Kamui Kobayashi, Ferrari, Moscow, 2013

‘Many teams choose money over ability’ – Kobayashi

F1 Fanatic Round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

In the round-up: Kamui Kobayashi says he is still trying to get back into Formula One but many teams are taking ‘pay drivers’.

F1 2013

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Kamui Kobayashi, Ferrari, Moscow, 2013Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Kobayashi: “My aim is to get back to Formula 1” (Ferrari)

“At the moment, there are many teams who prefer to choose their drivers based on how much money they can bring, rather than on their ability on track: I hope this trend will change, because my aim is to be back there as soon as possible and I am working hard to succeed.”

Vergne: I still have Red Bull chance (Autosport)

“I’ve been massively unlucky this year. Obviously not everybody can see it, and maybe some people don’t want to see it, they just want to see the result, which I understand. But the facts are there.”

F1 owner CVC Capital raises ??10.5bn for European buyouts (FT, registration required)

“CVC Capital Partners, the private equity owner of motor racing championship Formula One, has raised ??10.5bn, the largest fund for European buyouts since the start of the financial crisis.”


Antonio Felix da Costa, Jean-Eric Vergne, Red Bull Ring, 2013

Jean-Eric Vergne greets Red Bull Junior driver Antonio Felix da Costa on the grid ahead of one of last weekend’s Formula Renault 3.5 race at the Red Bull Wing.

A luckless weekend for Da Costa saw him fall to fifth in the championship after an engine problem in the first race and retirement after failing to start in the second.


Comment of the day

@Stephanief1990 has no qualms with Susie Wolff using her gender to increase her chances of landing an F1 drive:

People say we need a great woman but why? We get mediocre men on the grid every single year who have money behind them. We?ll have true gender equality on the grid when we can get pay drivers who are women on the grid and no one makes a comment that it?s because they?re a woman, the comments will just be “oh God, not another pay driver”.

Why must women have to be so much better to get a chance that an average racing man could? Why can only a female Schumacher have a shot when we get male drivers like Gutierrez every single season?

It really has nothing to do with biology either. Science has found that women can be just strong and just capable as men. F1 isn’t even about strength any more. Furthermore, there aren?t fixed differences between men and women. Some women have deep voices while some men squeak, some women have a lot of hair while some men lie and say they wax their chest, in the case of transgender men some will have vaginas and some transgender women will have penises.

The reason we don?t have more women drivers is purely because of the toxic culture of F1 (and motor sports in general). If you?re not middle class and/or an obviously hetero guy then you just don?t fit in this world as a driver and that is bad for the sport because we?re not seeing the best drivers in the world but just the best drivers in the world that everyone can approve of.

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On this day in F1

Fernando Alonso won the German Grand Prix on this day last year while Sebastian Vettel was stripped of his podium finish after the race:

Images ?? Ferrari/Ercole Colombo, Red Bull/Getty

186 comments on “‘Many teams choose money over ability’ – Kobayashi”

  1. Nice photo, future team-mates?

    1. Whit the luck both have, Toro Rosso will be in trouble

      1. Ha, my first thought at the pic was ‘I don’t know whatever JEV may have brought with him but certainly it wasn’t good luck.’ It must be frustrating as hell. Poor boys…

      2. @celeste While we can say that da Costa has been unlucky, I don’t see the menacing pace in his driving that I saw in the second half of last year. He qualifies in the lower half of the top 10, not where he needs to if he wants to be a championship contender. In the races where he doesn’t have bad luck, he doesn’t really set the world on fire with his overtaking moves, or sustained race pace. He’s racing more like his 2011-early 2012 form than the guy who won 2 GP3 races, 4 FR3.5 races, 1 F3 Cup race, and the Macau Grand Prix.
        I hope he proves me wrong in F1 (which will almost certainly happen), but I do sense he doesn’t have that last tenth someone like Magnussen, Vandoorne or Frijns has..

        1. @wsrgo Funny, everyone seem to be sure that Da Costa si sure thing in F1 next year. But as you said even when he isn´t haveng back luck, right now he isn´t getting the results.

          1. @celeste Well, I’m sure FdC will be in F1 in 2014, I’m just not sure how good he is. His bad luck can’t hide the fact he’s been slower overall than a guy who was in Formula Renault 2.0 last year. He needs to get his game up. Unfortunately for him, Sorensen and Melker have joined the party. It’s going to be tough..

          2. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
            22nd July 2013, 11:25

            @celeste @wsrgo – I think there’s something a little more tangible going wrong with Da Costa’s FR3.5 season. Even though it looks to all the world that he’s sneezed and let all of his talent go, you don’t go from megastar to mediocre in the space of a winter. The kid is clearly gifted. He was GP3 and FR3.5’s fastest man in 2012, and in the opening round at Monza this year he started to catch Vandoorne by 1.5 seconds before getting the puncture that rather set the tone of Da Costa’s season. Beyond the extra large helping of reliability issues Da Costa has had, Arden really haven’t been setting up the car properly. Both Da Costa and Fantin spend most of the races defending as their pace evaporates, and I know Pietro Fantin isn’t exactly in the running for an F1 drive, but to see two teammates struggling rather suggests a core problem with the way in which the team sets the car up. Couple Da Costa’s setup woes with a tonne of bad-luck, and another tonne of technical issues and you have a promising season comprehensively ruined. That however doesn’t detract from the fact that he a) drove excellently in the Young Driver’s Test, and clearly has lost none of his potential, and b) is now looking a dead cert for a seat with Toro Rosso with Ricciardo probably signing on the dotted line as I type.

            I do sense he doesn’t have that last tenth someone like Magnussen, Vandoorne or Frijns has

            What? OK, Frijns is on another level in terms of raw pace, but Magnussen? Vandoorne? Magnussen actually finished behind the late-coming Da Costa in FR3.5 last year, and although has clearly blossomed as a racing driver, still wouldn’t appear in most people’s top five in terms of out-and-out pace from the junior categories, arguably behind Frijns, Sorensen, Vandoorne, Da Costa and perhaps even Kevin Korjus or Facu Regalia. Magnussen’s strengths are consistency and reliability, and that is what is winning him this championship and earning him the title of the “One to Watch” for F1 teams this year. Regarding Vandoorne, he can reach the kind of stratospheric pace that Frijns and Da Costa deliver, but does so on a much more sporadic basis. Da Costa is as fast as they come, but whether he can deliver that on a consistent basis in the high pressure environment of F1 next year is up for debate.

          3. @william-brierty a very accurate and judicious summation of his season so far and his natural comparatives, +1.

          4. @william-brierty

            you don’t go from megastar to mediocre in the space of a winter.

            You also don’t go from good to megastar right after being signed up by an F1 team’s junior team. Felix da Costa’s early career is no doubt good; he won the Formula Renault 2.0 NEC on his second try and finished 3rd in the Eurocup competition that year. However, post-2009, his career had slightly slowed down..he did reasonably well in F3 Euro in the Motopark, finishing 7th, but his GP3 performance a year later was poor. He was making a sideways step at best and was thrashed by teammate Alexander Sims. In 2012, he began the season slowly, but things turned around after he was signed by Red Bull, and went on a hot streak. To say that he’s always been a megastar is an overstatement..he’s a strong an capable driver, but lacks outright menacing pace.

            Magnussen actually finished behind the late-coming Da Costa in FR3.5 last year, and although has clearly blossomed as a racing driver, still wouldn’t appear in most people’s top five in terms of out-and-out pace from the junior categories, arguably behind Frijns, Sorensen, Vandoorne, Da Costa and perhaps even Kevin Korjus or Facu Regalia.

            Okay, firstly, clubbing Facu Regalia in this list is wrong. The Argentine failed to get a single podium in three full seasons of Formula BMW, had an okay-ish double campaign last year (he did Auto GP and F3 Open, neither of which are very good, competitive series). His GP3 performances this year are being flattered by his strong ART car, and the mid-season tyre changes, which has helped some drivers and hindered others (like Niederhauser etc.). Kevin Korjus, is a very strong driver too, but he had a poor FR3.5 campaign last year, finished only 10th when he should’ve been fighting for the championship, though I admit, Tech1 were probably paying him less attention than Bianchi, which is why Gravity (the management stable in charge of him last year) shifted him to Lotus GP near the end of the year. This year, he’s doing well because he’s made a backward step to GP3, so the jury’s still out on how good he is, though I admit, he’s better than Regalia.

          5. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
            22nd July 2013, 18:30


            To say that he’s always been a megastar is an overstatement..he’s a strong an capable driver, but lacks outright menacing pace.

            Where do I say Da Costa’s always been a star? I’d fully admit that between 2009-2011 his career was an unspectacular one, but as has Magnussen this year, Da Costa found ability within himself, and secured himself a spot among the stars of the junior formulae, a fully deserved place complete with some of the most menacing outright pace on offer. I find it rather difficult to believe that the Da Costa of 2012 was a passing phantom, replaced by a mediocre driver for 2013. So whilst he perhaps lacks the consistency of drivers like the rejuvenated Kevin Magnussen, Felipe Nasr, Sam Bird or James Calado (a driver who also seems to be suffering the curse of 2013), he will always be among the very fastest, and I certainly expect him to assume Ricciardo’s position as Toro Rosso’s main man in qualifying next year alongside Vergne. That most definitely means “clubbing” him with Sorensen, Frijns, Vandoorne, Korjus, Ellinas and despite your objections, Regalia. You can quote me as many stats from Wikipedia as you like, but all of these drivers specialize in extracting the maximum performance from a car on a single lap.

          6. @william-brierty Then I guess you’ve got to account for the likes of Marciello, Rosenqvist, Lynn, Fuoco, Parry etc. all of who are very fast as well, all of whom I rate higher than Facu Regalia.
            And why shouldn’t stats matter? How would you feel if Rodolfo Gonzalez went to F1 and was 2nd in the championship after eight races? Regalia was almost as bad in Formula BMW as Rodolfo was in GP2. You can choose to sketch over whatever facts that don’t support your arguments, but facts are facts.
            And you said, that by looking at Pietro Fantin’s performance, we can safely say that the Arden car is not good, therefore Felix da Costa can’t do better than what he is doing now. How good is Matias Laine? He finished 5th in GP3 last year. I’d say he’s around the level of Pietro Fantin. And he’s got just one points finish, whereas Will Stevens is now in 3rd place. Granted, Stevens has had better luck than FdC, but by your reasoning still, Stevens is as good as FdC. Or Melker, for that matter, currently fourth and ahead of FdC, he’s leagues ahead of Mikhail Aleshin, whose credentials are much better than Fantin’s or Laine’s, although granted, he has waned a bit since winning the FR3.5 title in 2010. We could say the same about Magnussen and Vandoorne, both light years ahead of their respective teammates.

