‘F1 is an auction’ says Alguersuari after missing drive

F1 Fanatic round-up

Jaime Alguersuari, Toro Rosso, Suzuka, 2011In the round-up: Jaime Alguersuari is the latest driver to criticise the F1 driver market after missing out on a chance to drive in 2013.

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Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Alguersuari says Formula One has become an auction (Reuters)

“Those who committed themselves with me have given me reasons that I must accept but that I do not share. F1 has become an auction.”

Formula One TV viewing hits the skids (The Guardian)

“For the first time, the report did not publish a total figure for the global TV audience, which in 2011 was 515 million. But the 2012 audience is thought to be just over 500 million, when declines in China and other markets is counterbalanced with countries where F1 viewing is growing.”

‘Axed drivers used up chances’ (Sky)

Martin Brundle: “They all had their chances to shine. Maybe that sounds a bit brutal, but they had their chances to shine. Just like when I got kicked out of F1, you had your chances, nothing else was there and it’s about the fresh blood.”

Rosberg denies Mercedes destabilised (Autosport)

“This season shouldn’t be affected much at all, not initially anyway because the main people in charge of building this car haven’t changed. So there is still a lot of stability in that region.”

Georgie Thompson leaves Sky?s F1 team (The F1 Broadcasting Blog)

“Natalie Pinkham will replace Thompson as presenter of the magazine programme The F1 Show.”

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Comment of the day

@Vickyy’s thoughts on Force India:

This team confuses me a lot.

Every now and then we hear about collapse, owners in trouble (both) and just faint signs of second driver while we are approaching all important second test.

On the other hand, the above effectively sounding simulator plan, wind tunnel investment, new sponsors etc. makes me wonder where exactly this team is heading to.

Although, I am very impressed with their (and Sauber) productive use of not-mighty resources which was very effectively translated to results in second half of 2012, scored in every race from Spa to Interlagos, lead for good 30 laps in Interlagos.

Lets hope this team is immune to the turmoil back in India and scores some miracles in coming season.
@Vickyy

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On this day in F1

One year ago today Caterham confirmed that Jarno Trulli was being ushered out of the team to make way for Vitaly Petrov, despite Trulli having already tested the team’s new car:

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106 comments on ‘F1 is an auction’ says Alguersuari after missing drive

  1. wsrgo said on 17th February 2013, 7:27

    F1 is staring at impending disaster.
    This conclusion can be made by looking into F1′s official feeder series-GP2. Let’s take a look at the drivers who have been confirmed for the upcoming season thus far.
    Marcus Ericsson-impressed early on by winning Formula BMW UK and Japanese F3. But has failed to shine in GP2 for three seasons, with only 2 wins to his name.
    Stephane Richelmi-only claim to fame is finishing 2nd in Italian F3 on his 2nd attempt. In fact, in seven years of car racing, he has only five wins.
    James Calado-one of the few impressive guys in GP2, with runner-up finishes in British Formula Renault, British F3, GP3.
    Daniel Abt-again pretty impressive, and a pay driver too. Seems the best shot of any of these GP2 guys to get into F1.
    Johnny Cecotto, Jr.-Done nothing much apart from a 3rd place in German F3(where he was beaten by a less experienced teammate).
    Mitch Evans-very impressive and young, with triumphs in Formula Ford, Toyota Racing Series and GP3.
    Fabio Leimer-did well only in International Formula Master, three seasons in GP2 has yielded only 2 wins.
    Julian Leal-Only triumph was in Italian F3000. 2 seasons in FR3.5 were both 20th-place finishes, and 2 seasons in GP2 yielded 27th and 21st places. Not good.
    Felipe Nasr-One of the few impressive giys, having won both Formula BMW and British F3 as well as a strong showing in the Daytona 24 Hours.
    Jolyon Palmer-2nd in an less competitive F2 field is all there is to show. Did improve last year in GP2, but chance of doing a Chilton is remote.
    Jake Rosenzweig- The less said the better. 3 seasons in FR3.5 has yielded 19th, 15th and 18th. Has no junior formula wins after five years. Need I say more?
    Rio Haryanto-not too bad, but only claim to fame is Formula BMW championship.
    Stefano Coletti-Again very unimpressive, has won nine races in eight years in cars.
    Simon Trummer-need I say more. 2 BAD seasons in GP3(25th and 18th) and now he is in GP2.
    Rene Binder-3 years in German F3 Cup led to 3 wins, and he was the only guy to come directly to GP2, whereas the likes of Jimmy Eriksson(GP3), Lucas Auer and Tom Blomqvist(both European F3) have been slugging it out below GP2.
    Daniel de Jong-2 wins in Formula Renault are all he has to show.
    So this is the status of F1′s official feeder series. To think that some of these guys will replace Alonso, Vettel, Hamilton and Raikkonen.

