Robin Frijns, Sauber, Young Drivers' Test, Silverstone, 2013

Sauber reserve driver Frijns loses GP2 seat

F1 Fanatic Round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

In the round-up: Sauber’s reserve driver Robin Frijns, who won the Formula Renault 3.5 and 2.0 championships within the last two years, has lost his race seat in GP2.


Robin Frijns, Sauber, Young Drivers' Test, Silverstone, 2013


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Comment of the day

More conservative tyres for next year is a good move, Fikri Harish reckons.

The reasoning is quite sensible. With the regulations being what they are for next year, the teams are going to be dealing with a whole new set of variables anyway.

There?s no point in unnecessarily adding another one on top of that.
Fikri Harish (@Fihar)

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On this day in F1

For the second race in a row Damon Hill was cruelly denied a likely maiden win due to a car failure, in the German Grand Prix 20 years ago today.

Once again Hill’s misfortune allowed team mate Alain Prost to win. It was his 51st and final grand prix victory.

Michael Schumacher was second ahead of Mark Blundell, who came out on top in this hair-raising scrap with Gerhard Berger:

Image ?? Sauber

96 comments on “Sauber reserve driver Frijns loses GP2 seat”

  1. Is it just me, or does di Resta spend more time than any other midfield driver talking about driving for one of the top teams?

    I wouldn’t want to criticise any driver for being ambitious, but I wonder what effect it must have on the morale of the team to hear one of its drivers so frequently muse in public about moving on to greener pastures.

    Surely a better approach would be to keep these thoughts private, concentrate on getting the best possible results, and let next year’s drive take care of itself.

    1. Exactly.

    2. In fairness to DiResta, he does spend the time when he’s not talking about moving on talking about his existing team…. in the most derogatory and condescending fashion possible.

      So that’s all right.

      Ferrari are notable for being keen on drivers who consider themselves bigger than the team, so I’m sure he’s right at the top of their list….

      1. you nailed it.

      2. carlos danger
        25th July 2013, 4:32


      3. jimscreechy (@)
        25th July 2013, 5:59

        Ferrari are notable for being keen on drivers who consider themselves bigger than the team,

        What a presumptuous statement.

      4. Ferrari are notable for being keen on drivers who consider themselves bigger than the team

        Yet when they join Ferrari, their philosophy is supposed to change to team first and self second.

        Not entirely sure about your statement there

        1. There is no contradiction, because those are the drivers that are the ones that the other people in the team have to support, so then its not a contradiction for the driver to put himself first, because it really amounts to the same @todfod

      5. @hairs
        I understood that you don’t like Ferrari…i know that mostly at this site don’t really like Ferrari, but at this point it doesn’t make sense.

        Ferrari is the only team when the team comes first and driver second…But when someone does not want to see then any doctor that can’t help him.

        1. RaceProUK (@)
          25th July 2013, 9:36

          Ferrari is the only team when the team comes first and driver second

          Only if you’re the number two driver ;)

          Also, isn’t McLaren team first, driver second (mostly)?

        2. @nomore really? I would suggest purely based on the driver of the weekend polls that at least their lead driver has a large fanbase on this site!

      6. @nomore @todfod @jimscreechy
        Sorry, my sarcasm may not have come across there. There’s no criticism of Ferrari there, the joke is:

        DiResta thinks he can move to Ferrari in the future.
        He spends every interview making negative comments about his team, and saying he’s better than them.
        Ferrari don’t accept anyone, even drivers like Schumacher or engineers like Brawn, thinking they’re bigger than the team.
        Therefore Paul will never go to Ferrari.

        Hope that clears it up.

        A cynic would suggest he’s only talking about Ferrari because of rumours Hulkenberg has that drive next year….

        1. @hairs

          This comment is totally different and it has a point…

          Anyway i don’t believe DiResta really “believes” he can go to Ferrari…i mean he was beaten by Hulkenberg in 2012…between Hulk and DiResta why Ferrari will choose DiResta ?

          1. @nomore Paul is just throwing Ferrari’s name around, just as he’s thrown McLaren’s and Mercedes around.

            Realistically, he doesn’t have a hope getting into any of these teams. He’s not good enough to be considered a potential #1 driver, and he’s too selfish to be a useful #2. He’s in force India due to Mercedes backing. Quite why they still back him is another matter.

