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A cursory evaluation of whether Hulkenberg and Bianchi will be the next Hamiltons or Grosjeans


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#1 Nustang70

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 19:58

Hamilton, Grosjean, Hulkenberg, and Bianchi have had similar pre-f1 careers. In their second season, all of the drivers won the F3 Euro series with ART and graduated to GP2 to mount a rookie-year title challenge with ART. Hamilton, Hulkenberg, and Bianchi all won F3 Euro in dominant fashion; Grosjean did not. Hamilton and Hulkenberg won the GP2 title in their rookie years with ART, driving for ART his first year, Grosjean finished 4th and 13 points shy of the leader in GP2. Bianchi is one of the pre-season favorites to win the GP2 title this year.

F3 Euro Stats:
Hamilton: 7 poles, 6 round 1 wins (out of 10 rounds) Competition: Sutil, di Grassi, Perera
Grosjean: 4 poles, 5 r.1 wins (out of 10 rounds) Competition: Buemi, Hulkenberg, Kobayashi
Hulkenberg F3: 6 poles, r.1 7 wins (out of 10 rounds) Competition: Motara, Bianchi, van der Zande
Bianchi F3: 6 poles, 7 r.1 wins (out of 10 rounds) Competition: Vietoris, Bottas, Sims

GP2 Stats:
Hamilton: 1 pole, 3 round 1 wins (out of 12 rounds) Competition: Piquet, Premat, Glock
Grosjean: 1 pole, 1 r.1 win (out of 10 rounds) Competition: Pantano, Senna, di Grassi
Hulkenberg: 3 poles, 3 r.1 (wins out of 10 rounds) Competition: Grosjean, Petrov, di Grassi

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#2 noikeee

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 20:03

I think that says little because every year is different. You might conclude Grosjean is the poorest of the 4 given his F1 failure last year, and given that he has worse stats than the others, but then his F3 Euro competition had got to be the strongest...

The difference in stats isn't that big between the 4 of them, anyway.

#3 Nustang70

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 20:26

I think that says little because every year is different. You might conclude Grosjean is the poorest of the 4 given his F1 failure last year, and given that he has worse stats than the others, but then his F3 Euro competition had got to be the strongest...


How was Grosjean's F3 Euro competition any stronger than Hamilton's? I'd say that Hulkenberg's wasn't much easier than Grosjean's either. And another year might give more perspective on Bianchi's competition.

#4 ivanalesi

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 00:39

Actually Grosjean is a good driver, he was just against Alonso and as all the other mid-season seat fillers, he had hard time, but on a couple of times he was showing speed. I watched him the other day on his 2nd race in Andros Trophy and he put his not so competitive Clio on pole! Prost's Dacia, the BMWs and Toyotas are all faster than the Clio, yet the guy was fastest:)
Otherwise Hulkenberg was truly impressive this season, while Bianchi was impressive in F3ES and very disappointing at Macau, almost also run for his 2nd time in a row.

Edited by ivanalesi, 23 January 2010 - 00:40.


#5 Dolph

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 08:39

Grosjean needs a proper chance, IMHO. For a midseason seat filler he did very good in my opinion.

#6 Bloggsworth

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 08:57

They won't. That's finished then. NEXT!

#7 Lord_Shaitan

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 08:58

Grosjean proved mainly 2 things. First one was good speed, he was suprisingly close to Alonso. But the second one was lack of stability and tendency to being a part of negative actions on track. Hard to say whether second thing was "rookie's ability" or just way of driving in F1.

#8 Captain Tightpants

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 08:58

You analysis is somewhat compromised by the Kobayashi Factor. On paper, Romain Grosjean was a stronger driver than Kamui Kobayashi. In practice, Kobayashi had the upper hand. A driver's results count for very little if they cannot thrive in the spotlight.

#9 Lord_Shaitan

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 09:19

You analysis is somewhat compromised by the Kobayashi Factor. On paper, Romain Grosjean was a stronger driver than Kamui Kobayashi. In practice, Kobayashi had the upper hand. A driver's results count for very little if they cannot thrive in the spotlight.


Yeah, true definately. So if I were a team boss I wouldn't give him second chance. As I said, good speed but a lot of stupid errors which maked his bad reputation. Generally it's hard to find young error free rookie.

#10 Captain Tightpants

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 09:23

Yeah, true definately. So if I were a team boss I wouldn't give him second chance. As I said, good speed but a lot of stupid errors which maked his bad reputation. Generally it's hard to find young error free rookie.

If I were Eric Boullier, I'd consider palming him off to one of the new teams - like Campos - and let him have some decent running free of pressure in exchange for a Renault engine deal in the future. However, such a move would probably require continuity in the leadership at Renault in order to work.