          7. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
            23rd July 2013, 15:31

            @wsrgo OK, if you want to be pedantic, you quite happily include Marciello and Rosenqvist in that list, both of whom are great drivers that I simply didn’t include due to a lack of familiarity with F3. What I was simply trying to explain is that to say that Da Costa lacks the final tenth in comparison to a driver like Magnussen is nothing short of utter twaddle. Da Costa is a driver that I, and most people, would “club” with the fastest drivers in the junior categories, alongside drivers like Frijns, Vandoorne, Sorensen, Marciello, Korjus and Rosenqvist (I shan’t mention Regalia); drivers who can extract every last tenth from a car when the driver needs it. Da Costa’s success in single seaters derives from blistering explosions of raw speed, the polar opposite to Kevin Magnussen, a driver who is winning FR3.5 this year through consistency and reliability.

            Now, I know what you’re going to say. How can Da Costa be one of the fastest drivers in the world if he has just a single pole position to his name in FR3.5? I think that kind of statement perfectly illustrates the useless nature of statistics when comparing racing drivers, because although Da Costa has fewer poles than Magnussen, ask anyone in the know and they will tell you that Da Costa has the greater speed.

            Regarding that rather bewildering final paragraph, I haven’t the foggiest idea how you can look at the performances of Fantin, Laine, Aleshin and Da Costa over the past few years and arrive at the conclusion that Stevens is as good as Da Costa? Here are the facts as I see them. This time last year, Da Costa was one of the finest young drivers in the world and about to experience a rather nice GP3 weekend in Hungary. One year later, he’s fifth in the championship and looking forward to yet another weekend of poor race pace and reliability issues. Meanwhile, on the other side of the garage, Da Costa’s teammate is also struggling. That to all the world suggests a problem with the Arden Caterham car, and if you dial in an exceptional performance at the Silverstone Young Driver Test (of which I was a trackside spectator and I can indeed profess that Da Costa looked easily the most comfortable and consistent of the young drivers) you find the root of the problem with Da Costa’s FR3.5 season; the car setup.

            I find it hard to understand how anyone, especially someone as informed as yourself, can suggest that the Da Costa of 2012 was a fleeting ghost of Da Costa’s ultimate potential only to be replaced by this epitome of mediocrity. It’s especially hard to believe as you well know that occasionally drivers have “off-colour” seasons, such as when Sebastian Vettel was beaten by Paul di Resta in Formula 3 Euro Series in 2006, or when Lewis Hamilton was thrashed by Jamie Green in the 2004 Formula 3 Euro Series season or when Fernando Alonso only finished 4th in the 2000 International Formula 3000 season. What is 100% clear to me is that a) Da Costa is deserving of the Toro Rosso seat coming his way and that b) he will do a good job from the off.

          8. ROFL @ “I, and most people! Now THAT is convincing argumentation. I will start using that more. :-)

          9. @william-brierty I saw how you sketched over the facts I pointed out, again.

            Meanwhile, on the other side of the garage, Da Costa’s teammate is also struggling. That to all the world suggests a problem with the Arden Caterham car

            Pietro Fantin isn’t an A-grade driver, his performances this year are just what was expected of a driver of his level. The car is not as important in Formula Renault 3.5 as it is in F1, so to say that FdC’s pace is just car problem despite having no concrete data to support your argument is folly. And I’m not saying Stevens is as good as FdC. All I’m saying is, by your reasoning, Stevens is doing a better job because Laine is clearly struggling, or Melker is doing better because Aleshin (by no means a slouch) is struggling. In all truthfulness, teammate performance and car performance aren’t really huge factors in World Series by Renault, but seeing as you brought it up with Fantin’s reference, I only set about to say how other drivers have had better performances with respect to their teammates than FdC. Anyway, even if I accept your conclusion that the Arden Caterham car isn’t fast, shouldn’t a superb driver like FdC be transcending the level of his machinery?
            My statement is again, there is no hard data to suggest that FdC has a poor car with setup gremlins, without proving that Melker and Stevens are doing a better job than him.

            Lewis Hamilton was thrashed by Jamie Green in the 2004 Formula 3 Euro Series season

            Jamie Green is a very good driver, who beat Lewis in Formula Renault UK too, when both were in their first seasons in that series. However, Green thrashing Lewis in 2004 isn’t an accurate example, because several drivers beat Lewis including Green, Premat, Lapierre and Rosberg. They were all in their second seasons in F3 Euro, whereas it was Lewis’s first season, having done a second season in Formula Renault UK, which he dominated. But the guys who beat Hamilton were all more experienced in that respective series, so saying that Lewis had an off-season in 2004 is inaccurate.
            FdC is certainly deserving of an F1 seat as his performances last year showed, and also his YDT performance this year. Many drivers are there in F1 who don’t have a scorching record in junior formulae but have done reasonably well in F1; Pic is an example. FdC hasn’t been scorching apart from 2009 and 2012, but that doesn’t mean he’s a bad driver..if he adapts well to an F1 car then fine, no qualms whatsoever. We are no seers and saying he’ll do a ‘good job from the off’ is overstating things, but no doubt, he should be given a chance. However, I stand by what I’ve said. As evident by his performances in junior series, FdC is a very, very good driver, but is he a superfast demon (figuratively speaking)? I think not, but I’ll be more than glad to be proved wrong, he clearly has been working very hard with Red Bull and that has showed in the YDT. But has he got scorching, prodigious pace? There’s a question mark regarding that, if we look at his entire junior formula career. And FdC needs to remove that question mark, by regularly delivering in qualifying sessions as much as possible, and also delivering effectively in F1 next year.

          10. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
            24th July 2013, 12:01

            @wsrgo Can I just outline the case you are trying to argue. You witnessed the quality of driver that Da Costa was last year, and now you are looking at his current performances and believe them to be a representative portrayal of his abilities as a racing driver. Beyond kicking my constructive suggestion that the car setup may be to blame you are providing me with no tangible explanation for this sudden nosedive in form, which leads me to believe that you think he has simply lost that fleeting yet glaring talent we saw in 2012. Is that the case? Or do you think there has been trouble at home? Or maybe his favourite hamster has died? Something tangible has caused this sudden drop-off in form and it would be lovely if you could actually put forward some kind of suggestion and enlighten us all with your unique insight so us mere fans can stop speculating. What it that you say? There is no “hard data” to suggest setup is to blame? There is no “hard data” to suggest that Fernando Alonso is the best racing driver in the world, but it is still a perspective that many people subscribe to. Instead of picking holes in my arguments, why don’t you present your own complete with all the “hard data” you so love?

            Is it “inaccurate” to suggest that Hamilton under performed in F3 in 2004? No, not really. The F3 Euro Series is not modern GP2 where experience is everything, speed was still very much king. I don’t think it is remotely unreasonable to expect Hamilton to be able to outperform drivers like Premat, Lapierre, Rosberg and Green, even if they had greater experience. Hamilton has as much speed as any driver since a certain Brazilian chap, so on both accounts where he was beaten by a guy who would turn out to be a very mediocre DTM driver, I think it is valid to say that Lewis under performed.

            Returning to Da Costa, hypothetically, if Da Costa was put alongside Vergne next year in a Toro Rosso, do you think he’d take Ricciardo’s place as Toro Rosso’s “qualifying driver”? Well, if Da Costa’s 2012 speed is anything to go by then my answer would most definitely be “yes”. I certainly saw “scorching” pace from Da Costa last year, and I’m not entirely sure how you could put a question mark beside that. OK, that pace hasn’t been a constant presence throughout his career, but we arguably didn’t see pace at all from drivers like Pic and Kobayashi until they arrived in F1. Some drivers just take to the feel of an F1 car, and if what I saw last week is anything to go by, Da Costa is one of those drivers. Davide Rigon, er, isn’t…

          11. @william-brierty All right, you win. I can’t much argue with what you’ve said here. It’s clear from the tone of your argument that you’re angry.

        2. @wsrgo Contrasting forms show just how hard it is to master the set-up of these racing cars, Sorensen suddenly becames great and da costa seemingly a rookie.

      3. Indeed @celeste.
        What a bad weekend for Antonio Felix da Costa.

      4. @celeste – Why would Toro Rosso take Kobayashi? He might be a Ferrari driver, but Toro Rosso are switching to Renault next year. And since they’re owned by Red Bull, theyddon’t take Ferrari-backed drivers.

        1. @prisoner-monkeys we were talking about the second picture woth Vergne and Da Costa.

  2. Bad timing Koba-bashy to be saying such things…

    1. Agree, the truth is that even when Kamui was very popular driver, for every good race he had a crash. Kamui maybe should concentrate in winning a lot in the series he is now and maybe a team will show interest once again.

      1. @celecte Absolutely not based on facts(and I challenge you to prove me wrong). This perception of Kobayashi being crash-prone stems solely from him being Japanese and borders on racism. In fact, he was quite reliable points gatherer and race finisher. He was taken out a few times by people like Hamilton and Grosjean but crashes when he was the responsible party were far and few between, less than Perez’ during their time as team-mates

        Also I like it @vettel1 when people use a totally unrelated event to put down a perfectly reasonable comment by a driver. Yes, Kobayashi crashed the F60 in the Moscow city show, attempting to please fans by slides on a wet city street full of bumps, wet paint and potholes. That’s also the F60 which is considered the worst handling Ferrari since 1996-97 and up to now, and having not driven an F1 car, apart from few laps at Fiorano since last November. What that has to do with anything?

        1. @celeste Sorry for the mis-spelling

          1. @montreal95 not, Kamui was a crash happy. But I dont have the time to go and look for statistics.

            He was a regular driver not a brilliant one. Good for the show and for the japanese people, and nothing more. Maybe a very popular one. I like the guy, but this year I have bearly notice he isn´t in F1.

            And I´m quite the japanese fan, my friends, family and the decoration in my room can quite prove that ;)…

          2. @celeste No he was not crash prone and you’re wrong. Kobayashi isn’t a Vettel but he’s better than average.

            If you don’t bother to prove your opinion when it is challenged, what’s the point? Just throwing mantras in the air “Kobayashi is crash-prone”, “for every good race he did he had a crash”?