    3. He’s only answering the questions he’s being asked! He doesn’t just walk up to journalists and start blabbering on about his aspirations to move up the grid. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a PDR interview where he hasn’t been asked these sort of questions.

      1. Michael Brown (@)
        26th July 2013, 14:37

        He could just give an ambiguous answer

  2. Only 20 races? Which one goes then, presuming Russia will go ahead and NJ will fold? My early bets are on Korea as despite it’s contract the signs aren’t promising – it’s been at a net loss since its inception and interest in F1 in South Korea seems minimal at best…

    1. I hope its not the Hungaroring, its contract is up to renewal, but early promises were made that it would be signed this weekend. But of course even a signed contract doesnt mean anything in F1.

    2. @vettel1 The Japanese Grand Prix does not have a contract yet. Hopefully Bernie won’t even consider not resigning with them.

      For me: NJ will fold, as you say. And as long as Suzuka is resigned, I think either the Spanish GP (due to poor economy) or the Korean GP (as you say) will be off the calendar.

      1. The Spanish GP will stay anyway. Usually the countries of champions have had some preference lately (Spain had 2 GPs since Alonso became double champion, and in Schum times (not so recent but) it was Germany the country with 2 GPs. I understand Bernie’s interest for growing up (or getting back) F1 tradition in America, but 2 GPs there is too much. And we as fans don’t really need another street circuit.

        1. A street circuit like that I do need. Plus, we currently only have 3 street circuits, including Australia which barely counts because I believe the roads were mostly designed that way with F1 in mind.

    3. I think NJ and Korea will not be on the calendar for 2014.

      NJ has had a lot of problems, been delayed already, and nothing seems totally clear about it.

      Korea has notable problems, wanted a reduction from Bernie for the fee, and doesn’t seem to have the fan support either, plus the track in quite removed…in an area they hope to develop. Maybe in a few years, if development there continues, other races are held, the fan interest will build, the track will be more financially stable and F 1 could consider a return, but not now.

      Same with NJ, if they can finally get it together there, another US race could be added to the calendar, or somewhere else there.

      With Honda re-entering F 1, I feel Japan is safe and the fans there are great.

      Bahrain will stay what with their team investment and money for Bernie, although they should be removed for obvious reasons and concerns, especially after the past couple of years, but wont. Too much money there, for Bernie.

    4. But in Austria, although a contract is in place, apparently there are several local hurdles to overcome…
      Apparently current rules don’t allow more than 40,000 spectators at the Red Bull Ring for any one event, and there are local restrictions for noise and environment, etc according to some reports. And there is another report that a specific spectator stand I think was raised without the proper permits and permissions.

    5. Not long ago he said we would have 21 races… age fellas.

  3. The top end of F1 is rife with talent, but I start to become concerned for the middle and lower reaches of the grid, with so all these pay drivers, and talent struggling to retain their seats even in GP2.

    1. @david-a, definitely, F1 drivers can pay because they have become “stars” and can earn money from sponsorship contracts but how do they become “stars” if they have to pay to drive in the junior series ?

  4. On Frijns though, I think that seriously highlights how drastically things need to change with regards to the feeder series and indeed who gets into F1. The only way to do that I can see is enforce a regulation where driver salaries have to outweigh sponsor money (although that would cause problems on itself) or kill the weed at its root by drastically reducing competition costs.

    It’s really quite sad to see a multiple series champion losing his race seat purely because his pockets aren’t deep enough. God, racing teams are such gold diggers!

    1. Feeder series should not be involved with F1 in any way, that’s just to much money getting involved. Various national Championships is way better, as national racing federations directly interested in promoting as many drivers as they can and able to change their regulations more promptly than any centralized association.

      Then you have various countries being more prestigious than others, like 20 years ago, winning pretty much an single-seater category would get you some interest from big boys with money.

    2. I think the situation could be drastically improved by proper budget controls.

      Back when cost cutting was a hot topic, when the frankly ridiculous 30 mil budget cap was scheduled for immediate introduction, a huge amount of discussion was orientated around dismissing it as impossible or, more specifically, unenforceable. Now, the hot topic is pay drivers, a huge amount of forum space is taken up with people complaining about their presence in the sport. This frustrates me somewhat.

