Sirotkin: 2013 was “worst season of my life”

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Sergey Sirotkin, ISR, Spa-Francorchamps, Formula Renault, 3.5, 2013In the round-up: Sergey Sirotkin, who is likely to race for Sauber next year, says his recently-completed season in Formula Renault 3.5 was his worst so far.

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Sergey Sirotkin: I don’t feel any pressure (Crash)

“This was the worst season of my life; I was very unlucky. Every time I would say, ‘tomorrow next time’, we always say this but it never comes.”

Anthony Davidson says motor sport is missing ‘fear factor’ over safety (The Guardian)

“We don’t want to see fans get injured or drivers get injured or killed but the drivers should get punished. On some modern circuits its pathetic when you see drivers going off the track and nothing happens.”

RAC launches clash with Formula One partners (The Telegraph)

“Tom Purves, the RAC chairman and former chief executive of Rolls-Royce, wrote to FIA president Jean Todt to demand further details about payments totalling ??14.4m [??12.2m].”

Indian Grand Prix began much before F1 cars landed (Economic Times)

Video of preparations for this weekend’s race.


Maldonado describes recent “rumours” about his relationship with Williams as “completely false”.


Timo Glock, Lewis Hamilton, Hockenheimring, 2013

Former F1 driver Timo Glock catches up with Lewis Hamilton at the DTM season finale at the Hockenheimring yesterday. The rain-hit race saw Glock score his first victory since his final GP2 start at Valencia six years ago.

Comment of the day

Nico Hulkenberg has won two of the last three Driver of the Weekend polls and many of you want to see him in a better car:

Nico Hulkenberg has been a bright spot in this increasingly predictable season of Vettel and Red Bull dominance. Not that this is the fault of Vettel or Red Bull, they are simply doing their job exceedingly well.

To see Hulkenberg racing with three world champions and doing so well is certainly a glimpse of more to come. Best wishes for him and the team that will be wise enough to sign him for 2014.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Imre Pardi!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Two drivers won the world championship on this day in F1 history and both did it by beating Alain Prost.

Niki Lauda beat his McLaren team mate to the title by the tightest-ever margin of half a point at Estoril in Portugal in 1984.

Whereas Ayrton Senna took the title in deeply controversial fashion at Suzuka in 1990, crashing into Prost at the first corner:

Image ?? Renault/DPPI

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77 comments on Sirotkin: 2013 was “worst season of my life”

  1. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 21st October 2013, 0:09

    I really feel for Sirotkin. He’s put in some very strong performances this year, regularly dicing with – and sometimes getting the better of – Antonio Felix da Costa. But he’s been let down by an unreliable car or has been on the receiving end of some bone-headed moves by other drivers. I think he’s a genuine talent, but this is not reflected in his results on paper.

  2. toiago (@toiago) said on 21st October 2013, 0:12

    What a race that was which Glock won! I’m really glad to see him making the most out of the opportunity that the DTM gave him to keep up his racing career, after being dumped by the Marussia team.

  3. Nick (@npf1) said on 21st October 2013, 0:35

    Can’t say Sirotkin is wrong about his season; just this weekend he retired from well into the points; holding off A.Felix da Costa in race 1, before his rear wing failed.

    Typical comments, though. It’s not as if Sergio Canamassas or Johnny Cecotto jr. are joining a midfield team. I do think Sirotkin could do with more single-seater experience, but people are talking about Sirotkin as if he’s slower than Deletraz, clumsier than Inoue and more of a threat than Ivan Draco.

    • Troy Longstaff (@troylongstaff) said on 21st October 2013, 0:54

      Can’t say I disagree with you there @npf1, I don’t think we can judge Sirotkin until about halfway through next season when he has some Grands Prix under his belt. Similar to Gutierrez and van der Garde in a way, how they started off this season as whipping boys and have slowly gained in confidence and are now starting to at least give their teammates more of a challenge.