            Good for you, that you’re the Japanese fan. I, on the other hand, am not.Never was. nor have I any connection or sentiment(positive or negative) toward Japan whatsoever. But these stereo-types, running in the F1 world are ridiculous

          3. @montreal95 then please feel free to do the math and prove me wrong. I´m not saying that japanese drivers are no good, I´m saying that Kobayashi was overrated.

            So be polite and don´t put me in to the racist group.

          4. @celeste No, you’d said that for every good race he had he had a crash. Which is as far from the truth as the earth from the moon. That’s what runs the risk for you to be put in racial stereo-type category.

            As for your opinion that KK is overrated, that’s debatable. I think the opposite of you, he’s underrated. To think that Perez( the real overrated one IMO) is in a Mclaren and KK is not in F1 this year is mind-boggling and is purely money related. You don’t miss him? Fine that’s your choice but me and @magnificent-geoffrey and many many others apparently do.

            Again, you don’t rate KK, that’s fine. I disagree but I respect your opinion. I cannot do the same for your opinion that he’s “crash-prone”. I ask myself would you say the same if he was, for example British? Because based on facts, he’s not any more crash prone than average. so what’s the reason of this moniker for him apart from racial, I wonder?

          5. @montreal95 Disagreeing with @celeste‘s comments is one thing, but I think it’s completely unfair and totally uncalled for to call the racist card. She never mentioned anything about him being crash-prone because he’s Japanese, and yet you call her racist. That’s just so wrong in so many ways.

          6. ^Mo^ where did you see that I called @celeste racist? I said that since there’s no factual evidence that KK is crash-prone the only reason possible is the stereotype of Japanese kamikaze. One doesn’t need to be racist, to fall for stereotypes. We’re all guilty of that at all times, and in all aspects of our lives

            Finally, I’d never accuse someone who called Sato crash-prone as guilty of stereotypes because that’s exactly what he was. but saying the same about KK is stereo-type, clearly

          7. @montreal95

            This perception of Kobayashi being crash-prone stems solely from him being Japanese and borders on racism.

            Playing the racism card is uncalled for and unnecessary. @celeste mentions she thinks he’s crash prone (whether that’s factually correct or not, that’s besides the point), and then you go on about racism. Where the h*ll does that come from?!

          8. ^Mo^ Like you never read my previous message. For the last darn time: perception=sterotype. And yes, welcome to the real world. Stereotypes do exist, some of them are even racial stereotypes. Many F1 fans refers to Japanese drivers as “kamikaze” and in the past many Japanese F1 drivers drove very recklessly so the moniker stuck.

            Now, whether KK is crash prone or not has EVERYTHING to do with it. It’s factually 100% incorrect that he’s crash prone therefore we must ask: where does this come from? Were KK a British driver with the same frequency of causing crashes, would @celeste or all others who do it still call him “crash-prone” or say that “for every good race of his he had a crash”? Not in a million years. Therefore it must come from the stereo-type of Japanese drivers. And using a stereo-type as widespread as this one, doesn’t make a person racist. On the other hand, this doesn’t make the stereo-type any less wrong. And that’s what I pointed out: that @celeste is wrong and where the mistake comes from.

            That’s the end of this subject. Whether you accept it or not is your choice. But I’m done explaining myself at great length, regarding something that’s to me is quite obvious

          9. @montreal95 I don’t disagree with you about the stereotypes. Except @celeste never mentioned anything he’s crash prone because he’s a Japanese driver. You did. You started going on about how it borders to racism. Don’t you think there might be some other explanation why she thinks he’s crash prone? Are you really thinking that the only explanation is that it must be racial prejudice?

            She may have been factually incorrect. And it’s fine for you to point that out. But do so with statistics then, with facts. Not with wild speculation about prejudice or stereotyping, especially since that was never mentioned in her reply.

            You may not have meant to do so, but you did place her, and others, in the racism group. That’s how it reads anyway. If that’s not what you meant to do, fine. But it is how I, and others, read it.

          10. @montreal95
            Concluding that @celeste is a borderline racist for making a racing observation about Kobayashi is a far greater crime than anything she committed.

          11. @vettel1 ^Mo^ and @soundscape thanks for comming to my defence, you guys are my knights on shinning armor ;)

        2. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey)
          22nd July 2013, 8:27

          @celeste @vettel1 Exactly @Montreal95. Kobayashi was not a crash-kid, he was one of the greatest natural overtakers that F1 has seen in recent memory and absolutely deserves a place on the grid, as proven by his superb podium at Suzuka last year.

          Yes, Kobayashi had a couple of crashes in his career. But he certainly didn’t have any more than average and certainly had a lot less than Grosjean, Maldonado, Massa or even Hamilton, for that matter. It amazes me that some people have such selective memory when it comes to Kobayashi and dismiss him with the ‘crash-kid’ lable. It smacks of people they are experts when they really just think about a driver one-dimensionally.

          1. @magnificent-geoffrey Oh please! “greatest natural overtakers” that´s an exaggeration.

        3. RaceProUK (@)
          22nd July 2013, 10:04

          Kobayashi had 15 retirements in his F1 career, 8 of them due to accident/collision damage, which shows he was more likely than others to be involved in collisions. However, this is not to say he was crash-happy. A fairer assessment is he’s more likely to take risks, which isn’t always welcome in F1.

          1. How many of them were his fault?

          2. RaceProUK (@)
            22nd July 2013, 10:29

            @zhenshia Between 0 and 8 ;)

          3. @raceprouk Does this statistic include Spa 2012 for example(wiped out at the start by Grosjean along with many others)? Or Australia 2010, when his front wing failed on lap 1 and he was a passenger colliding with Nico Hulkenberg? Or when Liuzzi spun into him at the start of China 2010?

            If anything KK has an appallingly bad luck being caught in accidents caused by others, especially on lap 1. But accidents that he caused were few and far between

          4. RaceProUK (@)
            22nd July 2013, 11:43

            @montreal95 Of course it does – I stated he was a risk taker, which is perfectly in line with being the victim of accidents as well as the instigator.

          5. @ Is Webber a risk taker for being taken out by Mr first-lap-nutcase in Japan? Are Alonso & Hamilton risk takers for getting wiped out along with KK at Spa? What can you do when your FW fails or when Liuzzi spins into you backwards?

            Yes, KK is more likely than some others to have a go at an overtake, but then he’s also more likely to succeed because he has a great natural overtaking ability

            To sum it up, neither KK’s bad luck with getting wiped out on lap 1 by actions of others, nor his willingness to have a go at an overtake makes him “crash-prone” as some here are implying. The only thing that matters in that respect, is how many accidents has KK caused by his actions? And the answer to that is no more than average amount

          6. RaceProUK (@)
            22nd July 2013, 12:46

            @montreal95 I said he was more likely to be involved in collisions, not that he is ‘crash-prone’. It’s a subtle but important difference.

          7. @raceprouk Ok, point accepted. With one clarification though: I bet a huge amount of drivers, from Chris Amon, through Jean Alesi and up to Mark Webber are glad that you weren’t the manager of their teams, otherwise their careers would’ve ended much earlier than they did. After all, an unlucky driver isn’t necessarily what you want in your team in F1 ;)

          8. RaceProUK (@)
            22nd July 2013, 13:31

            @montreal95 – I should take offense at that comment. You have no idea how I’d manage a team, so don’t even dare to insinuate otherwise.

        4. @montreal95 “totally unrelated”? In what alternate universe are the two events “totally unrelated”? They were on the same day and the first gave a humorous irony to the press statement, which I was merely highlighting in the comments!

          On a more relevant note to your criticism though, I am with @celeste in that I’ve never seen Kobayashi as a driver to progress above the midfield. By my harsh standards, that means I am assuredly not ruing his loss.

          He reminds me of Di Resta actually, so I find it rather hypocritical of him that he is being so presumptuous as to imply his ‘talent’ is losing out to money.

          Absolutely, he’s better than the Marussia & Caterham drivers (besides Bianchi), possibly Maldonado (although I’d say Maldonado is a superior package), Guitierrez, Massa and possibly Sutil. That’s about it (so 5 definitely and 2 possibly).

          I acknowledge that this is a highly subjective issue but I would much rather see Magnussen, Vandoorne, Da Costa or Frijns make their debut over Kobayashi who are all I believe more talented and also not “pay” drivers. So realistically unless Kobayashi becomes what he so despises then he has very little opportunity to make a return.

          1. @vettel1 Apparently in your alternate universe a rude comment of “Bad timing Koba-bashy to be saying such things…”, is completely logical to relate him crashing an F60 on a demo run in Moscow to a perfectly valid comment about pay-drivers. First of all as being proved here by me and others, not only the Koba-bashi is utterly rude but also factually wrong.

            KK is also completely correct in his comment. Yes he’s losing out to money. Otherwise how is he sitting the year out and Perez, whom he beat in 2011 and was, more narrowly, beaten by in 2012 is in a Mclaren? I think as a package KK is a better driver than Perez and a vastly superior overtaker to most of the field.
            Hypocritical? In what way? The fact that he disagrees with YOUR opinion that he’s nothing more than midfield makes him so? Well then, I suppose the fact, you disagree with my opinion that KK is way above average and one of the best overtakers in modern era makes you hypocritical ;)

            Again, I have no problem with you not rating KK, even as I totally disagree(Crashtor Stupidado a better package than KK?!). However your Koba-bashi, and @celeste ‘s “for every good race he had a crash” remarks are factually wrong, totally uncalled for, and are purely because of him being Japanese

            Realistically KK doesn’t have a chance to get back? Let’s wait and see about that. And of those drivers you’d mentioned, Magnussen and Frijns are the only competitors for KK. Vandoorne isn’t ready yet, Da Costa is a Red Bull junior. We’ll see how they manage and who’ll get the nod. I personally hope that Frijns never makes it to F1. He’s a very dirty driver that could make Stupidado look honorable.

          2. @montreal95 apparently in your universe you don’t understand irony ;)

            No, I am merely highlighting that he obviously rates himself above these pay drivers as he has proclaimed himself not to be one (despite the fact he was essentially trying to buy a seat for this season), even though he was beaten (however fine the margins, but still beaten) by one. I was also pointing out that there are better non pay drivers out there who would be more worthy of a seat, such as Robin Frijns or Antonio Felix Da Costa based on talent alone. That is the sense in which he is hypocritical! ;)

            I don’t really understand how a nickname can be factually wrong but my comment only related to the incident which immediately preceded that press statement: I was simply highlighting the humorously bad timing!

