Drivers doubt age will prove a problem for Sirotkin

2013 Hungarian Grand Prix

Sergey Sirotkin, Formula Renault 3.5, Red Bull Ring, 2013

Formula One drivers said Sergey Sirotkin’s youth needn’t stop him making his debut for Sauber in 2014.

Sirotkin will be 18 in March next year when he could make his grand prix debut, which would make him the youngest driver ever to start an F1 race.

“I’m sure they will take him if they think it’s the right thing,” said Kimi Raikkonen during the Hungarian Grand Prix press conference. “I don’t see that age will be the problem, it’s about experience and all the rest. He might be ready, he might not. Time will tell.”

Paul di Resta said it was too soon to judge whether Sirotkin was ready for F1:

“It’s unfair to say anything about him. I don’t think anyone knows too much about him because he’s not been in racing cars too long.”

However Lewis Hamilton had doubts the Russian driver would be ready: “I wasn’t ready at 18,” he said, “and I was pretty good at 18.”

Current Sauber driver Esteban Gutierrez said the rumours over Sirotkin joining the team didn’t have an immediate effect on his future with the team:

“That really doesn’t make a difference in my current season, to be honest. My focus is here, it’s in this season, and I know very well what I have with the team, what has been my path with them in the last few years, and what we are looking into the future.”

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66 comments on Drivers doubt age will prove a problem for Sirotkin

  1. bull mello (@bullmello) said on 26th July 2013, 3:07

    The racing world is always looking for the next great talent to come along and somehow be better than the rest. Once in a great while that happens. Statistics are against the young Mr. Sirotkin being that one. But, that one next great driver is bound to confound the statistics and the so called experts.

    What makes a great driver like a Clark or Senna or Schumacher great? Is it raw talent, developmental experience, sheer will and determination, a combination of these things? Is there something intangible that comes out at the right place and time? This is what fascinates me about racing more than statistics.

    Who cares how many titles Schumacher has won when you are watching him race wheel to wheel corner after corner with JPM? It is the competition in the heat of the moment time after time that is thrilling. The statistics add up because the great ones are out front more often than their competitors. Sometimes even in subpar equipment.

    So, will Sirotkin be the next great one? I have a feeling we will get some clues in 2014 one way or the other. Sauber has much to gain and little to lose by running Sirotkin next season. I wish him well.

  2. Dave in NZL (now AUS) said on 26th July 2013, 5:50

    Keith, the photography is incredible. I have said it before on other posts, but the shots you choose are amazing. Thanks.

  3. Jueta (@eljueta) said on 26th July 2013, 6:05

    F1 has always had pay drivers, I don’t believe it’s better or worse than it ever was. If anything I think it’s more competitive across the field right now than it was say 10 years ago. But that’s just me.

  4. luc said on 26th July 2013, 6:30

    The drivers clearly were afraid to speak their minds because of sponsor interests, it’s getting pretty pathetic now.

  5. grosz said on 26th July 2013, 8:48

    They should ask Mark Webber. Haha

  6. Shimks (@shimks) said on 26th July 2013, 9:35

    I don’t think the question is whether Sirotkin will be ready for F1in 2014. He clearly won’t – he just hasn’t got enough experience under his belt. Hamilton’s comment emphasizes that.

    The real question is, can Sauber grab all the advantages of getting in bed with the Russians and at the same time keep the pressure off Sirotkin for at least a season, maybe two? The kid will need a lot of breaks. Sauber can’t expect too much of him in 2014 and probably 2015. The kid has a lot to learn!

  7. HawkAussie (@hawkaussie) said on 26th July 2013, 11:20

    I get it if it was GP2 / GP3 but F1, I don’t he will be ready to race against the big guns

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