  4. Troy Longstaff (@troylongstaff) said on 21st October 2013, 0:54

    How does anybody know that a driver in their rookie season is going to be terrible? If your name isn’t Kimi Raikkonen, then I don’t want to hear you bagging rookie drivers.

  5. karter22 (@karter22) said on 21st October 2013, 1:45

    “There you go Timo…. I owed it to you!”
    LMAO…. I know, I know…. twisted joke… I couldn´t help myself.

  6. HoHum (@hohum) said on 21st October 2013, 3:30

    EU 8.3 million for travel expenses ! Who do they think they are? Politicians?

  7. HoHum (@hohum) said on 21st October 2013, 3:35

    Question for gamers; Do your tyres give up after a dozen laps when you play F1 2013 ?

    • Calum (@calum) said on 21st October 2013, 4:03


      Sometimes after 3 or 4 on COTA 25% races!!!
      You do get used to it and adapt though.

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 21st October 2013, 4:17

        @calum, fascinating, how exactly does it affect you, obviously you don’t slide of the edge of your seat ?

        • Calum (@calum) said on 21st October 2013, 6:23

          Obviously you increase tyre wear through a combination of
          a) breaking too hard/locking up
          b) accelerating too early/wheel spinning
          c) driving through gravel traps

          At first you notice little slides when driving out of corners, you have to “box” straight away because one lap too many will cause your tyres to end up so bad that when you accelerate the car just does donuts, it can be totally impossible to get past 50km/h without spinning – and as a result your race is destroyed.

          • HoHum (@hohum) said on 21st October 2013, 6:39

            So I guess you have to use your sense of sight rather than your sense of motion to achieve results, interesting, thanks.

          • Nick (@nick-uk) said on 21st October 2013, 18:37

            @calum Have they actually updated the tyre wear system, do you know for sure that the way you drive affects it? F1 2011 was the last one I played and for that the tyres would turn orange and then red if you just sat on the grid and didn’t move at all. It was based on a timer and ruined one of the most integral parts of the game. It was the greatest display of laziness in video game development I think I have ever seen. I haven’t bought anything from Codemasters since.

    • mantresx (@mantresx) said on 21st October 2013, 7:27

      Hmm maybe I should try F1 2013, if Valtteri approves it then it must be really good.
      Funny, I don’t remember any other drivers admitting they play F1 games, let alone play as themselves!

  8. Mike (@mike) said on 21st October 2013, 4:21

    I kinda feel for Glock, I think if things had gone his way a bit more he could have had some success in F1.

    I’m looking forward to seeing how Sirotkin goes, he at least seems to have the mental fortitude in place (notably unlike several current F1 drivers.)
    From the little I’ve seen of him I think I quite like him :D

  9. Hamish said on 21st October 2013, 5:55

    “This was the worst season of my life; I was very unlucky. Every time I would say, ‘tomorrow next time’, we always say this but it never comes.”

    Maybe the school bus changed routes?

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 21st October 2013, 6:42

      Sergey DiResta ?

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 21st October 2013, 7:14

        Hardly. Di Resta has had a spate of retirements that were down to driver error, like his off in Korea. Sirotkin, however, has suffered retirements that were down to other drivers’ errors – like when he got dive-bombed by Nato.

        • Hamish said on 21st October 2013, 21:54

          Correct. DiResta simply has reached the ceiling of his F1 potential, and a lot of that comes down to his attitude.

          If its a mechanical retirement he blames the team. If he crashes, its because the team produced a substandard car for the weekend, and hes having to overdrive it.

          Your hands and feet Paul, learn to take it on the chin.

        • HoHum (@hohum) said on 21st October 2013, 22:16

          “dive bombed by Nato” is this world war 3 ?

  10. Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 21st October 2013, 7:17

    I agree with Davidson that surrounding the circuits in cotton wool has gone too far. Sometimes it’s actually more dangerous than it was before – at Montreal, for instance, there’s now nothing stopping a driver who overshoots into turn one, where there used to be gravel. A driver suffering from brake failure down the start/finish straight would end up coming across the track at the second corner, straight into oncoming traffic.

