F1 Fanatic Round-up
In the round-up: Marussia is the latest team to indicate it will attend the first test of 2014 at Jerez after Lotus revealed it would not.
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Sporting director Graeme Lowdon: “We plan to be at Jerez. There is nothing stopping it at the moment.”
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Comment of the day
Pretty expected, but unlike the Gutierrez announcement, I?óÔé¼Ôäóm a lot more disappointed. At least Gutierrez went up against a driver who was more experienced and is hailed as the next big thing. Chilton went up against a fellow rookie, a driver who has been exceedingly fast in junior formulae, but has been prone to mistakes under pressure. The net result was almost the same?óÔé¼?ª
Chilton was undeniably the slowest driver in the field last year.
It?óÔé¼Ôäós pretty obvious that there are two reasons of taking Chilton. The first one is the financial reason, and it does seem that despite the loss of Aon, Chilton?óÔé¼Ôäós financial consortium is still strong.
The second one is continuity, coupled with the lack of feasible choices. There aren?óÔé¼Ôäót many drivers in junior formulae who have the power of both money and sponsors, along with a strong dose of talent. Felipe Nasr fits the bill only to some extent, his 2013 season proved, if anything, that he is still far from a finished product. OGX filing for bankruptcy has not helped his financial side either. From last year?óÔé¼Ôäós GP2 field, James Calado has talent, but the Racing Steps Foundation are not strong by themselves to bring a driver into F1. Fabio Leimer is reasonable, but not great, and his backing is limited. Bird is probably F1-ready, but at 27, is getting on and one wonders he has reached or is approaching his peak, He has little funding, apart from the scanty support he gets from Mercedes. In Formula Renault 3.5, Stoffel Vandoorne is talented, and given an F1 chance in 2014, wouldn’t’ve struggled, but I think he?óÔé¼Ôäós better off with another year of junior series to make him a complete, consistent machine that Magnussen was this year. Nobody else is really ready or has funding and talent or both. So, I can understand that Marussia want to be going with Chilton.
What I cannot agree with, though is the fact that taking anybody else would not have been able to make much of a difference. Next year, we are entering an era of unpredictability and unreliability. There is, thus far, nothing concrete that the Ferrari turbo will be poorer compared to their rivals. Marussia might find themselves in a point-scoring position. New changes being new opportunities, and their is no use sinking to cynicism, that the team will never break their duck. They might be in a position to do so next year, and the odds for have never been heavier. And that is where the difference between a Chilton and say, a Calado might come to the fore.
Continuity, in my opinion is overrated. We have rookies saying their job next year will be easier since the rule changes will be a new thing for experienced drivers, and that might be an opportunity for them to prosper. That?óÔé¼Ôäós a stark contradiction to continuity. Either way, the decision is probably largely down to ?óÔé¼?£$?óÔé¼Ôäó and that Marussia had more on their mind than spending much thought on whom to take alongside Bianchi.
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On this day in F1
Five years ago today Ferrari launched the F60. The defending constructors’ champions endured a difficult year with just a single victory coming their way at Spa, thanks to Kimi Raikkonen.
A few weeks before that Felipe Massa’s crash at the Hungaroring left him seriously injured and out of action for the rest of the year. Substitute drivers Luca Badoer and Giancarlo Fisichella were unable to add to the team’s points haul.
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