      30 million down from the estimates in the region of 300 million WAS ridiculous, but to me the slow progress on this front is even more so. Yes, there has been progress, but efforts like the testing ban were always destined to fail. As it has.

      If you ask me, the only way to improve the situation is through budget capping. Yes, to begin with it will be hard to police. The teams will, as they do with every area of the competition, find grey areas and exploit them. BUT, just like with technical regulation, these loopholes are closed at the end of each season. Making a budget cap enforceable will only happen when we jump in at the deep end and get to work on it WHILE it’s in action.

      I do NOT mean trying to drop down to 30 million by the start of next season. But, say (for arguments sake. I have NO idea what current estimates are) the current top team is spending 200 million a year, then next season cap it at 190m. And aim to bring it down by 5% each season until we reach something closer to 50 mill.

      Right now, getting the teams to co-operate should be easier than ever. The teams probably won’t agree again, I hate to say it, but I think an iron fist is going to be needed. If not, the Sauber situation will be sure to repeat itself.

      Tighten financial regulations while simultaneously relaxing technical regulations. Deal with the complications as the come. If it’s done steadily the rewards from fiddling the books will be weak anyway…

      1. Sorry Max, that wasn’t aimed at you. I don’t actually remember your particular stance on budget capping.

        Also, I rambled a bit in my post and went a tad off topic. But I’m sure you all realise the connection between unachievable budgets and pay drivers in midfield and back end teams.

      2. @gongton I’m always skeptical whether a simple cost cap will truly work as the manufacturer teams can easily hide their expenditure through the mother company but if that loophole could be removed I think you could very well be right in your approach!

        Tighten financial regulations while simultaneously relaxing technical regulations.


        1. There’s enough accounting methods that can be applied to avoid that. Its the same with tax laws, you cannot just state a price for things you get from connected companies (strangely they often DO allow far to big, and expensive, loans), because tax authorities on both sides will closely watch.
          The only thing it needs, is a clear methodology to agree on. Which poses the real issue, because no one will agree on it, because they want to be able to get around the rules!

      3. Gary, The problem stems from the current organisation of “prize” money payouts, by spending big the teams win big and prosper, teams with less to spend don’t win points and can barely survive, they pay the price for FOMs massive profits. Before Bernie conned the teams into a marketing deal that gave him 50% of profits and ultimately total control and ownership of “Formula 1″, races were organised by the track owners or promoters who offered all the teams ” starting money” to come and race at their track, they also offered ” prize money” as a bonus incentive for the podium places, the teams main source of income was the starting money and this was what they budgeted their expenditure on, prize money was a bonus but not the major part of their income. Of course in those days the teams and the promoter shared 100% of the income unlike today.

    3. 3 championships in his last 3 seasons, and he loses a GP2 seat, and meanwhile sorotkin, who’s 17, still v green, looks set to get a drive at sauber … what more is there to say.
      Gp2 series are trying to help though, they’ve put off introducing the new gp2 car to reduce costs.

      Maybe less venues, Europe only and 3 races per weekend would help reduce costs, less freight costs, less staff hours etc. Needs a radical rethink, can’t just keep shrugging our shoulders and saying ‘racing is expensive’.

      1. He wouldn´t have lost if he didn´t think himself to big.

        Frijns rejected RBR, and now he doesn´t have a sit. This wasn´t because nobody saw his talent, someone was ready to support his ambitions, but instead, he thought himself to big and now this.

        1. Signing up with RBR would be too risky. I can very well picture him suffering a fate very similar to Alguersuari if he signed and luck didn’t smile on him soon enough.

          1. @flig Yet, but in this moment with the chance of Ricciardo getting the RBR seat, Frijns will be with the chance of an F1 drive instead he is driveless and with Sauber in the need of money there is no chance there are going to dismissed Gutierres and Sergei is comming next year.

            And seem Frijns is so good the chances of him finishing like Alguersuari were little.

            So wich is better a drive with Red Bull YDP or no drive at all? Seem very simple to me

          2. Sorry but i disagree. Frijns has more potential than Alguersuari ever had; and by the look of things if he had signed for Red Bull he would have been along with Riccardo a major contender for the main RBR race drive.

            Furthermore, had he signed for the programme all his finances would have been taken cared of and all he would have had to do was show off his skills and talent. Sounds like an incredible opportunity to me which begs the question; why did he reject them?