    Apart from that, it’s ridiculous that drivers can gain an advantage by running wide (the source of many a contentious penalty over the last few years). If the surface was there to slow cars down, it would be safer and more sporting.

    • mantresx (@mantresx) said on 21st October 2013, 7:38

      Another example is the Spoon corner at Suzuka, Pérez hit the wall quite violently in practice, but probably he would’ve stopped if there was gravel all around.

      • I think the solution they have at Paul Ricard is the best solution, they have rough/abrasive stripes, they will discourage drivers from pushing too much because they will damage tyres if the driver goes wide, and in the case someone has a failure, they will slow the car down more than a standard tarmac run-off would.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 21st October 2013, 11:45

          It sounds good in theory, but in practice, it’s not even remotely possible. Paul Ricard’s run-off areas contain tungsten, which is extremely expensive. And given the amount that would be needed to add to all of the run-off areas on every circuit in sufficient quantities, there may not actually be enough tungsten in the world to do it.

        • BJ (@beejis60) said on 21st October 2013, 15:45

          The car is so stiff that if they go over at a significant speed, they will actually lose braking performance and the propensity to become airborne increases, albeit just slightly airborne… I suppose with brake failure, that won’t matter though.

    • pSynrg (@psynrg) said on 21st October 2013, 13:10

      I really think Davidson may be regretting his words. I wonder how he feels about this:

      Does reading that increase the fun factor!?

      I understand the point about there being a reduction in the penalty from running off track but to reduce safety as a way to address the problem is not the right approach at all. Where do you draw the line when reducing safety. As far as possible until the next drive dies and then move it back a bit?

      One answer may be to penalise drivers after the event using one of the existing penalties that stewards have at their disposal. Always if all four wheels leave the boundaries of what is considered the race track and a time penalty applied. Regardless of circumstances.

      • Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 21st October 2013, 13:33

        @psynrg I don’t think it’s a choice between penalising drivers and safety. Tarmac is not necessarily safer than gravel, as the examples of the first corner at Montreal and Spoon at Suzuka demonstrate.

        Recent events clearly demonstrate that motorsport can take nothing for granted in terms of safety, and no one – not even Davidson, scurrilous headline aside (read the article) – is suggesting that we should make the sport less safe. But there are other, equally safe ways of doing things that the tarmac run-off areas currently do, which don’t allow drivers to get away with running off the track, or even reward them for doing so. The runoffs at Paul Ricard, mentioned above, are one example.

        I don’t think using stewards’ penalties to perform what should be the function of the track architecture would be particularly popular, or without contention. After all, no one can accuse a gravel trap of being biased.

      • matt90 (@matt90) said on 21st October 2013, 16:15

        Circuits being a bit more punishing and having barriers near the circuit which caused a death are not one and the same. I would say that Davidson is one of the best people to comment on this after suffering a terrible crash at le mans last year.

  11. Racer (@racer) said on 21st October 2013, 7:44

    Kimi Raikkonen also won the championship on this day in 2007.

  12. Tomsk (@tomsk) said on 21st October 2013, 7:47

    Bottas is showing his team-mate how it’s done again – that’s a nice way of saying this year’s Williams handles like a Playstation!

  13. TMF (@tmf42) said on 21st October 2013, 7:57

    Imo Sirotkin would be a good driver in F1 but I still think that going in so early is too risky. He will need a full season to get into it but if Sauber ends up in a position where they have to scrap for points then the pressure will be too high and they might burn his talent along the way. But we’ll see maybe it works.

  14. JCost (@jcost) said on 21st October 2013, 8:01

    I don’t have clear memories of F1 before 1991 and since then I’ve always seen at least one pay driver lining up. Today, IMHO, pay drivers are better than years ago in terms of performance but – more often than not – they are degrees below the standard.

