Whats more important for a driver to have to reach F1, sponsorship or talent?
16th November 2013, 19:32 at 7:32 pm #133912
Though it may seem completely ridiculous and absurd, it seems as if many of the lower teams are looking for driver’s with money and some talent over those with very little money and a lot or talent. This includes Lotus who are picking between Pastor Maldonado and Nico Hulkenberg as it seems Romain Grosjean will remain with them for another year.16th November 2013, 19:42 at 7:42 pm #245349
Depends on the teams financial situation…if lotus signs the deal with that new sponsors then it will be all about the driver that can get them higher up the podium(Hulkenberg), otherwise it would be about who brings the most money to the team(Maldonado). I think this year for lotus Perez would be the perfect choice since IMO he has a lot of talent and also brings money to the team and a lot of fan base.17th November 2013, 9:32 at 9:32 am #245350
In the past: Talent
Right now: Money (top 4/5 teams downwards mostly)
I would say both have established a majority.. Lets hope it doesn’t get to an 80-20 stage for money in the lower two-thirds, it’s in danger of heading that way at the moment.17th November 2013, 11:55 at 11:55 am #245351
In the past Talent is not accurate at all, @fastiesty. The current grid is much better in quality than 10, 20 or even 30 years ago.
The (sad) truth is that talent is not enough, you now need sponsorship, too.
In the old days it was either talent (but there was less outstanding talent simply because the feeder series had less to select from) or money, now it has to be both.
The grid is full of examples of competent drivers with backing. In the past, sometimes you didn’t even need to be very talented do land a seat, if you had the backing. Now, it’s difficult to envision that.
Having said that, talent has always given you top seats, in the past and now. Hülkenberg would be a sad exception, but his career is far from over – he will still get his seat, even without the financial backing others enjoy.17th November 2013, 23:28 at 11:28 pm #245352
True, @magon4, what I really meant but didn’t explain too well was that in the past it was more likely to be 80-20 in favour of talent, whereas now we are in danger of making it 80-20 in favour of money deciding the choices in the lower two-thirds of the grid. There have always been pay drivers, but usually there was always a seat for a talented driver, in order to score points (i.e. best of both worlds with the driver pairing). But, now we are beginning to see both drivers as ‘pay drivers’ in some of the lower teams.
It is all relative (our expectations will inflate with time, as the cars get easier to drive), and of course I agree that the average skill count of the grid has always steadily increased, while recently being at probably the highest it has ever been. To put it this way, only two drivers on the grid haven’t won junior career titles (Pic and Chilton), whereas in the past this would likely be a lot more drivers. But maybe the past results would be skewed slightly by the odd “ultra-pay driver”, while truly terrible machinery at some points in time didn’t help either party. Some of the recent seasons have been some of the most competitive ever (was it in 2009 the whole field was covered by 1 second. Hence Nakajima didn’t score any points in a competitive Williams, despite doing so the year before).
Maybe it is fair to say that pretty much all drivers now are realistic enough to get some backing to help them progress up the ladder, as it is so expensive. Thus opening themselves up to fan criticism of ‘being a pay driver’. Only truly exceptional talents could get a ride without sponsors in post-financial crisis F1, and Frijns isn’t doing too well because of it, even with consecutive junior ladder titles. In the past surely he would have gotten an F1 shot.17th November 2013, 23:53 at 11:53 pm #245353
Frijns having zero chance of ending up in F1 should answer the question.17th November 2013, 23:57 at 11:57 pm #245354
Perhaps, but despite his obvious speed, it has been suggested that he is very difficult to work with.18th November 2013, 6:35 at 6:35 am #245355
I like to think it’s all a matter of mathematics. If you imagine each driver has two stats… “money” and “talent..” then obviously for a team short of cash money has more weighting value. But if a driver has enough talent then it’s enough to outweigh said monetary stat.18th November 2013, 10:33 at 10:33 am #245356
But it’s a question of whether that talent is enough to move the team’s position up the grid.18th November 2013, 10:37 at 10:37 am #245357
Money is the most important part to getting into f1. There are hugely talented drivers around the world that stray away from single awarded early because they find that securing millions in funding to move to Europe and get into f1 is simply not viable for them. This isn’t a new thing either. One example from a while back was mark skaife. An incredibly talented Aussie who proved his talent in single seaters domestically, and could have gone to Europe to pursue an f1 career, but decided it was too big a risk financially, because back then no Australian company would see any profit in sponsoring an aspiring f1 driver, and while he could get a loan to move to Europe, he was unlikely to find a competitive team in any open wheel series that would take a young Aussie with no cash. He went on to become a touring car legend instead, but those who worked with him in open wheelers believe he really had more talent for them than tin tops.
My point is, its naive to think f1 has the best drivers in the world. Maybe some of them, but I’m sure someone, somewhere has missed the boat, who has just as much talent as vettel or Alonso or who ever18th November 2013, 10:39 at 10:39 am #245358
*single seaters thanks auto correct…19th November 2013, 1:51 at 1:51 am #245359
@fangio85 It certainly would be an interesting exercise to pick the top 20-25 based primarily on single seater junior ladder results (could also be worth include karting here, as the direct line to single seaters, and most used route). It would be interesting to see how justification would be made for those who dominated at a really low level, but didn’t have the funding to move up, and comparisons to how they would compare to those that managed to get higher up the ladder and dominate etc.
An interesting comparison for this is the 2000 season. Quoting CIK-FIA.com’s wall of fame – “In that year 2000, when he was only 15, Hamilton showed all the extent of his talent. By winning 5 races out of 8 in the European Championship he outrageously beat his team-mate Nico Rosberg, but also Marco Ardigo (future World Karting Champion 2007/8) and Robert Kubica. Despite a hand in plaster as a result of a bicycle accident, Lewis notably dominated both finals at Val d’Argenton, thus forever stamping his mark on the minds of everyone present on the French track that day…
In addition to his European crown, Lewis landed in 2000 the World Cup for Formula A at Suzuka. He also fought for the World Championship lead when he was betrayed by his engine.”
So from this, could we take that Marco Ardigo in a Ferrari in 2007/8 would have been as close to him as Raikkonen or Massa? With the lack of support for drivers in Italy (until Ferrari started a junior program, and picked up Marciello and now Fuoco), a lot of those guys stayed in Karting and won there instead, Fore, Rossi as well. Valentino also turned to bikes to have a viable professional career, after being a Karting champion. Trulli, Liuzzi (both WKC) and Fisichella managed to get to F1 though after being top karters.
In 2001, Vettel then dominated junior karting.. this year, the young Max Verstappen..
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