How good is Maldonado?

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    Profile photo of raymondu999

    @prisoner-monkeys you seem to have very strong opinions of Pastor; and negative ones about Mr. Hulk; though mainly due to his lack of sponsorship which you talk about quite a bit.

    Just curious. If there was no sponsor difference; i.e. if you had all financials set; and for some bizarre reason you could pick Hulkenberg or Maldonado for free, who would you pick? i.e. in terms of pure talent alone?

    Profile photo of NickV

    I think he needs another season before we can properly judge how good he is. But from what I have seen this season i would say hes been doing quite well considering the car at his disposal. Im pretty sure he has reached Q3 more often than Rubens, including a 7th at Silverstone (Williams best of the year) and would have also got their best race result on the toughest circuit if not for Hamilton, and was in the points at Spa, so i wouldnt write him off yet.

    Profile photo of Scribe

    Weal, he’s not as good as the driver he replaced, who spanked him in the same equipment, he’s not as good a Vitaly Petrov, either this year or when they where racing together.

    Certainly the least impressive rookie cause we can’t really rate Ambrosio and Riciardo in the crap equipment they have to drive. So all in all, one giant meh, certainly better drivers out their.

    Grosjean and Hulkenburg the next cabs of the rank, both deserve a shot, both probably better than him.

    Profile photo of Prisoner Monkeys
    Prisoner Monkeys

    @raymondu999 – it’s not so much his lack of sponsorship that gets me, but his attitude. The whole “I deserve to be judged on my talent alone” just rubs me the wrong way. Sure, any driver who is talented enough to get into Formula 1 deserves to be judged on his or her talent, but if a team asks a driver to help find them some sponsors, then the least that driver can do is help out where possible. Hulkenberg’s attitude seems to be that he doesn’t need sponsors, even at a time when Williams needed them the most, and given his pedigree – GP2 champion, Formula 1 pole-sitter – Hulkenberg would have had an easier time of getting them than anyone else on the grid. And yet, he did not. It’s just an arrogant attitude that doesn’t endear him to me.

    Profile photo of Ned Flanders
    Ned Flanders

    I actually think he’s done a decent job, at least relative to my low expectations going into the season. I think most of us (with one notable exception) would rate him less highly than Nico Hulkenberg, but his pace relative to Barrichello has generally been quite a bit better (I don’t have stats to back that up, it’s just the impression I get). I suppose it all depends whether Barrichello is performing at the same level in 2011 that he was in 2010…

    Prisoner Monkeys: “Take Vitaly Petrov as an example – a lot of people thought he was out of his depth in 2010, but he’s really come back in 2011 to the point where he’s almost a compeltely different driver”

    Erm… I’d take exception to that. Other than his podium at Melbourne, he’s been pretty mediocre, and the trend seems to be of him getting even worse, which is worrying

    Profile photo of Prisoner Monkeys
    Prisoner Monkeys

    @Ned-Flanders – Petrov was making a habit of crashing on a regular basis last year. This year, he’s crashed four times – and only two of them were his fault; Alguersuari hit him in Monaco and Liuzzi ploughed into him at Monza. Malaysia and Korea were his fault, yes, but compare that to almost every accident he had last year.

    As for his downturn in results, both of the Renaults have been experiencing it. Look at their performances in Singapore. Both Senna and Petrov have been experiencing a downturn, and Senna is yet to beat Petrov on the track (even when Petrov crashed out in Korea, he was miles ahead of Senna). Petrov has qualified the car in Q3 on every occasion where Q3 has been possible. Neither Senna nor Heidfeld can claim that much.

    Profile photo of raymondu999

    To be honest we don’t know how good the Renault is for lack of a known benchmark at the moment. For example they were rubbish in Singapore. But what’s to say that someone like a Hamilton or a Kubica wouldn’t have gotten front row in that Renault in Singapore? I’m not saying that’s the case, but I’m saying it’s not beyond the realm of possibility.

    And PM – I get what you’re saying about his attitude. I don’t quite share your viewpoint, but I can see the logic behind it. But back to my question – sponsorship etc aside. Based on talent. Who would you pick? (Assume that both are bringing no sponsorship and are for some bizarre reason driving for free)

    Profile photo of Prisoner Monkeys
    Prisoner Monkeys

    Given that the FW33 is substantially-more horrible than the FW32 (which was already dismal), it would be very difficult to rate Hulkenberg against Maldonado without seeing them in the same car. I know they were both in GP2 together, and while GP2 is a spec series, it’s difficult to pass judgement based on information two years out of date. Especially since Formula 1 underwent massive changes between 2010 and 2011; Hulkenberg has no racing experience on Pirelli tyres, no racing experience with DRS, and no racing experience with KERS. It’s true, Hulkenberg gets some experience on Friday mornings with Force India (who he is rumoured to be joining after a recent Tweet suggesting he will replace Sutil), but FP1 times don’t really mean anything since half the grid will have bested the fastet FP1 time by the time FP3 comes around.

    Profile photo of George

    I think Maldonado is doing a decent job, when he has a good day he outperforms the car. I would still rate him below Di Resta and Perez, but I have no problem with him staying in F1.

    Profile photo of Homewrecker

    Like it’s been stated, it’s difficult to rate him in his current dog of a car. I will say one thing though, from the interviews with him I’ve seen and read – I don’t like the guy very much.

    Obviously that doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t be competing, personally I want to give him another season in a reasonable car to make any real judgement.

    Profile photo of Enigma

    @prisoner-monkeys Cheers for the explanation. I reckon he didn’t want to be thought of as a pay driver. But Perez and even Alonso bring sponsorship money, and noone really considers them pay drivers. A bit of a shame, I hope he gets a second chance.

    Profile photo of BasCB

    @prisoner-monkeys I get how you think about the Hulk. Altough I think you are passing judgement on him to early and far too harsh, as it was the management he parted with shortly after that pushed the “Hulk is no paydriver” lines in the media. Why hold it against him now that he has been going a different route for close to a year now?

    As far as I understand Hulk is pretty good with his feedback in car development, probalby stemming from his cooperation with Williams as a test driver for several years. I guess that would mean he offers a bit more. Its good for FI as well, because Sutil is not that good in this aspect.

    Maldonado, I think shows how much it really is a 2 year minimum to adequately judge drivers. He is doing a good job in qualifying and did quite solidly in the races, apart from having bad reliability and people crashing into him when he was on course for points. But his relentless streak showed up when cutting off in front of Hamiltons car. I think he is OK, but Hulk would have done better.

    Profile photo of James_mc

    Anyway, moving away from Comrade Petrov…

    I think that Maldonado is not great. Serious questions over his temperament & maturity remain from his GP2 days in my eyes. He has shown speed, particularly on street circuits. I reckon that he’s a “bit of a Sutil” – Fast on a day, but ultimately lacks the consistency to get a top drive.

    Profile photo of Kelly

    I’m surprised Williams can get sponsors using his face.. Looks like he hit every branch falling out of the ugly tree…

    Profile photo of

    I hate to say it but he’s done a decent job but I still don’t rate him that much because I think mostly Rubens has just had a shocking year. I do find it very difficult to rate him though

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