          3. Yeah, but while Ricciardo will likely get a chance (2nd driver in how many years – and arguably Vettel got there more because of the chance at BMW at the time), we have the likes of Bourdais, Speed, Klien, Vergne, Alguersuari, Buemi, Luizzi, but also others who failed to get to F1. So I wouldn’t say the RBR young driver thing is all that great a path to F1 success.

          4. @bascb well let´s see the people you are naming:
            Bourdais– he didn´t do too well gaints Seb Vettel, neither againts Seb Buemi
            Speed– Actitude problem, he wanted to be treated like a super star
            Klien— RBR supporting him in F1 with Jaguar, and gave him 2 years with RBR. 3 years and he didn´t do much.
            Vergne— he has a drive and made it to F1
            Buemi— He got two years in F1, and now RB is supporting him in his Le Mans ride with Toyota
            Luizzi— by all accounts he was a fast driver but couldn´t work well with Toro Rosso, Luizzi himself said that the reason he never made it to Red Bull was because Newey never liked him
            Alguersuari– As I understand, the team didn´t like his way of work, he still got at least 2 years to prove his worth in F1

            All this drivers had made it to F1 because of RB, and all at least got 2 years to to prove what they were and could do, I´m sure if anyone would have showed something special they would have made it to RBR.

          5. ok, let my try and understand this @celeste. So what about your list of things should convince me that these drivers got the best shot of things with Red Bull?

            All of these drivers got a drive, yes. For some it was at the wrong moment (I would say JA should have stayed in junior series for another couple of months), some were dumped because they did not get along with a part of the staff, some got their development hampered by a strange “sharing” deal (liuzzi / Klien) and one is still driving at STR but is all too likely to have found out he does not have a future with them 2 weeks ago when he was singled out to get one half a day in the STR when most others got a day or got running in the RBR.
            And you fail to mention all the drivers who were dumped before F1 because they couldn’t live up to the pressure of racing through the series like multiple champion Vettel did. As for Seb Bourdais and being beaten by Vettel – well then, he is in good company (as the whole field was for 4 years now!).

            It really does not do much to show me that being a Red Bull program driver is all that good. In comparison, I would say that the McLaren YDP thing is doing more to help their guys forward. Even if its only into a long term testing role for Paffet.

          6. @bascb so tellme what other Young Driver from McLaren has made it to F1? No program is perfect but at least they got a chance. And fairly time to prove themself. You can argue all you want, RB is doing something for talented drivers, with out asking them for money.

          7. @bascb how many drivers from McLaren YD has made it to F1?

          8. so far none @celeste – but given that they started it in earnest only AFTER bringing Hamilton into F1, I would say that’s not a reason to look down on it.
            Currently they have 2 guys who are in the lead for the WSR 3.5 as well as promising talent Nyk de Vries and a couple of others further down the ladder.
            The point I am making here, is that many of the drivers in the Red Bull program were pushed in too soon, i.e. before they were ready to bring their best form into F1.

      2. Actually, with the results Frijns has had I’m even more surprised that he doesn’t have significant backing.

        Obviously I don’t know for certain, but I have a feeling maybe he didn’t dedicate enough time or effort into getting sponsors, most drivers say things like, they don’t think about the future and put all their focus in the current year.
        Well guess what, that’s not good enough nowadays, it sucks but the truth is that everyone has to plan and think two or three years ahead otherwise you’ll suffer the consequences.

        1. He was with the chance, he rejected it

        2. “a goal without a plan is just a wish”

      3. What more is there to say? How about something about keeping Sauber on the grid. It’s not like all of this is done out of greed. That’s the harsh financial reality of the day. It has absolutely nothing to do with pay drivers. It’s about regulations that force these situations onto the sport.

    4. thatscienceguy
      25th July 2013, 1:04

      “God, racing teams are such gold diggers!”

      Ever thought they need to be? How many GP2 teams folded at the end of last season, 3 or 4? Costs are rising across the board, sponsors aren’t coming on board. If the teams don’t get their money from somewhere they’ll fold, and then drivers CERTAINLY won’t get a chance.

      Don’t you think the teams would prefer to have a talented fast driver than someone who is middling, if they had the means? I seriously doubt they’re doing this by choice.