            As for Maldonado, I knew that one would cause controversy and I shall elaborate. Last season, Maldonado showed that he has immense natural speed (Spain and beating Vettel in qualifying in Singapore spring to mind) but is still dogged in part by his crash proneness. What I meant by superior package though is that in terms of pure talent I would rate him above KK and he has the added bonus of being a pay driver. So currently if I were a team principal he would be a more attractive proposition than KK (of course again this is subjective and I don’t proclaim to be the voice of unquestionable righteousness)!

          3. I forgot to refer to this:

            remarks are factually wrong, totally uncalled for, and are purely because of him being Japanese

            Are you proclaiming that @celeste and I are racists? I could not disagree more with you there. I am vehemently against racial discretion of any sort, hence why I was appalled at the racist remarks made by the minority of fans in the 2008 Spanish GP. I treat every human being in equal standing and I am offended that you would even hint at me having racial bigotry towards Japanese drivers.

            In fact, it’s quite the opposite: I think that F1 is not a “world” championship at all due to the lack of Asian drivers, African drivers, North American drivers and women in the sport. Consequently, I would absolutely welcome the presence of Asian drivers in general but I apply the same standards as I do to every other driver (as it is also discrimination to do otherwise), so they have to (by my own legislation) be at least one of the top 40 racing drivers in the world, preferably one of the top 22. I don’t rate Kobayashi as one of the top 22 racing drivers in the world and solely for that reason I am not ruing his loss: quite why you would make the assumption it was due to his ethnicity is beyond me (to highlight why, I have rated KK above Max Chilton therefore implying I also don’t think he deserves a place in F1; he is a white British citizen, exactly the same as myself).

          4. @vettel1 Regarding racism I can only copy/paste my answer to ^Mo^ above:
            ^Mo^ where did you see that I called @celeste racist? I said that since there’s no factual evidence that KK is crash-prone the only reason possible is the stereotype of Japanese kamikaze. One doesn’t need to be racist, to fall for stereotypes. We’re all guilty of that at all times, and in all aspects of our lives

            Finally, I’d never accuse someone who called Sato crash-prone as guilty of stereotypes because that’s exactly what he was. but saying the same about KK is stereo-type, clearly”

            Hope that clarifies my statement. Again the stereotyping has nothing to do with your opinion on KK’s ABILITY. Only on the urban legend that he’s crash-prone. Regarding ability, i’d repeatedly said that I respect your opinion even though I completely disagree

            The rest later, gotta go

          5. I don’t understand why Kobayashi is so highly-rated. He was a solid driver, but he didn’t progress enough in his 3-and-a-bit years in F1 (no higher than 12th). I really don’t see why he should be given a seat in F1 again, and I don’t see it happening. This reminds me of when Alguersuari was complaining about the way F1 was last year. While I didn’t disagree with him, I could never see him returning.

        5. Totally agree with you @montreal95 , Kobayashi was a very good driver. He has what others on the actual grid lack and he is sorely missed. I sincerely hope he gets a seat soon and I also agree he is one of the best overtakers!
          As for the arguement, don´t waste your time you can´t make “blindmen” see things. No disrespect intended to the other parties but it´s true, once they stamp a label on someone, even though people can change, they keep that label on them for ever which is outright unfair and dumb.

          1. @karter22 I should clarify for my own interests that I don’t regard Kobayashi to be a particularly crash-prone driver, I was merely highlighting the humorous irony in the timing of his statement!

      2. @celeste @montreal95 I am a Kobayashi fan and I too think his stereotype as a crasher is way off bat. Yes he is aggressive overtaker, but it’s not like he’s taking people out or crashing every other race like @celeste suggests (that is complete fantasy, I ask you take your blinkers off and watch the racing closer).

        Anyway, at the end of last year I went back and looked at all the races where Kobayashi had a retirement and looked at each case, you may disagree with one or two of my decisions on whos fault it was, but overall I think I’ve been pretty fair.

        KOBAYASHI: 60 races, 15 retirements (8=car failures, 4=other’s fault, 3=own fault) 5% error rate

        Off the top of my head the crashes he was responsible for that finished his race, were Canada 2010 (wall of champs), Singapore 2010 and Korea 2012. You might be asking yourself, “but I’ve seen some spectacular crashes involving Kamui.. 3 can’t be right!.. Well most of you who don’t follow the sport closely will forget that the Sauber in 2010 was super unreliable for the first half of the season, and they kept experiencing things like front wing failures and engine failures, so even of those 15 retirements they weren’t all crashes.

        1. Everybody is just using the race-ending statistics of Kobayashi. Fact is that he sometimes drove brillant and sometimes drove like an idiot. There are quite a few examples:
          2009 Brazil:

          2012 taking out his team box:

          Canada 2010:

          Korea 2012:

          With Schumacher in Singapore:
          Later retiring due to a crash

          Qualifying in Singapore:

          Crash with Senna in Valencia (wich was Kobayashi’s fault, in my opinion, he just turned in on him:

          and then there was his “taking away the pitbox” stop in 2011 where I can’t seem to find a video from. All of this completely his fault, so yes he was a bit more errorprone.

          1. I re-evaluate, +1 RAMBOII!

  3. There are many problems with CotD which I highlighted yesterday but the main one is the assumption that it is accepted that pay drivers must be an integral part of the sport: I’m sure you’ll find very few fans who like male pay drivers, so really women would be doing themselves a disservice by tearing themselves with that brush.

    This isn’t to discriminate, rather to highlight the fact that pay drivers are a frustrating existence in any form as they rob genuinely talented drivers of valuable opportunities. So theoretically doubling the number of pay drivers is definitely not the way to go: in fact, I think CotD does the opposite of what it intended and highlights the need to completely overall the progression towards F1 to reward talent over funding.

    1. Max, while sympathetic with your view of a meritocracy in F1, I do not find the cotd to be in contradiction, just realistic. If Toto could sign a cheque for 50million to get Susie a seat as 2nd. at Caterham it might allow Caterham to secure a better #1 or designer and keep them in the game whilst generating F1 publicity that might encourage young girls to try motorsports as a pastime and possible career.

      1. @hohum I see that point absolutely, however I do not feel it should be used as a reason to afford Susie an F1 drive in the same way as I don’t believe it was correct to employ Max Chilton.

        If anything I think women should seize this opportunity to get one-over men and show them up by their skill on the racetrack. It won’t do women in Motorsport any good if their ambassador, their shining beacon of aspiration, is crap. At least in that respect men have Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso to boost the class averages (a metaphor I use because I think the argument of “he did it so why can’t I?” is a relic of the classroom generation: an unsophisticated and childish defence).

        1. Steph (@stephanief1990)
          22nd July 2013, 17:00

          Women don’t need a shining becon @vettel1 . They just need equal opporunity.

          1. Steph (@stephanief1990)
            22nd July 2013, 17:01

            Sorry, I’m crammed around about 7 different (and very thick) academic books at the minute and it’s not having a good impact on my typing. I obviously meant *beacon and *opportunity

          2. @stephanief1990 I agree with that and would hope that everyone has an equal opportunity. However, all I was pointing out is that therefore we also need to then apply the same standards to women as we do to men and I’m sorry but on the case of Susie Wolff she is not by any extent of the imagination F1 material.

          3. @stephanief1990 – but on that basis – they do have an equal opportunity. If Wolff came along with more money than Chilton, she’d be driving for Marussia this year. She didn’t though.

            So that option is closed. Is she quick enough to deserve a seat on merit? I see she’s been in DTM for 6 years and her best finish is 7th although I don’t know much about who she drove for etc or whether 7th was a good result.

            My point though is that if a female driver came along who was quick enough, likewise if she brought enough money in sponsorship.

    2. If that were the case, it’s not just F1’s ‘funding’ that need completely overhauling, but the entire motorsport industry’s funding too. Take Anthony Hamilton as an example: famously having three jobs in order to bankroll Lewis.

      If you were to work it out, I bet the odds of becoming a motorsport (any motorsport) driver increase exponentially the more money/fame you have.

      I agree with the CotD: true equality comes when the reasoning is equal.

      1. @yellowsaphire equal negative reasoning though? A “they punched me so I’ll punch them back” attitude? I would not wish to see that being the case and would be vastly in favour of a complete overhaul in terms of cost-cutting.

        If we can drastically reduce team budgets, then there’ll be no need for pay drivers to fund operations. Therefore, we can truly see the best drivers getting F1 seats (i.e. not Suzie Wolff or Esteban Gutierrez). I really very much dislike the idea of a 30 year old with next to no promising racing results landing a seat in the highest tier of Motorsport, don’t you?

        That to me is a far worse proposition than even Gutierrez landing a seat was: at least he won the GP3 series and placed top 3 in GP2, Wolff’s best season result in DTM is 13th!

    3. If ridiculous COTDs had a rating, this one would be at the very top. The reason for all the arguments between how good(or bad) susie is simply because she is a woman. I’d love to see a woman beat the hell out of Vettel or Alonso. But all this hype about susie being good enough for F1 is nonsense. Looking back at her career in motor racing- FR, and F3, she should never have been in DTM based on her talent. OK, she got into DTM,”somehow”. Look at her record there. She was a NOBODY at DTM based on pure racing talent. And somehow she is good enough to be in F1?
      You can argue all you want about the pay drivers and lower quality drivers in F1. But the fact remains that their career stats are simply amazing(compared to susie’s). Even Charles Pic, whom a lot of people like to bash on is several times better than susie. Being a woman does not make up for talent. Susie Wolff is not F1 material.

      1. @rojov123 precisely, Suzie Wolff if not a woman wouldn’t even be remotely considered for an appearance in the YDT, never mind an F1 seat. There are far better drivers who have F1 aspirations such as Vandoorne, Frijns, Magnussen, Sainz and Da Costa to name but a few. If a genuinely talented female F1 driver comes along then absolutely there should be nothing to stop her from getting an F1 seat and if pay drivers have to remain then I could loosely accept a female one as I now do with males but preferably I’d have no sub-par drivers!

        1. Steph (@stephanief1990)
          22nd July 2013, 17:03

          Sorry, but plenty of women are good and never get close to being considered so I fail to see your point here. One woman gets an article, hundreds of aspiring racing women and girls are ignored every day and have been since motor sport began.