#11 Simon Says

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 09:55

Lewis also won all the Master F3 titles in the same year, the internation Zandvoort and Macau race. That really seperates him from all the others. Usually when a driver wins 1 Master's title, they usually end up in F1. But winning them all in the same year? :lol:

But there is also Kobayashi, he's doing great :wave:

#12 jeze

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 11:00

I think it's unfair to suggest that Kobayashi is a better driver than Grosjean.

1, When they were team-mates at ASM in 2007, Grosjean wiped the floor with Kobayashi, who lost out to the rookie Hülkenberg as well.

2, Kobayashi finished 16:th twice in GP2, and even though he won Asia, so did Grosjean. Adding to it, Grosjean won several GP2 races, including three feature-races, whereas Kobayashi only won a solitary sprint race.

3, Grosjean was thrown in at the deep in end in one of the worst cars - alongside multiple World Champion Fernando Alonso. In his debut, he qualified within three tenths of the ex-champion, and even though he struggled in the racers, he wasn't that far off on raw pace.

4, Kobayashi, on the other hand, was given a shot in a fantastic Toyota, whose capacity had been masked by a couple of inconsistent, uninspiring drivers. The Toyota car almost generated the same levels of 'peak-downforce' as the Red Bull on the high-speed tracks, and at the end of the season its mechanical grip was pretty much okay as well. What happened was that Kobayashi beat Trulli once, and that didn't mean anything as a demotivated Trulli already was off to Lotus.

If Grosjean's not given another shot at F1, well poor lad :well:

#13 Simon Says

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 11:07

I think it's unfair to suggest that Kobayashi is a better driver than Grosjean.

1, When they were team-mates at ASM in 2007, Grosjean wiped the floor with Kobayashi, who lost out to the rookie Hülkenberg as well.

2, Kobayashi finished 16:th twice in GP2, and even though he won Asia, so did Grosjean. Adding to it, Grosjean won several GP2 races, including three feature-races, whereas Kobayashi only won a solitary sprint race.

3, Grosjean was thrown in at the deep in end in one of the worst cars - alongside multiple World Champion Fernando Alonso. In his debut, he qualified within three tenths of the ex-champion, and even though he struggled in the racers, he wasn't that far off on raw pace.

4, Kobayashi, on the other hand, was given a shot in a fantastic Toyota, whose capacity had been masked by a couple of inconsistent, uninspiring drivers. The Toyota car almost generated the same levels of 'peak-downforce' as the Red Bull on the high-speed tracks, and at the end of the season its mechanical grip was pretty much okay as well. What happened was that Kobayashi beat Trulli once, and that didn't mean anything as a demotivated Trulli already was off to Lotus.

If Grosjean's not given another shot at F1, well poor lad :well:


Toyota was by no means a fantastic car :lol:

editL It shows how pre-F1 succes is not all that important. MS wasn't that special pre-F1. Frentzen looked more impressive them MS at the time.

Edited by Simon Says, 23 January 2010 - 11:08.


#14 Atreiu

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 12:01

I think Grosjean debuted at the worse possible seat in the worse possible time, and with no testing... He'd be the next comming had he done anything decent.

#15 jeze

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 12:11

Toyota was by no means a fantastic car :lol:

editL It shows how pre-F1 succes is not all that important. MS wasn't that special pre-F1. Frentzen looked more impressive them MS at the time.


A car in which Jarno Trulli can be fast around Spa... must be fantastic :wave:

#16 Frozen

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 12:17

Lewis also won all the Master F3 titles in the same year, the internation Zandvoort and Macau race. That really seperates him from all the others. Usually when a driver wins 1 Master's title, they usually end up in F1. But winning them all in the same year? :lol:

But there is also Kobayashi, he's doing great :wave:



Lewis never won Macau, maybe he won a qualy race but that's not a Macau win in any way. What people remember about Macau is the final GP winner, and Lewis was not.


See ya.

#17 jeze

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 12:31

Lewis never won Macau, maybe he won a qualy race but that's not a Macau win in any way. What people remember about Macau is the final GP winner, and Lewis was not.


See ya.


Lewis skipped Macau in 2005, but didn't win it in his rookie year back in 2004, where the winner was Alexandre Prémat  ;) So it doesn't really matter if you win Macau to be honest. But what Hamilton, Hülkenberg and Bianchi all have in common is that they've won the Masters, and Bianchi would've doen it twice had it not been for a very dubious qualifying penalty last year... Hülkenberg finished second in 2008, as well as winning in 2007, so he must've done pretty well there too.