    • Man-look at the Formula Reanault 3.5.

      I-well see Abt, Calado and Evans one day.

      See that I used your hyphen typing methods.

      • FR3.5 have drivers like da Costa, Magnussen, Sirotkin, Vandoorne, Sorensen, Melker and Jaafar.

        • Dont forget Nato, Pic’s bro, Webb, Aleshin, Laine, Stevens and Stockinger.

          • wsrgo said on 18th February 2013, 5:05

            @jeff1s Do you mean to say the aforementioned guys are poor drivers? I beg to differ w.r.t. Nato(beaten only by Kvyat among last year’s Formula Renault 2.0 double campaigners), Arthur Pic(Formul’Academy Euroseries champion, solid Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 season), Webb(strong showings in both British Formula Renault and British F3) and Aleshin(has won several titles including FR3.5 in 2010, beating Red Bull Junior Daniel Ricciardo, also a stroong showing in F2 in 2009 with 3rd place). I also forgot Nico Muller, who had 2 strong years in GP3 and was previously champion in Swiss Formula Renault(now FR2.0 Alps).
            And if you were saying that they’re all impressive I will disagree with you w.r.t. Laine, Stevens and Stockinger.

    • Troy Longstaff (@troylongstaff) said on 17th February 2013, 10:33

      @wsrgo @jeff1s I can see Nasr, Cecotto, Calado and Evans from this year’s GP2 field eventually move up to F1. Evans is highly rated here in Oz and NZ, and he should be a big talent to look out for in the future. I’m not up to speed with the who’s who in FR3.5, but Antonio Felix da Costa will be in F1 very shortly, as well as Frijns. Exciting times, but the talented ones will inevitably rise over the pay drivers. Hopefully :)

    • Formula Renault 3.5 is looking much more promising, with drivers such as those wsrgo has mentioned. GP2 though I agree is looking rather poor and just highlights that money can’t buy you talent. I would rather see the likes of Kovalinen back in F1 rather than that field of drivers, and that is something coming from me.

      • wsrgo said on 18th February 2013, 4:41

        @vettel1 I think the scenario a few years down the line will be young boys and girls, searching for sponsors and money instead of honing their own talents in karting and junior formulae. People like Daniel Juncadella(F3 Euroseries champ), Matheo Tuscher(F2 runner-up) and Aaro Vainio(4th in GP3 behind only Evans, Abt and da Costa) should be getting drives in GP2, not the likes of Trummer, Leal, Rosenzweig, Coletti etc.
        I just hope F1 doesn’t go back to the times of the early and mid ’90s. As Mr. Collantine rightly put, F1 is a premier motorsport and only the best, not the richest should come. F1 will lose its very meaning if guys like these come and if it cannot continue to sustain itself as the premier motorsport category due to financial considerations, it should stop.

  2. andae23 (@andae23) said on 17th February 2013, 8:44

    I’ve read the Martin Brundle ‘article’ on Sky, talking about pay drivers. Brundle says that the drivers that are making way (Kovalainen, Glock, Kobi and the lot) have had their chance, and it’s time to bring in some fresh blood – that’s the way it is in Formula 1 (opinion shared by Chilton). I cannot believe that they didn’t dig deeper than that: clearly the number of pay drivers has increased dramatically over the past three years, there must be an underlying reason for that, which of course was debated by the F1Fanatics on… Friday was it? Formula 1 has a problem, that’s obvious. The blame lies with many parties, notably but not exclusively CVC, Bernie and the teams, but why wasn’t this mentioned in this article?

  3. Dougy_D (@dougy_d) said on 17th February 2013, 8:46

    I completly agree with Brundle, if you have your chance to shine and you don’t take it then you should get given the boot, and well I just don’t think Georgie Thompson did shine. Natalie Pinkham for me had a fantastic last year and deserve the promotion on the F1 Show.

  4. Girts (@girts) said on 17th February 2013, 10:04

    I disagree with the view that Petrov, Kovalainen and Glock deserved to be left without seats just because they hadn’t impressed enough when they had the chances to do so. Not every world champion immediately wipes the floor with all his competitors. The most obvious example on the current grid for that is Button, whose career was a roller-coaster ride before 2009.