          1. @stephanief1990 please, do find me a female F1 driver with the résumé of even Esteban Gutierrez. I’m not saying that there aren’t talented women out there as I’m almost certain there is and I do want to see women’s involvement in F1 but Wolff is just not F1 material by any stretch of the imagination.

            Since I do believe your comment was relating to her, that’s why I disagree with you. Even irrespective of that, do we really want to see any drivers who aren’t fit for the job getting seats? I’d rather not double the amount of pay drivers!

          2. @stephanief1990 Like Max said, Esteban Gutierrez is very easily the F1 driver in the bunch with the smallest resume and has shown the least amount of potential before coming to F1. Show me a single female driver in this world who has had better results than Esteban in any of the categories Esteban has raced in. If you can’t, then you have to understand that while no one is against female racers, you need a certain amount of talent of be in F1. Susie simply doesn’t have enough talent.

  4. JPedroCQF1 (@joao-pedro-cq)
    22nd July 2013, 0:32

    Seriously, someone must be messing around with Da Costa’s WSR car! It’s incredible the amount of car problems he has had: puncture, engine (x2), electronics… next race there will be parts of the sidepod flying, if things continue this way!

    1. Nah, he is just back with luck. Sadly…

    2. Lady luck also didn’t visit Stoffel Vandoorne this weekend, two mechanical DNFS after winning 3 races.

      1. JPedroCQF1 (@joao-pedro-cq)
        22nd July 2013, 1:06

        This year I’ve been noticing more mechanical failures on the FR3.5 cars than ever. It’s almost like they’re getting closer to GP2, reliability wise…

  5. News is desperately thin on the ground. I wish Kamui the very best in finding a drive, he is very entertaining to watch with his lightning reflexes chucking his car back around faster cars that have just passed him , and whose drivers are expecting a clear track ahead at last. Unfortunately for Kamui his style of driving is totally opposite to what is required with the current tyre regime to be successfull.

    1. @hohum It’s not like Kamui has nothing to do all year, he does have a drive. He’s driving for AF Corse in the World Endurance Championship, the de-facto Ferrari sportscar team. Pretty sure that’s a drive

      1. RaceProUK (@)
        22nd July 2013, 10:30

        And with two class podiums in three races (2nd, 3rd, 4th), he’s doing well :)

      2. @ajokay@raceprouk, Good grief when I started this post yesterday it was a blank page, I apologise for not mentioning that I was talking about F1, can’t think why I expected anyone to make that giant mental leap. In summary, I’m glad Kamui has something to do but I am sad for myself, @magnificent-geoffery and other F1 fans who will no longer see an F1 car chucked around like a touring car, not having access to TV coverage of the series KK is now involved in I have no knowledge of it but am fairly sure that the tyres used in the series will be more suitable for KK than those currently used in F1.

        1. @hohum you can watch WEC races free online from the official website http://www.fiawec.com at race time. You can watch it in 720p too. Still want to see Kobayashi back in F1 though.

  6. Koba reminds me of the original version of a popular saying: If you can’t beat ’em, you might as well join ’em. If that also doesn’t succeed, try complaining and beating ’em again.

  7. That’s the funniest COTD I’ve seen in a while.

  8. This COTD is so ridiculous it isn’t even funny. It’s like comparing a tennis player who is number 20 in the world and another who is 200 in the world and saying they’re both mediocre. I don’t like Gutierrez at all and don’t think he’s a good F1 driver or ever will be, but to compare a FBMW and GP3 champion to a nobody like Susie Stoddart is much worse than apples and oranges. She shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near an F1 car, same as she shouldn’t have been allowed anywhere near a DTM car but she drove there purely because she’s a woman. Anyone who thinks allowing someone as talent-less as her to drive in F1 would do the case for women in motorsport any good needs a braincheck

    1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      22nd July 2013, 2:09

      This is possibly one of the rudest comments I’ve ever read on this site.
      She may not have had good results, but that’s no reason to say she’s a “nobody” and “talent-less”.

      And while she’s out doing what she loves, you’re here sitting behind your computer screen talking about how terrible she is.

      That’s just low man.

      1. @tophercheese21 Please stop the politically correct nonsense. She’s a nobody as a professional racing driver, and talent-less as far as a professional racing talent is concerned. She’s more talented in it than you and me combined probably but what of it? We’re not professional racing drivers so it’s meaningless to compare

        And she’s “doing what she loves” only because her surname is Wolff, and prior to that as a marketing gimmick for the DTM. If not for that, she would be a GT driver maximum. We both know that. Telling the truth isn’t the same as being rude. Nothing against Susie, but any number of kind words wouldn’t make her faster driver than she is. Now, putting Wolff and Gutierrez in the same sentence as the COTD did is the very definition of being rude toward Esteban

        1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
          22nd July 2013, 3:23

          It’s hard to speculate about fuel loads and what not, but her fastest time in the YDT was only 0.4 secs slower than Juncadella’s time.

          Which is a decent time. I know it was only a YDT, but driving a Formula 1 car is no mean feat.

          I see your point that she isn’t as talented or as good a driver compared to other professionals, but I just didn’t agree with the aggressiveness of your terminology.

          There’s being constructively critiquing, and then there’s just being down right insulting.

          1. @tophercheese21 Fair enough Chris. I respect your opinion, even though I think I’m being frank rather than insulting. Got me in some hot water this attitude, many times and not just on the forums/blogs. People don’t like getting my opinion of them(or others) straight unless it’s a good one. People also are shocked than I don’t care if the person in question hears about my opinion from them if he/she isn’t present. I blame the modern culture of political correctness for having to hide behind lies and veils and talking behind the back. I personally like to be told what people think of me as straight as it is- a lie(again I can’t get over the COTD putting EG ans SW in the same sentence), is always more insulting than the truth IMO

            Anyway this was hugely OT, so I’ll end it here

          2. her fastest time in the YDT was only 0.4 secs slower than Juncadella’s time.

            No, it was one second slower than Juncadella’s fastest time.

          3. @montreal95 Yeah man! Keyboard warriors unite!

        2. @montreal95 – I like your straight-talking nature and appreciate your frankness. I’ve experienced the same overt hostility for refusing to be politically correct (and in my case it’s played-out in national and international media) but eff-em! Life is too short to spend it tiptoeing around the feelings of the easily-offended.

          1. @joepa Thanks Joe! It’s good to hear that. And yes, life’s way too short for that :)

    2. Traverse (@)
      22nd July 2013, 3:47

      All Williams have to do is at the Brazillian GP make sure that one of their drivers (preferably Maldonado) conveniently comes down with a bout of flu and then Susie can race in the final gp of the season. They can then assess her potential in an actual gp and see what she’s made of. Ya never know, she might surprise us all!

      1. @hellotraverse – wow, what little respect you have for Maldonado and how quickly you’d see his contract violated to serve a gender-baiting agenda of political correctness. How offensive – patently so!

        1. Traverse (@)
          23rd July 2013, 1:02

          Considering that Maldonado is a ‘pay driver’ that (aside from the Spanish GP last year) seldom performs and has proven himself to be a dangerous, petulant driver, one could argue that he shouldn’t even be in F1. If Maldonado was a women, he probably wouldn’t be afforded such leeway.

    3. I fully agree with montreal95. A YDT outing cant be used to justify Susie Wolff’s miserable DTM career or her being given an F1 seat in the future simply because she hasnt done any competitive open-wheel racing for a very long time. (And even back in her “prime” she was pretty untalented). Something is seriously wrong with those who compare Susie to Gutierrez, these folks need to begin following junior formulae racing properly.

    4. Steph (@stephanief1990)
      22nd July 2013, 17:07

      Predictably, my point has been missed because I think I referred to Wolff once- my point was about women racers in general and how constantly men who have done little to warrant a seat (in recent years I can think of Senna, Maldonado, Gutierrez, Kobayashi, de la Rosa, Petrov) yet still have a chance at a seat yet a woman who even gets close to it who isn’t good enough gets rude, shouty and insulting comments. I’m pointing out attitudes and sexism that still exists in the sport, not about how good Wolff actually is or isn’t.

      1. @stephanief1990

        in recent years I can think of Senna, Maldonado, Gutierrez, Kobayashi, de la Rosa, Petrov

        Gutierrez has a much better junior record than these drivers..he won both Formula BMW Europe and GP3, and finished 3rd in GP2 last year. Has a better junior record than the other Mexican driver in F1.

      2. @stephanief1990 First of all, as I’d pointed out above, since the marketing potential of a female driver is great and Bernie is all about marketing, it’s actually to a half-decent female driver to get to F1 than a half-decent male. Remember what he said about D.Patrick even though she’s clearly not F1 material? So your main point is wrong IMO.

        Now I don’t dispute that sexism may exist in junior formulae in some sort which stops the development of female driver at an early stage somehow, simply because I don’t know enough about the subject. But sexism surely is only a benefit for getting to F1 itself

        what I disagree with you most on is the argument you chose to prove that point of yours. Is there any female driver you know of that is a FBMW champion and a GP3 champion as Gutierrez is? Or a GP2 Asia champion and a multiple race winner in every championship he participated in as Kobayashi? any GP2 champion as Maldonado or runner-ups as Senna and Petrov? And what do you know about PdLR? Certainly not that he was champion in FFord, Frenault 2.0, F3 Japan and Formula Nippon? Show me a female driver who did half of that and I’ll tell you that she will be in F1 shortly.
        Actually the only female driver potentially suitable for F1 in the whole world right now is Simona de Silvestro. No one else

        And mentioning those drivers you did, in the way you did, is extremely insulting for them and their fans( and I happen to be quite a fan of one of them). Nothing personal, but you should really do your research before you post something like this

        1. missed a word: “it’s actually EASIER to a half-decent female driver to get to F1 than a half-decent male” I meant to say

        2. what I disagree with you most on is the argument you chose to prove that point of yours…And mentioning those drivers you did, in the way you did, is extremely insulting for them and their fans( and I happen to be quite a fan of one of them). Nothing personal, but you should really do your research before you post something like this

          @montreal95 – BOOYAH! Game – Set – and Match!

          Thank you for articulating what I felt compelled to address also: the disrespect shown by @stephanief1990 towards the drivers in question, all of whom were consistently successful in junior categories, and also her delusional assessment of their pre-F1 careers and what basis those results provide for “justifying” their ascendance to F1.

          They all demonstrated talent sufficient to regular manifest the ABILITY TO WIN, something Susie Wolff cannot and will not EVER do, b/c she is simply not sufficiently talented!