Looking at the last Macau winners, I'm not at all impressed with what they've gone on to achieve, look at Kunimoto, who only scored one point (!) in Formula Nippon last year, but even Conway, Lapierre, Prémat and Gommendy failed to deliver on their promise. Jarvis effectively gave up his single-seater career afterwards, so is difficult to judge. I'm under the impression that all that matters in Macau is keeping the car off the barriers, and have the strongest engine. Don't believe me? Well compare the last decade and see which event is most relevant?

Masters:
2000, Jonathan Cochet (OK, well...)
2001, Takuma Sato
2002, Fabio Carbone (OK, then)
2003, Christian Klien
2004, Alexandre Prémat
2005, Lewis Hamilton
2006, Paul di Resta (good enough to beat Vettel)
2007, Nico Hülkenberg
2008, Jules Bianchi
2009, Valtteri Bottas

Macau:
2000, André Couto (what did I tell you?)
2001, Takuma Sato
2002, Tristan Gommendy (if Superleague is you benchmark, fine)
2003, Nicolas Lapierre (well... in private LMP teams maybe)
2004, Alexandre Prémat (doing the double :eek: )
2005, Lucas di Grassi (not superstar material, but in F1 nonetheless)
2006, Mike Conway (faster than Milka Duno and Ho-Pin Tung, but that's about it)
2007, Oliver Jarvis
2008, Keisuke Kunimoto (Formula Nippon backmarker)
2009, Edoardo Mortara (GP2 no-hoper in debut season)

Looking at those stats I guess that it's quite evident that Masters success is a lot more relevant to future success than Macau, regardless of how difficult Macau's '5 ft wide' track may be.

#18 P123

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 12:37

Lewis never won Macau, maybe he won a qualy race but that's not a Macau win in any way. What people remember about Macau is the final GP winner, and Lewis was not.


See ya.


He took pole at both Zandvoort and Macau. 'Only' won Zandvoort though.

As for comparing the drivers in the junior series, all have been successful. But success there does not always mean success in F1.

#19 olliek88

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 12:39

Regarding the Kobayashi factor, im sure i read somewhere that he said he never liked the GP2 cars because they just didn't suit him and your more limited to what you can change setup wise with a GP2 car than a F1 car, so when he drove the last 2 races last season he found that it suited him more than GP2 and could alter the setup more if/when it didn't suit him. Althou i could just be making this up.

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#20 noikeee

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 13:00

Yeah, true definately. So if I were a team boss I wouldn't give him second chance. As I said, good speed but a lot of stupid errors which maked his bad reputation. Generally it's hard to find young error free rookie.


There's a famous quote by some old driver or team boss (I believe it was Mario Andretti?) who said, "you can tidy up speed, but you can't speed up tidyness".

What matters the most in a rookie is how quick they are, not how error-free they are. That can come later with experience. Felipe Massa is a perfect example.

#21 Vids21

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 13:10

Hulkenberg got the advantage of not being in a topteam, so he can learn out of the spotlights. And I think that Williams is completely focusing their efforts to him, so he can use his full potential he had shown in A1gp, F3 and GP2 in F1 at some point. Unlike Grosjean who had a little time testing the car and had to match a teammate like Alonso with that small amount of preparation.

Barrichello is a great mentor for a rookie driver like, nobody has drivin more GP's than Barrichello so he is the ideal encyclopaedia. It is good to see that Ferrari also learned from their mistakes and set-up a young driver program.

#22 Seanspeed

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 13:58

You analysis is somewhat compromised by the Kobayashi Factor. On paper, Romain Grosjean was a stronger driver than Kamui Kobayashi. In practice, Kobayashi had the upper hand. A driver's results count for very little if they cannot thrive in the spotlight.

Kobayashi has done 2 races.

I'm still yet to be convinced that he's gonna be able to replicate his 'impressiveness' over a full season.

I suppose, though, that something will just 'click' with him in F1. But that kind of possibility just sort of makes this whole evaluation fairly pointless, because certain drivers can go extremely well pre-F1 and not impress when they get here, but others dont need any kind of special pre-F1 record to do extremely well in F1. Seems to be one of those things that just 'clicks' with certain drivers.

I think the main point is that all of these drivers listed have 'potential'. I dont think you can predict by nitpicking the details, whether or not they'll succeed in F1 or not.

#23 Atreiu

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 15:33

A car in which Jarno Trulli can be fast around Spa... must be fantastic :wave:


Too bad they had only one race at Spa, and not 18 last season.
If there ever was a season in which performance was extremely track dependent, that was 2009. And the Toyota hardly set the world afire anywhere despite missing some great opportunities.

#24 craftverk

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 15:43

Too bad they had only one race at Spa, and not 18 last season.
If there ever was a season in which performance was extremely track dependent, that was 2009. And the Toyota hardly set the world afire anywhere despite missing some great opportunities.

Toyota were also quick at Suzuka, and Glock and Trulli aren't really the best guys out there either