for 2011, but I was largely unimpressed by the way they parted with them at the last moment after that year when both had done a solid job. It surely was a desicion taken months before, so why not announce it up front?

    Just compare what Tost and Marko say to what another F1 team owner, who also has a completely new line-up for next year says about those drivers.
    About Bruno Senna:

    “I remember in India he was about to go to the grid in fourteenth place and he was in good spirits. I thought ‘this cannot be’.
    “When you’re 14th in qualifying you need to be annoyed, wondering what has gone wrong,” said Lopez.

    What F1 fan wouldn’t agree with that.
    It’s not being more praiseworthy, but it really shows a different, positive, way of looking at these drivers. And by comparing that to Grosjean, it offers the perspective of these guys not being written off for good, but having to refocus
    Well said Mr. Lopez

  12. W-K (@w-k) said on 17th February 2012, 7:16

    As the 2011 season was mainly decided by team performance, how much further up the field did Franz Tost expect Alguersuari and Buemi to go.
    It was the top three teams followed by the mercs, with the Renaults and Force India behind them.
    Therefore Alguersuari came second to Kobayashi in the race of the rest.
    They needed a better car if they were going to perform better and Franz Tost did not provide it. If it was a Dr Helmut Marko decision then why is Mark Webber still with RBR.

  13. noomie (@noomie) said on 17th February 2012, 9:49

    This constant stream of validation from the team as to why they changed their two drivers… it’s almost like they’re continually having to reassure themselves that they made the right decision by giving them the boot…

    Bizarre. Let sleeping dogs lie.

  14. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 17th February 2012, 11:03

    That’s it, Tost. Go ahead and rub some more salt in the wound. With many other teams eyeing up drivers for 2013, that’s a really good reference to add to these young drivers’ CVs.

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