      Don’t blame the teams, this is a problem with the system forcing teams to do this.

      1. +1

        People have to look at it the other way: It was quite amazing that Hilmer signed Frijns for free for some races, considering how much money is spent in GP2 (and you don’t get any prize money). It was just a matter of time that Frijns was going to be replaced.

        I am a bit annoyed by the attitude of Frijns. He knows he has no sponsors and he must know how this game works. Instead of thanking Hilmer and Sauber for all the free rides (which he probably does behind doors), he keeps on complaining on twitter about all the injustice.

        1. Yep he finished 1st and 2nd in Spain burt the rest of his season is really bad so far … He’s talented (more than the new Russian driver who everyone is talking about) but maybe he hasn’t the right attitude.

      2. I was being sarcastic @thatscienceguy @matthijs – see the preceding text for my stance.

        1. You are right, sorry for that. I probably wanted to share my opinion no matter what ;)

      3. True, but the best drivers deserve to have a seat. How many people have at least heard of Frijns, lets not even mention his results as a driver? Now, how many people had heard of this Serotkin guy before the Sauber deal?

        In the end, Frijns has better results than at least half of the F1 test drivers. One could argue that his results are probably on par with some driver who currently thinks he belongs at Ferarri before he reached F1.

    5. Unless F1 changes like… a lot, money will still be the beginning and end of all the problems.

      It’s sad. But it is what it is… though I bet nothing he did in feeder series is going to be overlooked. Someone will grab him…

      1. How about good drivers chanching their mentality too. Like looking for sponsors.

        1. You just have to look at the fortunes of Bruno Senna to see that is folly @celeste. Sure, we can argue about his skill level. But when you think about what he had to his advantage, and he still couldn’t have enough sponsors for teams too choose others over him:
          1. the Senna name
          2. His uncle endorsing him ages ago
          3. Brazil is a gigantic country on the up
          4. When he appeared on the map, Barrichello nor Massa were doing all that great, so there was less competition for funds.

          And still, he couldn’t muster as much as a guy like Chilton or Maldonado. And giving your fortunes in the hands of Dr. Marko is something where I think its easy to understand is not something a racer at heart is always willing to accept.

          I can understand that you are a fan of Red Bull, and dislike a driver for turning down their offer. But its really not all that easy to find a backer with the funds for F1 for a driver from a small country like the Netherlands.

    6. So teams business model is not even “win and sponsors will come”. It’s more get a kid with money and we will get paid… awkward.

      Maybe teams believe nowadays cars don’t need a genius to win races…

  5. Never really liked that Frijns fellow but it’s a shame that he’s loosing his seat because his pockets aren’t a bottomless pit of cash. The teams in feeder series need to learn how to embrace and try and support talent even if it’s at the expense of rich drivers otherwise we may end up with an F1 grid of 22 Max Chiltons in the near future.

  6. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
    25th July 2013, 0:51

    I certainly hope Suzuka doesn’t get the chop. It’s contract runs out this year and I have a feeling that the end is nigh.

  7. nice battle with blundell and berger there. notice the overtaking despite no DRS and 2m wide cars. what’s the difference from today’s f1? less downforce, variations in strengths including power, and tracks conducive to passing.

  8. the changes on the 2014 calendar:
    + red bull ring & sochi (& new yersey? for now i’m assuming it will happen)
    – TWO tracks (hopefully korea, but what other track?)

    tbh, i’m kind of disappointed, i was really hoping for more than 20 races next year

    and very bad news for frijns, i was at the nürburgring to watch the gp2 race and he looked very competitive!

  9. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    25th July 2013, 1:59

    I would think that Korea would be the track to leave. I also would hope so. It’s made for pretty mediocre racing, and the attendance figures are the lowest in Formula 1 outside of Bahrain.

    The race doesn’t generate enough revenue, and despite cost cutting measures, it apparently ended up with a loss of $26 million dollars after last years race.

    1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      25th July 2013, 2:02

      Also it’s a terrible shame about Frijns.

    2. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      25th July 2013, 2:49


      attendance figures are the lowest in Formula 1 outside of Bahrain.

      And India and Abu Dhabi.

    3. jimscreechy (@)
      25th July 2013, 6:01

      plus there is no oil money there

      1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
        25th July 2013, 6:08

        Which is why Bahrain is at no risk of being dropped whatever the social environment is there.