    What really worries me is the amount of pay drivers out there now, because their “share” seems to be increasing year after year. In fact, most drivers bring sponsors along with them, Alonso comes to mind, but it’s clear that FA could be picked to drive for Ferrari even if he didn’t have Santander behind while I doubt McLaren would pick Sergio Perez without Carlos Slim/Telmex/Claro backing.

    Sergey Sirotkin is on his way for a Formula 1 drive while the likes of Kevin Magnussen, Stoffel Vandoorne, António Felix da Costa, Robin Frijns, Filipe Nasr or Sam Bird or Leimer are not so sure.
    Felix da Costa still stands a good chance of driving for Toro Rosso in 2014 but there still are a palpable amount of talent being left out in favor of money. Maybe teams too believe that drivers make less a difference in Formula 1 than in feed series and guarantee money to build agood car is a safer bet but recent record of some back markers with pay drivers make me wonder if this approach is working for the teams because they still struggle to make any impact.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 21st October 2013, 9:08

      Magnussen, Vandoorne and da Costa are all involved in programmes specifically designed to get them into Formula 1. Sirotkin just happens to be making the transition sooner.

      Don’t forget that Frijns had the opportunity to get into Formula 1 and turned it down. He’s also seriously mismanaged his approach, so it’s not like he’s a talented driver getting passed over in favour of a pay driver – he is at least partially the architect of his own situation.

    • verstappen (@verstappen) said on 21st October 2013, 9:50

      I think it’s about the gap: if your main competitor is a few tenths faster, then you want a top driver. If the deficit is a second or more, then you might be better of with money for development.

    • Nicpkr251 said on 21st October 2013, 20:05

      Mclaren isn’t getting any money for Perez or Button, besides no money can fix this year car.
      However putting it this way why pay Drivers millions when you can get rookies that actually pay to drive for the team, some teams so far don’t have to deliver results so any driver will be the same.
      Sponsors are starting to own the teams and we will see now sponsors will ask for results, no wonder Honda is worried about making a mistake, say if a team makes a dog car with the money invested.

      It sounds much better to start your own team alla REDBULL which now owns part of the top F1 history, top teams council and 4 times WDC WCC in a row, well done Matezichs again !

  15. WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 21st October 2013, 8:24

    Now that is the Timo Glock I always had the uttermost faith in! What a brilliant DTM race, and what a fabulous drive from Glock. I genuinely think I’ve been enjoying DTM more than F1 this year. The topsy-turby nature of each driver’s performances, the constant unpredictability, some great racing and fabulous professionalism of the drivers and team has kept me enthralled all season long. Make no mistake here, this is a massive achievement for Timo, because he has gone up against the world’s best GT, touring car, sportscar and single seater drivers, and the most professional teams outside F1, and taken victory in his debut season; truly a spell-bounding performance. I know the logisitcs of having to watch the series on YouTube and not a rather handy HD channel complete with Martin Brundle and Ted Kravitz makes it a little less appealing, but I promise you, I you enjoy F1, then give it a watch, because in terms of driver quality, professionalism and speed, it is easily the closest series to F1. In fact, this week’s homework for all those who haven’t watched DTM this year it to march yourself over to YouTube and to watch yesterday’s race.

    Regarding Sirotkin, I find that statement rather bemusing. What he is essentially saying is this…

    I am surprised that a series renowned for arguably producing the best young talent in junior categories of recent years has been so difficult. OK, I have been catapulted into an F1 seat in a manner that most young drivers could only dream of, but still, I would have imagined that I would’ve faired better against the drivers that are more experienced and talented than I am.

    Who knows, maybe he is being honest with himself by saying…

    What a nightmare. I’ve been catapulted into F1 waaaaay too early. And I’ve tried by hardest in FR3.5 to prove that I’m not ready. EJ and Brundle are going to eat me alive!”