    There was not much to choose between Alonso and Trulli in 2004. If Alonso had replaced Barrichello at Ferrari in 2003, it’s very possible that Schumacher would have convincingly beaten him and the Spaniard’s career would have turned out differently. I am not going to say that Kovalainen is as good as Alonso because there is no proof for that. But I believe that one should be careful before dismissing a driver’s potential just because he hasn’t managed to set the world on fire during a certain stage of his career.

    And, even if you believe that Glock & Co were never potential world champions anyway, I think that Brundle and a few other pundits miss the point here. The departure of some good drivers doesn’t mean that F1 is going to lose its popularity or that the sport has now turned itself into a casino for rich kids. If F1 doesn’t have the 22 best single-seater drivers in the world and if ‘auctions’ take place all over the grid, then the sport is not going the right direction.

    • Brace (@brace) said on 17th February 2013, 16:49

      Thank God that someone can talk sensibly, without some sensational-******** kind of one-liners, like “you had your chance” and similar.

      Why replace someone just for the sake of replacing them, if the replacement isn’t someone who is better or who you believe has better potential.

      I’m not arguing that teams don’t need money, but then don’t make it out like it’s because drivers weren’t good enough to stay.

  5. Eddie (@wackyracer) said on 17th February 2013, 10:09

    aaa c mon not Georgie :P

  6. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 17th February 2013, 10:19

    I agree with both Brundle and Alguersuari here.

    I agree with Brundle because in Formula 1, you either perform, or stop wasting everyone’s time and go somewhere else. Formula 1 is meant to be the highest echelon of motorsport, so teams are not going to humour a driver who is merely good when they demand the very best.

    But at the same time, I agree with Alguersuari because there are drivers being forced out of the sport before their time, and they are getting replaced with second-tier drivers who make up for the shortfalls in their talent with money. We’ve lost Timo Glock, Kamui Kobayashi and Heikki Kovalainen whist gaining Giedo van der Garde, Luiz Razia and Max Chilton – and that’s not an even trade. If we could all make a perfect grid, listing the twenty-two drivers who deserve to be on grid more than anyone else, how many of us would list van der Garde, Razia and Chilton before Glock, Kobayashi and Kovalainen?

    • crr917 (@crr917) said on 17th February 2013, 11:02

      Depends on the choice of crystal ball specifications? :D
      How do you compare drivers with 40+ races in F1 to those with 0?

      • @crr917 – I usually measure drivers on potential: if a rookie has good results in the lower categories he has lots of potential, whereas an “old hand” doesn’t have much potential to progress from where they are, so if they will likely remain midfielders I’d rather see them replaced with fresh blood. Not however if that fresh blood is Razia, so I agree with @prisoner-monkeys.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 17th February 2013, 23:10

        @crr917 – Sometimes you see a driver, and you just know that he will one day race in Formula 1, and that going through the feeder series is simply a formality. Drivers like Lewis Hamilton and Antonio Felix da Costa stand out as perfect examples of this. On the other hand, you have drivers like Luiz Razia, who only experienced success in GP2 in his fourth season, and only experienced it because there weren’t any standout drivers fighting for the title.

        • Skett (@skett) said on 18th February 2013, 21:53

          I know exactly what you mean. I remember years ago seeing Hulk in a1gp and immediately knew we’d see him in f1 sooner or later (and probably a championship contender at some point)

    • Kimi4WDC said on 18th February 2013, 0:45

      Red Bull – Vettel/Webber
      McLaren – Raikkonen/Hulkenberg
      Ferrari – Alonso/Button
      Lotus – Grosjean/Massa
      Sauber – Perez/Frijns
      FI – Bianchi/Kobayashi
      STR – Riccardo/Vergne
      Caterham – Pic/Petrov
      Marrusia – Costa/Gutierrez

  7. MagillaGorilla (@magillagorilla) said on 17th February 2013, 10:32

    Issue I have is that Jamie to shouldn’t be disappointed because he brings in money as well as we saw before he got the boot. There are plenty of drivers in the past decade that shouldn’t have had a drive just because their pocktes were lined. The main issue I have is when drivers like Frijins are passed up to reserve, but other new F1 drivers are given a full seat and and only due to money (outside looking in) that is worrying. Then when a team like FI that we know needs the money, holds an auction for the final seat rather than putting in a new guy like a Hulkenburg that can get them noticed again, it worries fans more. The point is the idea of a diminishing return, we all know teams need money to compete with the big guys, and hiring drives with sponsors bring in the money; what I don’t want to see though are more average guys while the real merit drivers drive another season in the feeder series.