      3. MAL has shown flashes of greatness from time to time. Hard to say if it’s the car or him. Same can be said for KOB. In no way should those two lumped together with SEN, PET, DLR, etc

        1. @beejis60 – dude, Maldonado is a GP WINNER! I’m sorry, but once you’ve won a GP, even if you never win another, that earns you separation into a unique category, elevated from all the drivers like SEN, PET, DLR, etc. I know you’re saying just that, and we’re in agreement – I’m just saying it more emphatically and suggesting you give MAL the props he deserves – dude won a GP! And NO ONE will EVER take that from him! hehe He’s a super-grande in Venezuela…free gas for life from PDVSA-subsidiaries, btw! (just kidding)

        2. Fernando Cruz
          24th July 2013, 17:56

          The same can be said for Senna (Malaysia 2012 in the rain). The difference is that Senna had much worse conditions to prove himself in F1 – only one full season with a competitive car and losing 15 FP1, not to mention he lost too much ground without a proper development between 2009 and 2011.

          Having fair conditions Senna can win races and fight for championships, as he did in F3 and GP2 and would have done in F1 had he started with Honda or Brawn in 2009. He is proving it again in the WEC, showing more talent than an overrated Kamui Kobayashi…

          1. RaceProUK (@)
            24th July 2013, 18:00

            Kobayashi has two podiums from three races, and 4th in the third. Hardly overrated.

          2. Koba is doing a great job in WEC. And I think it’s fair to say the 458GT isn’t as fast as Aston Martin’s Senna has been driving. He could have had another podium @ Le Mans, but the record number of safety cars ruined the race.

          3. Fernando Cruz
            25th July 2013, 19:34

            I don’t say Koba is not doing a good job, but that he’s not at the same level of Senna. The brazilian could have 3 wins without a SC in Spa and a mistake of Makowiecki in Le Mans. In Spa he got Pole, beating much more experienced drivers in GTE Cars and Koba is not at that level yet with a car that at that track was as quick as the Aston Martin. Senna also managed to do better average lap times during the races, showing more speed and consistency than Kobayashi in comparison with their respective team mates.

      4. Fernando Cruz
        24th July 2013, 17:49

        Senna did more than enough to deserve a F1 seat in 2009 (he had better results in junior series than Damon Hill and could also win in his rookie season if he had similar conditions to those Hill had in F1). Had that happen he would be a much better driver now. He would start in F1 when his form was at its best (coming from a compettive year in GP2) and he would develop much more between 2009 and 2011.

    5. Considering that Susie has won an award as Best Female Karter in the world after taking part in the World Karting Championship, and had a season in Formula Renault 2.0 UK where she finished not far off Paul di Resta, including being on the McLaren Autosport Young Driver list, she’s well placed to be an F1 development driver. We can easily make a top 5 single seater women list at the moment of Simona de Silvestro, Danica Patrick, Susie Wolff, Alice Powell and Beitske Visser.. This could expand to 10, 15, 20 in the world considering all the women taking part in the USA, different types of racing, etc.

      I think women are best represented at early karting levels and drop out as the years progress, from what I can remember reading. Obviously because of the prohibitive cost, but also partly due to lack of role models at the top level of the sport (F1), while the situation is a little bit better in the US.

  9. I have no problem with female drivers using their gender to promote their career, but I still think CotD is silly and hard to agree with.

    First of all, I believe people weren’t annoyed yesterday because Wolff is using her gender to get in to Formula One, but because Wolff said she didn’t want to use her gender to get in to Formula One, whereas everyone can see that’s the only reason he got to test for Williams. Everyone would be as annoyed if one of the pay drivers insisted they didn’t want to use their sponsor money to get in to Formula One.

    Why must women have to be so much better to get a chance that an average racing man could? Why can only a female Schumacher have a shot when we get male drivers like Gutierrez every single season?

    Now that is a huge straw man. No one is expecting “a female Schumacher”, but couldn’t the next female driver be at least close to decent (unlike Wolff)?

    Gutierrez was 3rd in GP2 last season, any woman driver achieving that would have no problem getting into Formula One. Susie Wolff is far worse than Gutierrez and comparing them two is insulting Esteban in my opinion.

    The reason we don’t have more women drivers is purely because of the toxic culture of F1 (and motor sports in general).

    That’s possible, but the reason we don’t have female drivers in Formula One is that none of the female drivers trying to get into Formula One is good enough at the moment. Any female Formula One driver would have a huge marketing value, so I believe any decent (Chilton or better) female driver would have a contract in no time.

    1. @hotbottoms Great post! I think also that it’s in fact easier for a half-decent female driver to get to F1 than a male driver. The moment Bernie sees a half-decent woman on her way to F1(as you’d said Chilton level will be enough), he’ll ease the way right through for her. But, there aren’t any. Maybe the problem lies in the lower junior formulae, and karting? Like, for example, parents not encouraging their daughters enough to go beyond a hobby as they would encourage their sons should they show promise? That’s just one possibility

      Be that as it may, there’s only 1 female driver currently in the world who I would like to have a go in an F1 car to see how she manages and that’s Simona de Silvestro. she already proved in indycar that she can compete with the best and not be out of her depth

    2. the reason we don’t have female drivers in Formula One is that none of the female drivers trying to get into Formula One is good enough at the moment.

      @hotbottoms This has been the case for the last thirty years. Surely the lack of talented women in the lower categories is a consequence of a much larger problem, not the actual problem?

      1. Is there a problem though? I think it’s a lot simpler. I think at the age you have to be to start your career in racing – before 10 anyway – I think that the vast majority of people trying to get into karting will be boys. Not because of any discrimination or problem, but just because at that age many more boys will be interested in motorsport than girls.

        I admit I have no clue how the junior formula work in the UK or anywhere else, and I don’t know how many girls are trying to get into karting at a young age. Obviously girls can be/are as competitive as boys at young ages also, but more boys will want to take up motorsport over other things and I don’t think there’s anything that will change that.

        1. I think at the age you have to be to start your career in racing – before 10 anyway – I think that the vast majority of people trying to get into karting will be boys. Not because of any discrimination or problem, but just because at that age many more boys will be interested in motorsport than girls.

          I think that really, your comment only exemplarily shows how what @andeae23 writes is true here @mwahahaha

          The only reason why boys are more interested in cars and racing at that age is a cultural one (where boys are frowned upon to play with dolls and girls are still frowned upon to like cars, bikes, skateboards and football). And that cultural problem is what is meant in the post you are reacting to. Unless we get over that one, it will be hard to give equal opportunity to all people who want to be racers and do have the talent for it.

          1. @bascb

            The only reason why boys are more interested in cars and racing at that age is a cultural one

            I beg to disagree. While culture does play a role, a big part is played by our genetic make-up. There have been numerous studies confirming inborn tendencies, a few year ago I’ve even read an interesting paper about an experiment involving game preference in apes. So even in a culturally neutral society we would most likely still see only a small proportion of female drivers.
            Still, I agree that right now, given a girl and a boy of equal enthusiasm for motosport, the boy’s father is more likely to invest money in his development. However, I do not see why F1 should be blamed for that or expected to do something about it.
            I believe that the right way to approach this problem (in general, not just in F1) is first, to show that doors are open, and second, to make sure that people are treated on merit (which in F1 may include the ability to bring money, however little I like it). If we do that, the society will in time find the natural balance, which in many areas most likely will not be 50:50.
            In Formula 1, the first part has already been done, and I see no indication that the second part is not true concerning gender.

          2. Sorry to disagree @bascb, nuture may play a part but nature has been shown to be a far stronger force in gender development.

    3. @hotbottoms – well said!

      btw: I can’t stand how all the gender-baiters act like Susie Wolff’s critics hate women! ***?! Women are great! It’s just that insufficiently talented ones don’t belong in F1!

  10. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    22nd July 2013, 1:59

    Re: COTD

    It really has nothing to do with biology either. Science has found that women can be just strong and just capable as men.

    Actually, this isn’t true. I have a degree in Exercise Physiology in relation to Human Performance.

    The short answer is: This is untrue.

    I have nothing against women, and I am in no way sexist, but “science” has proven that women cannot be as muscularly strong as men without a resistance regime. It’s mainly due to body composition and hormone concentration.

    That’s not to say that a woman cannot be stronger than a man, because there will be a small percentage (I.e. Women Body Builders, or women with a higher than average testosterone concentration) that will be stronger than the average male.

    Having said all that, I really do want to see more women in Formula 1, if not as drivers, then as team personnel (I.e. Monisha K. and Claire Williams) based on merit and qualification rather than “diversity”.

    1. I Love the Pope
      22nd July 2013, 3:01

      I support this. Well said!

    2. @tophercheese21 Thank you. Biological differences do exist, and trying to deny them is simply pointless. You can’t have a prejudice against others based on biological differences, but there’s nothing wrong in acknowledging them.

      1. It’s only a prejudice if it’s a judgement stated without the necessary information/facts to justify it. When a person has a degree in Exercise Physiology in relation to Human Performance and says “women in general are not as strong as men in general” it’s no prejudice. Just as when we compare the performances shown by “the average racing woman” and the “average racing man”, both in history of motorsports or the current situation and conclude that men are faster than women. No prejudice, just a fact, at least for now.

        1. Actually if you’re talking the average racers then you’ll probably find them about equal. For every Hamilton there’ll be a Joe Slow.

          Whilst strength is different between men and women, I see no reason for women to be far behind men in racing. Theres just a lot less of them. Theres one or two about though, I watched a stunning race from Alice Powell in the F3 cup last month at brands, was really impressed and have to admit I’ve become a bit of a fan.

    3. I think it’s quite obvious that men and women are different and, in norm, men are physically stronger but sure a woman can be strong enough to wina GP.

      I was watching F3 euroseries a few days ago and there were two female drivers and I was not impressed :(

      1. @jcost If you’re talking about Cerruti and Calderon, they are probably D+ level drivers at best. If you ever happen to watch ADAC Formel Masters, watch out for this girl: Beitske Visser.

        1. I’ll check that @wsrgo

    4. I think it could be worth supporting that post with some examples, i.e. that any top 100 male tennis player can basically walk right over the number 1 female any day. And please mind you that despite making that statement I very much doubt that I would ever make it to score a single point against Serena. :-)

      That leads me to the fact that though F1 is very physical it doesn’t mean that women cannot acquire the necessary strength to perform well. After all the it is not a competition on physical performance.

