Why must there be someone to blame for this? I see it on Dutch forum, where many of the fans complain about Dutch businesses that refuse to sponsor Frijns. As if it is an obligation to help him land a seat.
The same complaint was heard about Jos Verstappen after he severed ties with Philip Morris by signing for Benetton (Mild Seven being a Imperial Tobacco brand) and while being sponsored by Philips, Exact, Lost Boys, Trust and Wilux. I think Dutch fans easily over-estimate our economy and think we have companies like Telmex running around looking for international appeal, which we either already have/had in F1 or are marketing towards the Netherlands itself. With F1 on pay channel Sport1, I hardly think it’s that easy. But Frijns and his management need to take a good look around as well. It’s not as if there aren’t Dutch drivers in other categories with sponsorship and 10 small sponsors is better than nothing.
Frijns does seem like a very emotional, yet introvert person. Of course I don’t know him, but in a double interview with Verstappen, Frijns really flocked to Jos and the paper described the talks they had as ‘a father to a son’, so Frijns does seem to be able to listen to advice. But he needs someone to kick his butt from time to time and say ‘better not post it like that on Twitter’ or ‘calm down for the next race, this over-racing doesn’t get you anywhere with this field and tyres.’
Frijns is rarely seen with a manager or confidant around and I think that’s a bad thing. He needs a Wili Weber, a Huub Rothengatter, a Keke Rosberg (to Mika Hakkinen). I’d say Verstappen, but he is managing his son up until motorsport levels. Huub Rothengatter burned too many bridges and a lot of drivers from the 90s who would be ideal to guide Frijns are still active as drivers or advisors.
I think Frijns didn’t hurt his career too bad by not finishing in GP2 more often than he did, nor beaching the Sauber, but I think his attitude and pride (or at least a lack of pro-activity) have hurt him tremendously. I think he did the right thing by not entering the Red Bull program (with a lot of talented drivers lined up for F1) but he shot himself in the foot with the commentary on the Red Bull program.
I still hope he makes it to F1, but right now, those hopes are getting very similar to the hopes I had of seeing Verstappen in F1 after his dismal year with Minardi.