  10. I Love the Pope
    25th July 2013, 4:15

    Drivers worth their salt:

    Sebastian Vettel
    Fernando Alonso
    Lewis Hamilton
    Kimi Raikkonnen
    Jensen Button (I guess, but only because he has won a championship)
    I suppose Webber and Massa as well
    Jury is out on Hulk, Di Resta, Perez
    Ricciardo…meh compared to the top 4

    So 7 out of 22? With a teenager and an investors 30-something wife on the grid next year?

    This is no longer the pinnacle of motorsport. This is a soap opera.

    WEC has the pinnacle of technology. IndyCar has better racing.

    1. To be fair, Maldonado is bloody fast, and I think Bianchi and Pic also deserve to be there, along with Vergne and Ricciardo for sure (not just meh)
      Rosberg too?
      Also, Bottas is an awesome driver; look at Canada, and Grosjean is exceptionally fast as well.
      Hülkenberg definitely deserves to be in F1 also.
      That makes 16.

      1. Agreed. The level of the grid in the last few years has been vastly superior to any other decade in the sport!

      2. jimscreechy (@)
        25th July 2013, 14:11

        Also agree…not so sure about the hulk though, and would definitely not have Button listed after the “Four Horsemen” in spite of his WDC. He doesn’t have the consistency, the qualifying ability, or (dare I say it) the talent.

    2. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      25th July 2013, 9:48

      Perhaps slightly exaggerated, but I get your drift.
      The complete list of drivers that deserve an F1 drive is as follows…(in order of how good I think they are)…
      Alonso, Hamilton, Vettel, Raikkonen, Rosberg, Button, Webber, Hulkenberg, Massa, Perez, Ricciardo, Di Resta, Sutil, Maldonado, Bianchi, Bottas, Vergne

      For the high jump?
      Gutierrez, Pic, Chilton, Van der Garde, Grosjean

      To be replaced by…
      Frijns, Da Costa, Magnussen, Vandoorne, Calado

      F1 restored as the pinnacle of motorsport

      1. Interesting that two of you have rated Massa as good enough for his drive: he has been conclusively beaten by his teammate like no other driver has over the past 3 and a half seasons. I for one think Hülkenberg, Perez, Ricciardo, Vergne and Bianchi could all do a better job than him post-accident.

        1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
          25th July 2013, 12:34

          @vettel1 All true, as ever, Max, maybe some reshuffling in order. His place in F1 is still justified though; crashes aside, he is still one of the top 22 drivers in the world.

    3. Imo, Top 7 atm of Vettel, Raikkonen, Alonso, Kubica (pre-accident), Hulkenberg, Hamilton, Rosberg, followed by Di Resta, Maldonado, Webber, Button, Massa, Sutil, Grosjean; Bianchi, Bottas, Vergne, Ricciardo; Perez, Kobayashi, Gutierrez, Pic; VDG, Chilton. I would give Kovalainen, Senna, Alguersuari, Petrov, Valsecchi and Razia another chance if we had 26 on the grid, although they’ve all probably had their chance apart from Valsecchi/Razia, before some GP2 replacements would come in for next year.

      Notably of the current grid, everyone is a junior level champion at some point, excepting Pic (3x 3rd, 2x 4th, 5th.. at least won a race in each year) and Chilton (4th in British F3 and GP2 in third season in each) in their career so far. They have fast tracked into F1 a little bit and in the past would likely have had more years in junior levels and another chance to have a championship tilt.

      I think it is exciting to see how Bianchi, Bottas, Vergne develop – I feel Ricciardo will be a similar driver to Webber and his progression backs this up as well. Perez is an interesting one as well due to all his success really coming in Karting, with his speed in cars improving as they got more kart-like up the ladder – while Ricciardo has no karting success to speak of that I can see so far, and has honed himself very well to cars.

  11. If Korea’s got a contract and is ready to cough up the cash there’s no reason Bernie will drop it. There’s two tracks that need to re-new contracts and one spot = classic pressure tactic by eccleston. I’m guessing Hungary will get dropped.

    1. Hungary will be at least on the calendar until 2022. The contracts will be signed this weekend…

  12. Hmm, I wonder who is going to replace Frijns? I do remember that GP2 teams ask for over £1 million for a driver’s season budget. Combined by two drivers that is approaching or over £3 million for a team to do a year of GP2.