    Nah, he’s just trying to say that he’s a better driver than he’s shown this year…(snort)…no, I’m sure he’ll do an excellent job next year…(chuckles)…

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 21st October 2013, 9:04

      I think you’re reading too much into his comments, trying to create a situation whereby Sirotkin thinks it’s a bad idea, thus proving your belief that it’s a bad idea, but this theory has only come about because you think it’s a bad idea in the first place.

    • Mike Dee (@mike-dee) said on 21st October 2013, 12:17

      In fact, this week’s homework for all those who haven’t watched DTM this year it to march yourself over to YouTube and to watch yesterday’s race.

      I just did – quite a nice race. Glock should have done his first stop earlier though so he would’t have fallen behind Mehri. It still worked out in the end though.

      • Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 21st October 2013, 12:52

        @mike-dee A Merhi win would’ve been as great as a Glock one for me, as Merhi started at the back!

        The free DTM on YouTube is awesome stuff. Now, if only they can find a better commentator than Andrew Marriott…

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 21st October 2013, 14:34

          @journeyer That’s the one thing that stops me from watching more DTM.

          I don’t want to be too critical because I’ve done a little commentary and it’s not an easy thing to do well. And to an extent what commentators people like can come down to personal taste.

          But with the best will the world I do think he falls short of the necessary standard. I know plenty of people who don’t like his style and it puts me off watching other series he commentates on as well as the DTM.

          • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 21st October 2013, 16:41

            @keithcollantine @journeyer – I agree Keith, he does rather miss the obvious, such as the fact Merhi changed to slicks for his final stint at the weekend thus explaining his mega pace in the final laps, but frankly, it’s better than having a German commentator, or watching the ITV highlights a week later and having to spend the whole week avoiding the Autosport website so not to ruin the result. It truly is great that one of the great motorsports is being made internationally available, and the versatility of YouTube makes it all the more accessible. Saying that, an ex-driver as a commentator would do the coverage a world of good. Is Susie Wolff any good at commentary, or that busy for that matter? What about Oliver Jarvis since he’s set for the sack from Audi’s top squad? Imagine how brilliant Jason Plato would be in the commentary box (OK, I do know he hasn’t been in DTM, but he is a touring car legend), although his BTCC outing would frequently clash with DTM weekends. Also I’d replace Marriot with the rather cynical and “proper” Martin Haven, with each of those values being things very close to my crushingly logical, analytical heart.

      • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 21st October 2013, 16:14

        @mike-dee – Exactly what I thought at the time too, BMW definitely didn’t make it easy for Glock, in fact I wasn’t so much “thinking it” as I was screaming it at the screen. Sometimes the strategy in DTM this year has been a bit lethargic and not the sector-by-sector reactionary stuff we get in F1…from a man that just praised DTM for its professionalism.

        • Mike Dee (@mike-dee) said on 21st October 2013, 16:17

          I could see them delaying the first stop to be able to go on slicks if possible. In addition, they were gaining time on Spengler so it made sense to stay out. But once Glock had done a decent amount of laps – say 20-25 – and started losing time against Spengler, they should have come in and changed to wets again. After all, they still had to do a second stop where they could have switched to slicks if it proved advantageous.

          • Mike Dee (@mike-dee) said on 21st October 2013, 16:18

            @william-brierty that is

          • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 21st October 2013, 16:49

            @mike-dee The only incentive to stay out was the fact that they were gapping Spengler. There was no need to wait for the track to enter slick territory, which is what they were presumably doing, because they would still have to get anther compulsory stop out of the way, and therefore unlike F1, would not have done one stop less. The optimum strategy for Glock was to stay out until Spengler started to lap faster, pit for another set of wets, monitor the pace of those that do change to the slicks and then decide whether the track was dry enough in the closing laps before their final stop. In theory Merhi should’ve won that race, and because BMW essentially dropped the strategic ball, I think a lot of the credit for that win lies with Glock himself.

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