Surtees says young drivers’ path to F1 needs overhaul

F1 Fanatic round-up

Start, GP2 sprint race, Singapore, 2012In the round-up: John Surtees says the road to F1 should be more of a meritocracy.


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Surtees: New racing structure needed (Autosport)

“Where else other than in motorsport can you win one series and then be rewarded by a team at the next level telling you ‘that will be ??550,000 for a season please’? It’s terrifying.”

Frijns: I do not have race plans for 2013 (GP Update)

“Everybody knows that GP2 would be the most logical step for me. The problem is, I do not have the money. Another year in the World Series would be totally illogical. But I don’t even have the budget for that.”

Vijay Mallya writes to employees, lists out revival plan for Kingfisher Airlines (The Times of India)

“The employees of the grounded Kingfisher Airlines, who have not been paid for eight months now, had yesterday threatened to file a winding up petition in the court under the Company’s Act, if the management did not share its revival plan with them.”

Formula One set to influence family cars of the future (EU Community Research and Development Information Service)

“Developments in aerodynamics, tyre technology, fuel efficiency, engine management systems, new lightweight materials like carbon fibre, and powertrain systems were also discussed and ways in which auto makers could meet strict new European carbon reduction standards.”

Fangio’s Incredible Nurburgring Victory (F1 Speedwriter)

Stirling Moss: “I know the word ‘incredible’ is much devalued these days but what Juan Manuel Fangio did on the 4th of August in 1957 was, and remains, absolutely that.”


Comment of the day

Several readers were disappointed to learn FanVision will no longer be involved in F1:

Such a shame to see this invaluable service being denied to fans. I have been to Grands Prix with and without the FanVision.

I made the mistake of thinking that I could get updates at Silverstone on my phone ?ǣ but the sheer number of people there on my network meant that getting 3G signal was nearly impossible.

At least at Silverstone, you can get 5 Live radio coverage, which is not possible in other countries. The German equivalent radio station was OK (if you speak German) but halfway through a practice session, they would start playing music! 5Live was always there to listen to on the FanVision in any country.

From the forum

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On this day in F1

Adrian Sutil turns 30 today. He last raced in F1 with Force India in 2011, was replaced by Nico Hulkenberg, but is believed to be in the running to return to F1 with the team this year.

Image ?? GP2/Staley

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62 comments on Surtees says young drivers’ path to F1 needs overhaul

  1. JamieFranklinF1 (@jamiefranklinf1) said on 11th January 2013, 16:59

    It’s such a shame to read that Frijns doesn’t have the funds to compete this year. He’s had so much success over his career, and it’s quite shocking that he doesn’t have any sponsorship, considering he would be a great candidate. I think it definitely sums up just how hard it is for racing drivers nowadays though, that such a promising young talent will have to skip a year simply because he doesn’t have any sponsorship to his name.

    That being said, I hope that Sauber use him more often than they did Gutierrez last year, just to give him the opportunity to stay in the public eye and become accustomed to a Formula One car. His final hopes really do now rest upon gaining a spot in F1 for 2014, which will be difficult after a year out, so his best hopes could be for Sauber, either with Hulkenberg moving up to a top team, or Gutierrez failing to impress.

  2. The irony in the fact you posted the Surtees article about the path to F1 being too much about money immediately preceding Frijns’ talking of how he can’t gather the funds for a season in GP2/WSR3.5 @keithcollantine!

    I’m sure it was probably intentional though ;)

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 11th January 2013, 17:45

      @vettel1 It was – but I think it shows there’s a lot of truth to what Surtees is saying, Frijns looks like a very promising talent for the future but without money to propel him forward he’ll be lucky if 2013 includes more than a few straight-line aero runs and another shot at the Young Drivers’ Test. Rather like Bottas last year. Hopefully he will end up getting the chance Bottas has.

      • @keithcollantine – entirely agree: it is a great illustration as to what Surtees is talking about. I would much rather see drivers employed for their talent than their financial backing but sadly I feel that often driver line-ups are decided upon that very factor, especially in the F1 feeder series. Perhaps this is an issue for the teams though: of course Red Bull have their driver academy as do Ferrari, so maybe the other, more well-funded teams should invest in such as a system. After all it has payed off handsomely for Red Bull with Sebastian Vettel.

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