      Unfortunately there are other differences as well. The thousands of years of hunting has made male depth perception about four times better than that of females which is an ability that can be projected directly onto how precisely a corner is hit.

      I would also love to see fantastic female racers (some of those boys would have a seriously hard time getting beaten by a girl) but just like soccer and cycling are divided in male and female, I am afraid it would take a lot for woman to ever be really successful.

      Even so I am positive that it would be entirely possible for a woman to be competitive but let’s face the real reason why we have so few contenders: How many dads out there consistently spend half the family budget to take their little daughters racing from age five?

      So before we start blaming the lack of females in racing on politics or physical difference; maybe we should take a good look at ourselves!

      1. I think the first part of your statement makes sense @poul, but you lost me at the part where you mentioned the

        The thousands of years of hunting has made male depth perception about four times better than that of females which is an ability that can be projected directly onto how precisely a corner is hit.

        because I relly am not all that convinced that that is actually true.

        Racing is something that needs talent, and a lot of training. When someone has the talent, and starts soon enough to get the training to the same level as others of the same age, there really is no reason why a female driver should have a disadvantage over a male driver.

        Off course we still have the big problem of how we get these talented people into F1, when there’s not a father, mother, family capital or state to field the bills, as you rightly state!

    5. Thing about racing is it’s not all about fitness or strength. If it was Button would probably win the majority of races with all the triathalons he does. Theres a lot of other things such as spacial awareness, reactions/reflexes, mental acuity, some natural talent and dedication/training that makes the difference. And anyone can improve with the right attitude, just look at what Senna said about racing in the wet, and how he was useless at first.
      I think a woman can easily be fit/strong enough for GP racing and there is no scientific reason they can’t be just as good or better than men. I think it just comes down to less women wanting or even considering it as a career as there are few top female racers competing. I think this will start to change over the next few decades though, especially in the US who seem to be ahead of the rest of the world in that respect.

  11. Funny poll at the Ferrari site (when you go to the Koba link, there’s that poll on the right of the page). It says… well, see the result yourselves

    1. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
      22nd July 2013, 3:08

      Ferrari website has high rating for alonso stop the presses. Kimi seb and nico each have around a 3rd of alonsos votes. I doubt we’d see such a “close” result with the exact same poll on other teams websites.

    2. @omarr-pepper can you post the link please. I can´t seem to find it

    3. I have nothing against Ferrari fans, but the fanaticism of some of them is ridiculous

      1. @omarr-pepper @celeste & @mnm101 I am a Ferrari fan. But I voted Vettel in that poll since he has maximized his advantage over the last few race weekends.

        1. @seahorse I know that obviously for every fan base there are people who will side with their team no matter what, and others that look at things rationally (such as yourself), and i don’t have a problem with either, but what really makes me laugh is that in what universe has Massa performed better than Hamilton this season

        2. Is funny how the mind of a F1 fan or better said “fanatic” work. Even when people like to think that is not affect your judgement, it does. You can find a thousand way to justified or defend you favorite driver actions or performance.

    4. I have nothing against Red Bull fans, but the fanaticism of some of them is ridiculous

      1. @nomore yep, sometimes some of us can also see a parallel universe an comment based on that. and please, if you see a similar poll on any RB fanbase site, but saying for example that Webber has driven this year better than Alonso, post the link (Because, as people say in Peru, “when it rains, everybody gets wet”) so we can also laugh about that perception of reality

        1. if you see a similar poll on any RB fanbase site,

          I didn’t know that Red Bull have a fan base !!!!!!!!!!!!!

        2. @omarr-pepper Just because there has not been a similar poll discovered on a Red Bull fan site, it does not mean there are not similar fanatics in the Red Bull camp; it only means we do not have a poll to gauge the fanaticism of Red Bull fans.

          As @mnm101 points out in the comment above you can witness different kind of people and mindsets across any fan base.

    5. Here are the results here as of 10:50 – it’s quite hilarious actually that any F1 fan would consider Massa’s performance anything besides bad, verging on abysmal.

      Alonso has almost triple the votes of Vettel as well and Räikkönen more than Vettel which definitely isn’t representative of reality I’m sure most would agree. I understand that of course there is always going to be a certain degree of bias towards Ferrari drivers on the Ferrari website but it’s a bit rich to effectively assert Alonso was significantly better than Vettel and Massa better than Hamilton.

      There’s some in every category @nomore!

      1. Just for the record, here’s who I’d put as the top performer in each race so far and overall who I’d rate as the top 10 drivers:

        Australia; Bianchi
        Malaysia; Vettel
        China; Alonso
        Bahrain; Vettel
        Spain; Alonso
        Monaco; Rosberg
        Canada; Vettel
        Britain; Hamilton
        Germany; Vettel

        1 – Vettel
        2 – Hamilton
        3 – Alonso
        4 – Bianchi
        5 – Räikkönen
        6 – Button
        7 – Hülkenberg/Rosberg
        9 – Di Resta
        10 – Perez/Ricciardo

        I know that’s technically 11 drivers and by my own admission I’ve broken my own rule of never rating a losing teammate above the winning half with Ricciardo but I feel he has been more impressive so far this season.

        1. @vettel1 My rating thus far (though it’s not mid-season yet, and Budapest might change things)
          1. Vettel
          2. Raikkonen
          3. Alonso
          4. Hamilton
          5. Rosberg
          6. Bianchi
          7. di Resta
          8. Hulkenberg
          9. Ricciardo
          10. Perez

          1. @wsrgo I agree with yours as well: it’s fairly close to mine! I’m up for quite substantial leeway in my rankings as I think a lot of them have been performing at very similar levels (in fact, I’d only set in stone Vettel at number one). The only guy I think you’ve missed out on is Button though: he’s been quiet about it but he has been impressively consistent in most cases this season. He’s not a top 5 but a solid top 10 I would say.

          2. @vettel1 Yeah Button’s been consistent, but he’s been a bit rattled by Sergio’s over-aggression at times. In fact, he’s no. 11 in my list..:P

          3. @wsrgo I’m sure by the end of the season I’ll have Sergio above him ;)

            Definitely though the title of “most exciting driver pairing” goes to the McLaren boys – they’ve been so closely matched that they’ve given us many class battles – I don’t particularly like Button or McLaren, but hat’s off to them (especially the latter for letting them race)!

  12. Traverse (@)
    22nd July 2013, 3:38

    I know this is primarily an F1 site but I’d like to inform you guys about the sad news that Andrea Antonelli lost his life yesterday in an accident akin to Marco Simoncelli’s: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/othersports/article-2372523/Andrea-Antonelli-dies-motorcycle-crash-World-Supersport-race-Moscow.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

    We can become complacent and take modern safety in motorsport for granted, but when a sad incident like this happens it brings it home that whilst drivers like Grosjean and Maldonado’s antics are entertaining, they’re always only a whisker away from being fatal.

    1. @hellotraverse there is a post in the forum, Keith linked to ot in the round up

      1. Traverse (@)
        22nd July 2013, 11:19

        Thanks for pointing that out, I missed it. :)

    2. Sadly, Kamui, that’s modern F1 for you. Most of the teams either have to take a paying driver or risk going bankrupt. It’s an easy choice if you think about it.

      1. This wasn’t meant to be a reply to anyone, by the way. Not sure why that’s happened…

  13. I guess the problem with the current “Female Driver Discussion” is that people seem to forget that this would not be new to F1 – sometimes, the defenders of Wolff seem to suggest some F1 fans are against having women in the sport.

    There were lady drivers in the past, and if I’m not mistaken, one of them even had a top 6 finish in the 70’s. The novelty would be a podium-able or race winning lady, which doesn’t seem likely at the moment. I agree with COTD that we should not wait until a Lady-Schumacher comes forth to give a woman a shot at F1, but hiring someone who will not perform as well as someone else you could hire, who brings in the same amount of money, just for marketing purposes, is detrimental to the Sport. Specially when that ‘marketing move’ brings absolutely nothing new to F1.

    1. @flig well said, and don’t forget Susie’s age. Not many rookies start at 30 nowadays, and business-wise (besides the fact of who’s her husband) I think it’s not so profitable to invest in a (man or woman) 30-year-old racer who is having his first shot at (modern) F1 so late. I know that in the past racers started even in their 40s, but now, teams want to test barely-grown racers, so if they mess it up, they can just try the next wannabe, but if it ripes well, they can get the most of them, maybe for many years.

  14. I’m sick and tired of reading through dozens of comments all pointing out that Wolff isn’t good enough for F1. The lack of constructive argumentation is this discussion is something that’s really working on my nerves and to be honest it’s entirely missing the point of the ‘women in F1’ debate. Hence a constructive argument.

    Obviously there is a problem with motorsport: the last time a female driver started a race was an odd fourty years ago, so why hasn’t there been anyone since? Is it because there is discrimination by the teams in lower categories, the talent programmes, the sponsors? Or do young girls simply don’t see the point of picking up a motorsport career because they think they can’t reach Formula 1? Or is there another reason?

    The answer is: I don’t know, you don’t know, no one knows. So there has to be a committee, preferably an FIA committee, that will investigate why there aren’t many female drivers (or gay drivers for that matter). The results of that investigation will be presented and action will be taken to ‘fix’ the sport, if necessary. Lucky for us, such a committee already exists… though they don’t seem to be doing any research, just acting blindly, “yes, we’re doing stuff, don’t worry”.

    As a consequence, no one knows what the right thing is to address the unknown problem. What doesn’t work is teams like Williams and Marussia randomly appointing female drivers, saying “you see? We’re progressive, we’re fixing the problem”, without knowing what the problem is. Just look at what happened to them: one of them has had a serious accident and the other is being stoned for not having enough talent. I’m sorry, but to be honest I think this is doing more harm than good.

    1. Well I just read a Vettel interview with a interest comment on the subject, maybe there is not a girl in F1 because there is very few women in motorsport to begin with, and in the lower categories you see lots of boys but very few girls.

      But to have a poor performer woman in F1 is not the way to increse women interest and participation in motorsport, if any it´s probably gonna decrease the chnces for another woman to get the chance. But if we have a good female driver made it then maybe we will see more girls in the feeder categories.

