Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren, Silverstone, 2011

Some pay drivers “not good enough for F1”

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren, Silverstone, 2011In the round-up: Martin Whitmarsh says some of the drivers paying their way into F1 don’t deserve a place on merit.


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Whitmarsh concerned by pay drivers (ESPN)

“It’s sad to say, but the reason that some of those guys are pay drivers, not all of them, but the reason that some are pay drivers is because they are actually and fundamentally not good enough to be in Formula One.”

Tough times ahead for some F1 teams (Reuters)

Marussia team principal John Booth: “It (the sport) had to come to its senses a little bit. Maybe we are going through that period again. I don’t think it’s a crisis, (but) maybe re-alignment is required.”

Trulli happy away from F1 (Crash)

“Me driving [at Caterham in 2012] would not have changed much [within the team], or my life, or my career. What people didn’t realise is that I chose not to drive, even though I had a contract in place. I gave the team a change to survive by getting in a pay-driver.”

David Coulthard’s sister Lynsay Jackson found dead at her home (BBC)

“The sister of former Formula One driver David Coulthard has been found dead at her home in the south of Scotland.”

Lewis Hamilton right to criticise Mercedes car, says Ross Brawn (The Guardian)

“He is interested in everything about the car. He is interested in the fact the stickers might not be put properly on the bodywork. He has got a very good eye for detail. I think he is going to be a very involved member of the team, which is what we wanted.”

Q&A with Mercedes? Lewis Hamilton (F1)

“When I am at the factory I speak to all three of them [Ross Brawn, Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda] – or particularly to Ross and Toto because they have all the connections to all the engineers and mechanics. I mention something to Toto and I reiterate it to Ross – I push from both sides.”


Comment of the day

Are Williams already on the back foot?

In my opinion, Williams not having their 2013 challenger ready for the first test is going to be quite detrimental to the start of their season. I know that they tested certain 2013 components on their 2012 cars during this test, but the 2013 is a different car. Modern F1 cars are very integrated, and the efficiency of a certain part is dependent on the characteristic of other parts on the F1 car. Just because a 2013 component will work on their 2012 car does not mean that it will work as well on their 2013 car ?ǣ and vice versa.

All of the other teams already have have 4 days of testing on their cars, they made big strides towards reliability and establishing some sort of base for their cars. Williams must really make the best of the two remaining tests. If they encounter reliability problems during the first few days of the next test which limit their running then they?ll be even further behind.

I just find it a bit odd that the two back marker teams can have their 2013 cars ready for the first test but Williams cannot.

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On this day in F1

One year ago today the first test at Jerez concluded and Lotus were the quickest of the teams who had brought 2012-spec cars. But the fact that Fernando Alonso was second in the Ferrari F2012 – which later proved way off the pace – shows how unrepresentative testing times can be at this stage:

Image ?? McLaren/Hoch Zwei

143 comments on “Some pay drivers “not good enough for F1””

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  1. Lewis Hamilton right to criticise Mercedes car, says Ross Brawn (The Guardian)

    “He is interested in everything about the car. He is interested in the fact the stickers might not be put properly on the bodywork. He has got a very good eye for detail. I think he is going to be a very involved member of the team, which is what we wanted.”

    Come on! Stickers?! Really?! Maybe I’m wrong, but I wouldn’t even think about it, even if I notice something odd about them. I’d have so much concern about what really matters that it would be stupid to mention it. “Hey boss, look, the car doesn’t feel right, I think those stickers…” sigh

    1. I think you’re missing the point.

      1. That’s why Hamilton is a top F1 driver and not Mr Camp lol.

    2. To be honest, if a sticker lifts up and blocks airflow to a crucial aerodynamic element, then performance will be severely reduced.

    1. How is this relevant to anything mentioned in the round-up or indeed F1 in general?

  2. I feel that COTD is a bit alarmist. The first test is about getting the revised internals ratified and reliable. They can do that by bolting it onto last year’s car. Williams have opted for extra development time and would not have done so without good reason or without planning a comprehensive workaround. I’m actually more hopeful that they’ve found this year’s secret weapon and needed the time to get it right. You just never know! Fingers crossed for team Willy and the 35!

  3. A Brazilian news outlet is reporting that Rory Byrne is going back to Ferrari.. can anyone confirm this?

    1. Yep, its on sky f1 site

  4. I’m thinking Whitmarsh is losing more marbles by the day.

    Is he bashing Perez or what? Because in my eyes he’s one of the drivers not good enough.

  5. A bit of a strange one, and with this being reported in German top Tabloid Bild one might doubt it, but it seems Hülkenberg has to cut the soles of his shoes a bit so his toes don’t bump against the top of the chassis.
    Hülkenberg (in German):

    „Meine Zehen stoßen in dem engen Cockpit immer oben an, wenn ich auf die Pedale gehe. Unser Trick ist, dass wir die Gummi-Sohle hinten an den Fersen abschneiden. Damit gewinnen wir ein bisschen Platz!“

  6. The same things every year. I agreed with an earlier post, the top teams such as McLaren are to blame for the high costs and always have been. The smaller teams really have no other option than to hire pay drivers, its just in recent years become more acute due to the economy and rising costs. The big car makers such as Honda and Toyota masked this problem until four years ago when they left F1, what we have now are more independants without the billions on tap as the manufacturers did and its starting to show.
    Pay drivers are nothing new. Aryton Senna once bemoaned this issue twenty five years ago and it is and will always be there in F1, especially with the smaller teams. Lest we forget, the millions F1 once made from tabacco advertisement years ago which they lost when it was banned. Alot of the smaller teams’ cars are not exactly awash with companies logos adorning their sides, the money, in the end, has to come from somewhere.

  7. That’s why you need to bring Rubens back! ;)

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