    Frijns still needs to do GP2 – as shown by his racing in the series, with a cooler head he could have had more podiums and a lot more points. Lancaster doing so well after a year plus out has somewhat shown him up, although he has won a race very quickly which is very impressive (not enough though obviously – I wonder what (if any!) prize money gets allocated for GP2/3). Finish this year of GP2 and then get a Sauber F1 seat – although it now looks like his place will be indeed taken by Sirotkin. Another driver thrown in before they are ready.

    Guess who are the 3 drivers on the F1 grid not to have won any championships? You got it, Chilton, Pic and VDG (who at least won the World Karting Championship). Add to that, Sirotkin (but given more time he could have a shot in FR 3.5 or maybe GP2). Technically Webber hasn’t either, but he did win the British Formula Ford Festival and has loads of 2nds, 3rds etc. in championships (twice in F3000). Always the bridesmaid!

    1. Ah – AQ-H. Teixeira in for Ceccon at Trident. Someone to go into MP. Likely Gonzalez I would hazard a guess at! What a great weekend for GP2… (I remember Frijns pre-season saying he could only do a few GP2 races if they chose that direction.. I thought Hilmer was paying for all their drivers’ rides, but now I’m not so sure.. Dunno why I thought that in the first place!)

    2. Wrong, Vd Garde won the World Series by Renault.
      I agree with the rest of your post though. The problem is that GP2-teams don’t get any prize money. On the contrary, they have to pay to drive in a F1-weekend!

      1. Slip of the mind, of course he won that too. So we could say that if he gels with the car now, he can be up to speed in a few seasons, same with Chilton; Pic seems to get up to speed much faster than those two as we can see this year. Bianchi similarly gets up to speed straight away and on past results only VDG could challenge him, but I feel Pic is likely to be faster this year and has probably improved from being in F1 (so who knows, he could still improve further), while VDG could perhaps have peaked a while ago (despite taking his time to mature into F1).

      2. Hmm, I wonder what the incentive is then to run a GP2 team!

  13. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    25th July 2013, 9:29

    Frijn’s tale is arguably the most tragic of the modern junior categories. A driver with glaring, intense, vibrant, menacingly prodigious talent and speed, and with all the intelligence a modern single seater driver needs for F1. Robin, please, I beg of you, don’t follow good drivers like Robert Wickens, Christian Vietoris or Edoardo Mortara into DTM anonymity.

    Rich people of the world! Listen up! Want to make a few more quid? Then sponsor Robin Frijns, get him into a decent F1 team and watch him “kick ass”!

    I think this story is made all the worse knowing that drivers like Esteban Gutierrez and Giedo van der Garde are in F1, and that drivers like Sergey Sirotkin are on the verge of F1, whilst drivers like Johnny Cecotto, Daniil Kvyat, Rodolfo González and even Sergio Canamasas have had tests! Meanwhile, one of the junior categories finest finds sits at the back of the Sauber garage twiddling his thumbs watching some guy called Kimiya Sato climb into the car that should be his. God, I’m depressed…(sigh)…

    1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      25th July 2013, 9:37

      Do you know what the icing on the cake is? Ricardo Teixeira is returning to GP2. Does talent really count for nothing nowadays?

    2. Spot on, but then he could end up like Alguersuari and not be racing at all! I respected Alguersuari’s wishes not to get “locked into” DTM but Pirelli testing alone isn’t helping him much.

      1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        25th July 2013, 12:29

        So depressingly true.

        1. But that’s the harsh reality of F1 to be honest, it’s not as if his career would be any better had he gone to Caterham or Marussia – he’d just end up in a similar position to Glock. Funnily enough, Glock was linked to move to Renault in 2010 (since Toyota pulled out) and considering the whole change of ownership back then he immediately signed with Virgin Racing… a shame really, who knows where he’d be now if he’d managed to stick around for that Renault seat.