      1. Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1)
        22nd July 2013, 9:45

        There are not many women in racing as women aren’t (generally) interested in motor racing. Although a big thumbs up to my friend who is a 60 year old woman and a passionate F1 fan :-)

    2. @andae23 As I said to one of your posts above, I don’t agree that there is a problem in F1 or motorsport that needs to be fixed, it’s just that girls in general are not as interested in motorsport as boys, and so we see hundreds of boys starting their driving careers with only a handful of girls.

      The reason people are saying and repeating that Susie Wolff is not good enough for F1 is because she isn’t. At no point has anybody said that “women” shouldn’t be in F1, just that Susie shouldn’t. I don’t think it’s unfair to expect any driver in the F1 field to be competitive, and while we have pay drivers such as Esteban and Max they have had much more success over their shorter careers than Susie has. People are talking about this because nobody has considered that a woman could not or should not drive competitively in F1.

      The gay/straight argument you bring up is a very good point, I had never thought of it before. I can’t even guess why there are no openly gay drivers at the moment.

      I think girls could be encouraged to take up motorsport, with some initiatives. But I think what you are talking about is diversification just for the sake of it. In this day and age nobody cares if you are gay, I wouldn’t care if Fernando or Jenson were gay, they’d still be my favourite drivers. Women could/should be encouraged to take up motorsport but they shouldn’t be made to so they can make up the diversity numbers, which I think is what “fixing” the sport implies.

      1. @mwahahaha If you’d assume the problem is girls not being enthusiastic, then ‘fixing’ the sport could possibly involve encouraging them, like you say (so certainly not diversity for the sake of diversity). But if the problem is discrimination, then ‘fixing’ the sport would involve making the team bosses, sponsors etc. aware that there is no difference between men and women in motorsports and basing decision merely on that is unjustified.

        But as I said, I don’t know what the problem is, so I can’t give a waterproof solution. That’s why we need some sort of investigation, I’d say.

      2. oh, and regarding your second paragraph, I know people say it because it’s essentially true, but it’s not moving this debate forward in any way… which is the thing that annoys me.

        1. @andae23 I apologise, I took your comment to “fix” the sport as diversity for its own sake. I’m sure it’s a matter of time when we see a woman/women in F1, and an investigation is probably is what is needed to make it happen as you say.

          The point I was trying to make is that I doubt that discrimination is the problem, and the lack of girls taking up karting is more a cultural thing. But like you say, none of us know.

          I see how it must annoy you, some hot topics in the last few months have irritated me as well! I hope I didn’t annoy you too much by saying she’s not good enough myself :)

          1. @mwahahaha Good we cleared that up! :)

            I hope I didn’t annoy you too much by saying she’s not good enough myself :)

            lol :P

      3. Steph (@stephanief1990)
        22nd July 2013, 17:12

        I can’t even guess why there are no openly gay drivers at the moment.

        Same reason there are barely any out male sports stars in other sports- it’s a really hostile and anti gay, bisexual and trans environment for men. Women are everywhere and they’re expected to sleep with them, heterosexuality is still associated with being a man while being a bit effeminate will often end up with a guy being labelled “gay”. There has been a lot of focus on this in other sports in recent years so if anyone would like any info feel free to contact me.

    3. @andae23 That’s a very good comment, I agree with you.

      As for Wolff, I personally think that we shouldn’t forget that she is just a development driver, who wants to become a race driver, just like every other development / test / reserve driver does. I believe that she’s good enough for her current job but probably not good enough to become a race driver. What she is currently doing certainly doesn’t do any harm to the chances of the young female racers that are hoping to race in F1 one day.

      The question is: What should the next step be to promote gender equality in F1? Should Williams (or any other team) give Wolff a race seat even though she doesn’t seem to have what it takes to be in F1 on merit? I don’t think so. DTM had Wolff, Katherine Legge and Rahel Frey for many years, neither of them did anything memorable and no talented and promising young female racers have joined the series in the meantime, it’s actually a men-only club again. And that brings us back to your point: First F1 (or FIA) needs to understand what the problem is and only then make the next moves. Otherwise we’re talking only about short-term marketing strategies and doubtful experiments.

      1. I Love the Pope
        23rd July 2013, 3:40

        What if, at the end of the day, most women just aren’t interested?

        I mean, why are we worrying about a problem that may not be a problem anyway?

        We don’t worry about women using urinals because the vast majority have no interest in that.

        1. “Some women might not be interested so let’s assume all of them aren’t and act accordingly.”

          Surely it need not be pointed out what flawed reasoning this is.

    4. @andae23 I agree that there should be a comprehensive study to come to the conclusion as to why women haven’t been able to come to F1 after Giovanna Amati in the ’90s, to the extent that I think setting up a parallel women’s championship might not be a bad idea, just to scourge talent for the main series, perhaps, or maybe just keeping it as a separate, distinct series altogether. However, I can’t say the same about gay drivers. Does homosexuality affect performance? Surely it doesn’t…and I don’t see why ‘gay driver’ should be so important. He is a driver, first and foremost, his sexual orientation is completely irrelevant and therefore he shouldn’t be treated as a special person.

      1. @wsrgo completely agree: a big deal should not be made of it, in fact I’d encourage a gay driver to come to a race with their “other half” and leave it at that, no speech necessary, ignore any media questions, just act as if you have no idea why they’re banging on about it. Who will look like the homophobes then? The ones who make a big fuss over it!

        1. @vettel1 Exactly! Well said!!

  15. Comment of the year, I’d say. Differences are negligible and not even relevant. The sport doesn’t require the strength of an average man, but the strength of a fit human. Other physiology is also irrelevant. And the point isn’t that pay drivers are ok, but that our attitude is to one versus another is distorted depending on their gender.

    People can laugh at the man (or woman) tootling round at the back of a Honda civic race at their local track, but they’re still beating all the people in the stands that aren’t competing. And in Susie’s case, as with Max Chilton and anyone else who may or may not be topping up their talent with capital, I’m still jealous and would take their place in a heartbeat.

    1. @splittimes I completely disagree with that last paragraph: very little people in the stands claim to be able to do the job of a Formula 1 driver hence why very few of us chase that profession. However, you expect the person who is chasing that profession to be able to do their job (i.e. compete against the best racing drivers in the world) which Susie Wolff on the face of it is destined to fail to do.

      Let me put it this way: would you entrust a sub-par doctor with dirty needles to do a blood transfusion on the basis that they are still probably better than you? I would hope absolutely not. The same applies to F1 drivers: they ought to be far better than the average person because that’s their profession!

      As for the well-rehearsed biology argument, actually it does make a difference. Men have naturally greater spacial awareness due to their thinner parietal region of the brain which reduces hindrances to this ability, very important for wheel-to-wheel situations in F1. Men also have an inherently better ability to track objects through space, also a useful trait, and crucially men have faster reaction times and quicker physical responses than women.

      So on a biological level women are disadvantaged in racing. One more thing: most data analysis in F1 is numerical, and men are also biologically better at numeracy and maths. Essentially, one cannot ignore the fact that on average men are more suited to becoming F1 drivers that women.

      That is of course not to say a woman can’t become highly successful, but the likelihood is less even without skewed attitudes (which I should clarify I don’t agree with: women and men should be assessed with the same standards).

    2. Steph (@stephanief1990)
      22nd July 2013, 17:13

      Thanks @splittimes . I think you’re one of the few people who actually read my comment given that almost everyone thinks I suddenly support pay drivers which has never been the case (as long time f1fanatics will know)!

  16. jimscreechy (@)
    22nd July 2013, 12:05

    @Stephanief1990 Re: COTD I think you need to go do a course on human physiology judging from the inaccuracy of some of the comments you have made. I appreciate the sentiment, even the notion, but for gods sake at least understand the facts before allowing your perceived notions to ruin your credibility. How did this even make it to Comment of the Day?

    1. Perhaps Keith was looking to spark an enormous debate? Nothing seems to inflame an F1 Fanatic more than the discussion on pay drivers or the merits of Susie Wolff. So a combination of the two was no doubt going to make the website explode.

      1. jimscreechy (@)
        22nd July 2013, 17:07


  17. Love that chain of headlines on the f1 fanatic home page:

    ‘Many teams choose money over ability’ – Kobayashi

    …immediately followed by:

    Kobayashi crashes Ferrari in demo run. Great timing.

  18. Why can only a female Schumacher have a shot when we get male drivers like Gutierrez every single season?

    That’s a very poor analogy. Gutierrez was GP3 champion and won races in GP2, both achievements far beyond what Wollf could ever dream of.

    There is something to the underlying point – yes, we do see men in F1 who hardly deserve to be there. Karthikeyan comes to mind. But the solution is to stop allowing unqualified drivers into F1, not to allow more of them in some misguided attempt at fairness. Or if we’re more honest, a misguided attempt at marketing.

    1. @jonsan I should just use you as my universal translator: that is exactly my criticism of the CotD’s opinion, only your wording is far more concise!

  19. As crazy as this sounds, I’ve given this some thought, and the way I see it, Kobayashi wouldn’t be a bad choice for Ferrari for next year. He wouldn’t really challenge Fernando, probably be a bit quicker than Massa, and he could be hired for a modest salary for 1 year, at the end of which Ferrari could sign Bianchi. Ferrari may broker a deal to send Bianchi to Sauber, or keep him in a Marussia 1 more year. I think Bianchi will probably drive a Ferrari eventually, and the more I think about it, the less crazy of an idea it seems to me. I’d definitely like to see it happen.

  20. Thanks for the birthday wish :)

  21. It really has nothing to do with biology either. Science has found that women can be just strong and just capable as men.

    This comment singularly illustrates why it will be a waste of time to respond to the COTD.

  22. Kobayashi’s remarks are so useless. Of course the backmarker teams use pay drivers and even the mid field teams tend to have a single pay driver. At the very least the midfield teams have at least one driver who is there on merit. if Kobayashi isn’t deemed to be good enough to get one of those drives on merit, then why should he run in a backmarker team? Those teams wouldn’t exist without pay drivers anyway.

  23. Wow, just read the COTD. Seriously? Women “can” be just as strong as men. Sure, but the strongest women is not stronger than the strongest man. Not even close.

    F1 drivers DO need a lot of strength. Just watch how drivers suddenly start to perform better when they have been told to work on their fitness level (and do). Try carry 3 times your own bodyweight and then claim strenght isn’t an issue. With a straight face.

    Even the “mediocre” male drivers in F1 have at least some results to their name. They will have won race classes before F1. Even the lowly Gutierrez was champion in Formula BMW Europe, GP3 Series and third in GP2. Suzie Wolff was champion in … well … some karting event.

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