    Either way I don’t like it, but at the same time it’s tough, because during a financial meltdown the mid pack teams were brought to the brink, and lower top tier teams had to leave. Teams like Toyota (who spent the most some years), Honda, BMW which are big names couldn’t afford a sport, which means mid field had to adjust to that and find new engine suppliers. Howeve,r with a lack of money, means a lack of engineering resources that are able to fight Ferrari, Mclaren, RBR and Merc GP and then teams have to hire paid drivers. So the issue then becomes a paid driver in an already bad car due to lack of resources before that driver came on.

  8. William Brierty said on 17th February 2013, 11:02

    Thank you, Sky, you’ve seen sense and ended this pointless tokenism. Georgie made it abundantly clear that she was completely uninterested in F1 and that she knew nothing about, and often just regurgitated a few F1 words she had remembered in a serious voice, or just talked about “psychological effect” during interviews. What actually was her GP weekend role? She stood next to Anthony Davidson at the SkyPad, nodded at bit, pretended she was listening, and stared longingly at “Ant” before rounding things up by saying something completely irrelevant in her newsreader voice. The only real reason she stayed was that she had a blatant crush on “Ant”. OK Sky, you’ve mended one mistake, don’t make another by giving Natalie all those ridiculous outfits that you squeezed Georgie into last year, you’ve just got rid of Lord Leveson, you don’t need a whole load of feminists on your back now.

  9. Dafffid (@dafffid) said on 17th February 2013, 11:46

    Brundle is talking rubbish. He had 12 years to shine, now drivers are being thrown in younger than ever and given only 2 years – so late developers are given no opportunity whatsoever. (And if they’re driving alongside another new driver, who’s to know what is car and what is driver).

    You want the best drivers in F1, regardless of age or how many years they’ve had, and there are a host of better drivers sitting on the sidelines. Truth is, even old man Rubens would still out-drive some of the nonentities on the grid this year.

    • MagillaGorilla (@magillagorilla) said on 18th February 2013, 7:16

      @2dafffid I 100% agree Brundle has no room to talk especially when the guys complaining have only been in an F1 seat for as little as a year. Brundle was never going to be a champion we saw that, and he got to drive for some of the best teams a couple of them during their peak or second best on the grid.

  10. JamieFranklinF1 (@jamiefranklinf1) said on 17th February 2013, 13:58

    I wonder why they replaced Georgie Thompson. I always thought she did a pretty good job, especially when you compare her to the likes of Simon Lazenby, who in my opinion, was frankly terrible.

  11. The Georgie Thompson thing seems more like speculation to me still. After all, the blog post does specifically say “this has not been officially confirmed”. A few of us were speculating similarly on Twitter during the F1 show, but until it is confirmed by Sky, I wouldnt take it as truth as that just sounds like a blog post based purely on the speculation to me. (I even speculated that she was not there as she was busy sorting out her make-up ready for round 1 in Australia :P)

  12. NickTheGeek (@nickthegeek) said on 17th February 2013, 18:59

    Next weeks tv guide blurb reads Ted and Georgie … blah blah blah so may just be mixing it up a bit or the guide may be wrong.

  13. MudShark (@mudshark) said on 17th February 2013, 21:10

    Did ya see what they did there – quoted UK audience in millions in the hope that nobody would notice. Well I have a calculator – and my estimation is a 12% drop in UK TV viewing figures in one year! That’s a disaster! If F1 was a quoted company – their share price would have just bombed. How does Bernie get away with it?

  14. Christopher (@twiinzspeed) said on 18th February 2013, 15:28

    I know this is beating a dead horse, but..
    If we had testing for up and coming talent, I think the grid would look very different. Bottas is a good example. He got Friday sessions last year and really lit it up. If testing was allowed and only drivers with little or no actual GP racing experience must be used, we would get to see the stars of tomorrow. Maybe even have all these “pay” drivers or people with sponsorship pay the smaller teams to test, it would help us all. We see more of F1. The small teams get an influx of cash, and new talent is showcased. It would be a win win.

  15. Nickpkr21 said on 18th February 2013, 22:36

    Ok Jaime I got a bunch of money which seat can I buy ?

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