          Funnily enough, Alguersuari was confident that he had a race seat for 2013 (Force India?) but that fell through… Just hyping things up or was it a real chance? :/

          1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
            25th July 2013, 16:52

            @gfreeman – Regarding Glock, I couldn’t really see much in the way of a prosperous career even had he gone to Renault. He’d be plonked next to Robert Kubica, who, let us not forget, effectively ended Nick Heidfeld’s career by making him appear so staggeringly mediocre. Glock, a driver I rate less than Heidfeld, would have been beaten into the dust, and probably would’ve soon fallen down the grid anyway. I think Glock simply didn’t have the pace to maintain a midfield position, and I don’t think his exit is all that great a loss to F1, certainly less so than Heikki Kovalainen’s lip tremblingly tragic exit…or with van der Garde performing at his current level, that balance may yet be restored. And not wanting to pour cold water on your Alguersuari nostalgia, but he and Buemi were also not exactly setting F1 alight, and I think their replacement with Vergne and the soon to be Red Bull driver, Ricciardo, has been more than justified. Of the pairing, Alguersuari was arguably the more talented, and potentially deserved a seat near the rear of the field, but not having Alguersuari in F1 is not in the same league as the sheer tragedy of not having Frijns in F1.

          2. @william-brierty

            Heikki Kovalainen’s lip tremblingly tragic exit

            I get what you’re saying, maybe a litte harsh, but I do get it. But the point here is that you can’t expect every driver to set the world on fire, so to speak. I do admit Frijns has had a better career, and I’m sure this won’t be the end of the road for him. What I was saying about Glock was that he did show promise in lower categories and while at toyota he did show some genuine talent, but then some inconsistency thrown into it, I wasn’t implying that he’s as good as the current STR pair or anything of the sort. I was merely thinking out loud, he’s doing well for himself in DTM from what I last heard and obviously it’s good to have new talent come through.
            Personally, I think that if Sirotkin is to drive for Sauber next year, and Hulkenberg moves elsewhere, and if Gutiérrez doesn’t step his game up, Sauber should really consider taking this guy on…

    3. If he didn’t push Bianchi off the track he wouldn’t be champion.
      Karma :D:D:D
      The one he pushed off is still in F1

  14. Didn’t the COTD simply repeat what Hembery himself said in the article?

  15. In all honesty (and I know I’m not alone here) all these complaints regarding pay drivers is just getting old; obviously everyone is entitled to their own opinion but it’s not as if this hasn’t been the case before. I can’t recall names off the top of my head but I’m pretty sure there have been many drives with plenty of talent knocking on the F1 door (so to speak) but haven’t had the necessary funds. Even Michael Schumacher has Mercedes’ help on getting into Jordan if I recall correctly.

    The question I’m asking is whether teams are going to fully utilise their young driver programmes for drivers to get into F1. Surely Ferrari’s young driver academy could take on a few more drivers, and it’s not as if they have to go for someone for the sake of it, Frijns clearly has a lot of talent. Red Bull do a lot with their young driver programme as we know, McLaren have a few. With Honda coming into F1 maybe they’ll be helping some drivers out (we know Pic is an ambassador for Renault sport so it isn’t just tied to teams).

    Another thing to consider is that the talent pool in F1 hasn’t always been at it’s maximum, there’s always going to be a few drivers that people don’t consider worthy (opinions of course), it’s all relative. For instance, I’ve seen quite a few comments regarding Chilton and slating him as just his dad paying for everything and not having much talent at all, and even Simon Lazenby implying so. When in reality, he stated in an interview that although his dad’s involvement with AON has helped, he’s also sold stakes in himself with 30 sponsors to prove himself (to himself and to others… only he can answer that really). Had Razia got the Marussia seat and they were tied in terms of performance, would people be slating him as much as they are now? I don’t think so.

  16. About that video, significantly more grip for the Ligier, and despite running with a little more of rear wing than the Ferrari still looks as fast as the Ferrari, I don’t know why Walker and Palmer claim the Renault was so much more powerful. I’m sure they had some data to back it up but it doesn’t look like it visually even if the Ferrari was really bad.

  17. Nobody’s talking about the “Decoding the installation lap” video? It’s fantastic stuff, you need to watch it now. It really shows how complex driving one of these cars is, and highlights how pressing the gas and turning the wheel is but a small part of driving one of these amazing machines. Thanks to Mercedes for publishing that.

  18. Robin Frijns is the first driver to have won the Formula Renault 3.5 Series in his debut season, since Robert Kubica in 2005. He definitely deserves a seat in F1.

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