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F1 discussion

Mid-Season Driver Changes

This topic contains 9 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Ned Flanders Ned Flanders 5 years, 1 month ago.

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    Profile photo of Felipe Bomeny
    Felipe Bomeny

    So far, the only driver changes we have seen were the HRT carousel, with Christian Klien expected to have a go or two in the grey Dallara. However, two drivers in particular- Petrov and De La Rosa- have had lacklustre results. It looks worse with talks of Petrov’s seat in 2011 and with Renault’s Dutch-Chinese test driver Ho-Pin Tung gaining a four-race provisional FIA Superliscense. Meanwhile, De La Rosa is the only driver from an ‘established’ team to not have scored a single point. His seat has been linked to GP2 Asia and AutoGP frontrunner Luca Filippi, who also tested with Honda. What do you think will happen?

    Profile photo of Ned Flanders
    Ned Flanders

    You’ve picked a bad time to start this thread Portugoose- de la Rosa and Petrov have both just had their best qualifying performances of the season!

    The Ho Pin Tung story is interesting- perhaps if Renault really are desperate for money they might have to swap one pay driver for another, like HRT have done. But it certainly wouldn’t be a performance based decision. De la Rosa has been disapointing but Sauber seem to appreciate and depend on his vast experience, so I don’t see them dropping him anytime soon.

    Profile photo of Steph90

    De la Rosa is good for Sauber. He’s had three years out so I don’t see what more can really be expected of him. He hasn’t exactly been stellar he’s been a whole lot more consistent than Kobayashi. He’s worked with Mclaren for so long and that could help the team. Dlr has also had some bad luck this season and the car isn’t great. This season should really just be for the drivers and Sauber to find their feet.

    Petrov has (some) money I believe, is Russian and has just outqualified Kubica. Petrov has some good race craft but it’s usually his quali he falls down on and he makes silly little mistakes. However, he’s the rookie with the hardest teammate and if he can cut down the mistakes and build his confidence then I don’t see why Renault shouldn’t hang onto him. I think Petrov should be in F1 and if he’s given the axe for someone with more experience then it really shows how daft the testing ban is when it comes to the future talent. If it’s for more money then it’s a shame but can’t be helped.

    Profile photo of Prisoner Monkeys
    Prisoner Monkeys

    Yeah, you couldn’t have picked a worse time to start this thread. Particularly with Petrov: he was on the pace of Kubica in Silverstone until a mechanical fault knocked him out of qualifying, but he finished at Hockenheim within sight of Kubica, and now he’s out-qualified the Pole in Hungary. He’s easily been the most impressive rookie this season since he’s been running in the points or fighting for them at every race except Canada, he’s estabished a reputation – notably with Hamilton in Malaysia and Alonso in Turkey – as being relatively immune to pressure and someone who is not easily intimidated by the sight of a Ferrari or a McLaren in his rear view mirrors. He also doesn’t give up places easily; just ask Alonso. Ferrari told Alonso that Petrov would crack “in a few laps” in Istanbul, yet Alonso spent most of the race behind the Russian. If Petrov had gotten the points he deserved in Turkey, people would probably be saying something else entirely about him. The problem is that he’s in a highly-rated team with a highly-rated team-mate, but unlike 99% of all drivers, he didn’t have the base education in karting and Formula 3 that everyone gets. He started out racing in Formula Lada, which despite the name is actually a touring car series (it’s called “Formula” because the cars are all identical). The first time he drove open-wheelers competitively was in GP2. And unlike the Hulkenbergs and Koabayshis of this world, Petrov didn’t have an established, working relationship with a team. Hulkenberg was with Williams for years – and was being groomed for Formula 1 from the moment Williams spotted him – whilst Kobayashi was with Toyota. All things considered, Vitaly Petrov has probably had the greatest odds stacked against him – and he’s still the best rookie in the points standings. Yet his pace this wekeend has been incredible. If he hadn’t done that second run in Q2, he would have had a set of fresh super-softs for Q3. Imagine what he could have done then; he’s convinced he could have been higher up, but the team wanted to secure the place in Q3 first.

    If there’s a driver who needs replacing, it’s Nico Hulkenberg. He’s been on Barrichello’s pace all year and has been out-qualifying him on occasion, but he’s only finished one race in a position that was higher than he started in. His races have been full of stupid unforced errors, and he’s generally been his own worst enemy. Take Canada for example: he tried to pass Sutil (or maybe Rosberg; the angle was hard to tell) at the hairpin, even though there was no room. He needlessly damaged his front wing and then sped in the pits when replacing it. Two stupid, unnecessary errors that took him out of a promising points finish.

    Profile photo of Felipe Bomeny
    Felipe Bomeny


    I was still wondering, though, if Maldonado finishes GP2 on top before the season is over he COULD replace De La Rosa as a pay driver, depending on De La Rosa’s further performances. Anyways, kudos to Vitaly and Pedro at Hungary.

    Profile photo of Tom L.
    Tom L.

    Indeed, you couldn’t have picked a worse time to start this thread, a very solid drive from both Vitaly and Pedro today – but PM, you also couldn’t have picked a worse time to start Huelkenberg-bashing!

    Profile photo of TommyB

    Schumacher should go. He’s just killing his legacy.

    Profile photo of Felipe Bomeny
    Felipe Bomeny

    I would like to see Sutil replace Schumacher and Kobayashi replace Petrov next year. Now that’s what us fans need.

    Profile photo of Atanu

    Totally agree with you PortuGoose on your last point..

    Profile photo of Ned Flanders
    Ned Flanders

    Yes Portugoose I agree too. Kobayshi and Sutil, along with Hamilton, are probably my favourite drivers. I think Sutil is due a better team by now, especially since Force India are beginning to stagnate a bit. And if Kobayashi can learn to qualify well consistently he could do very well at Renault

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