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What can be done to have better drivers instead of richer drivers?


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#1 Kyo

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 18:09

The biggest problem in my point of view is that the smaller teams have no incentive to prospect the most talented driver available, since the points he can bring will not be sufficient to make up for the big difference in money that a pay driver brings, and the year after you gonna lose the super talented driver for a bigger team anyway. So they must create a way to reward the teams that gives a talented driver a chance.

How do you do that?

IMO the only way is if the talented driver becomes as profitable as the pay driver for a team. So my suggestion would be giving 10% of all constructor revenue a driver X gets to his first year F1 team, 3% for his second year F1 team and 5% to be divided between their junior formulas teams based in the number of races they did for each team.
I'm not sure yet what I would consider a 1st year F1 team, but I believe this would need some specific rule like the driver must do more than 1/3 of the races of the season for that team. If a driver does more than 1/3 for a team and change teams and do more than 1/3 for the other team they split the 10% based on the number of races the driver did for each team. Obviously the % could be changed too to better achieve this goal.

For example: Last year Vettel achieved 61% of the WCC points for RBR so I will consider he generated 61% of RBR prize revenue and Webber 39%. RBR total WCC prize revenue will be $100,000,000.00 so STR would receive 13% of the $61,000,000.00 (Vettel's part) and 10% of the $39,000,000.00 (Webber part) instead of RBR. 5% of the 100,000,000.00 would go to formula teams. This way the smaller teams would have a big incentive to give the seat for the best possible driver, since he could generate a good amount of profit in the future.
In the end we would have
RBR receiving $83,170,000.00
STR receiving $11,830,000.00
Numerous Formulas teams splitting $5,000,000.00


So, What are your opinions? would it work? Any other ideas to diminish the need of pay drivers?

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#2 Kingshark

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 18:42

Increase Constructor's prize money. Give the teams more cash, a greater proportion of Formula 1's final annual income.

That is how the importance of sponsors would decrease, and eventually pay drivers will fade away.

Edited by Kingshark, 09 January 2013 - 18:42.


#3 Juan Kerr

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 19:10

The biggest problem in my point of view is that the smaller teams have no incentive to prospect the most talented driver available, since the points he can bring will not be sufficient to make up for the big difference in money that a pay driver brings, and the year after you gonna lose the super talented driver for a bigger team anyway. So they must create a way to reward the teams that gives a talented driver a chance.

How do you do that?

IMO the only way is if the talented driver becomes as profitable as the pay driver for a team. So my suggestion would be giving 10% of all constructor revenue a driver X gets to his first year F1 team, 3% for his second year F1 team and 5% to be divided between their junior formulas teams based in the number of races they did for each team.
I'm not sure yet what I would consider a 1st year F1 team, but I believe this would need some specific rule like the driver must do more than 1/3 of the races of the season for that team. If a driver does more than 1/3 for a team and change teams and do more than 1/3 for the other team they split the 10% based on the number of races the driver did for each team. Obviously the % could be changed too to better achieve this goal.

For example: Last year Vettel achieved 61% of the WCC points for RBR so I will consider he generated 61% of RBR prize revenue and Webber 39%. RBR total WCC prize revenue will be $100,000,000.00 so STR would receive 13% of the $61,000,000.00 (Vettel's part) and 10% of the $39,000,000.00 (Webber part) instead of RBR. 5% of the 100,000,000.00 would go to formula teams. This way the smaller teams would have a big incentive to give the seat for the best possible driver, since he could generate a good amount of profit in the future.
In the end we would have
RBR receiving $83,170,000.00
STR receiving $11,830,000.00
Numerous Formulas teams splitting $5,000,000.00


So, What are your opinions? would it work? Any other ideas to diminish the need of pay drivers?

Take the money out of F1, that's all, no-one cares how much it costs just keep producing standard cars and equipment, let them test as much as they like and then finally we'll find the truly worlds best drivers. There are many other ways to work out a divisions for drivers to escalate just as is now.

#4 seahawk

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 19:33

The real pay driver apart, but who says that hose guys with the money are not talented?

Perez - talented enough for a Macca seat
Petrov - won the 10th place in the WCC for Caterham, quite equal to the other driver in the team
Maldonado - won a race

Even Senna who might be out of a drive next season did not do too bad either.


#5 pingu666

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 19:34

we love it because its a big money sport, few people care much about the dakar which is a tougher test on drivers and cars, more dramatic too.

you could of bought a ride in a hummer (fast enough to win overall) for 1.5million dollars, thats 2 weeks of racing, 8000ish km, plus testing. and thats commercialy viable sponsorship for the exposure you would get, but in normal f1 sponsors arent coming in very much :/




#6 Kvothe

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 21:54

Increase Constructor's prize money. Give the teams more cash, a greater proportion of Formula 1's final annual income.

That is how the importance of sponsors would decrease, and eventually pay drivers will fade away.


This is one good solution which unfortunately isn't going to happen, purely because Bernia and the FIA seem determined to wrest as much money away from the teams as possible, the latest example being the modification to the entry fees, and the only ones capable of opposing them, the teams seem unable to work in unison, allowing themselves time after time to be divided and conquered as soon as the time is ripe to reaffirm the concorde agreement, choosing marginal benefits and favoring the easiest path as opposed to the more difficult but rewarding one.

#7 Anderis

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 22:13

The way how to fix this problem is quite easy and not as artificial as the one proposed in the opening post. In fact, the idea in the opening post could lead to the situation that top teams would rather keep their current, even if average performing drivers, instead of giving a chance younger and more promising drivers from lower half of the field in order to keep their incomes at the maximum level.

I think the idea which would work much better is just to get budget cap (or something what works in simillar way) and bring less imparity between top and bottom teams in sharing the money from FOM. Therefore, there would not be as big imparity between what top, midfield and bottom teams can spend, so the meaning of additional cash becomes less important compared to actual driving skills. In this scenario, driver becomes a bigger differentiator over money than it is now, so teams are encouraged to look for the best possible drivers rather than best driver-sponsorship package, as it is for most of the teams now

When Ferrari gets something like $90 million per year from FOM alone and can spend it without much limitations, while Marussia only gets something like $10 million per year from FOM, there is an absolute necessity for Marussia to find money anywhere they can. Things get a bit better for teams finishing in the top 10 in WCC, but still getting something like 7th or 8th gives you only half as much money as frontrunners. Top teams have also significant advantage when it comes to sponsorship, so the imparity is still significant. Midfield teams are still forced to look for pay-drivers if they want to challenge front-runners on a consistent basis.

When Red Bull can spend about $250 million (data from 2011) per year, Williams is forced to get Maldonado with his $45 millions to improve their spending ability from $90 to $135 million per year (data from 2011 as well), because this makes more difference than having the best possible driver for them (not that I think that Pastor is an useless driver, but I'm sure Williams would've keep him even if he has clearly proven to be below average driver overall with no potential for improvement). Therefore Marussia is forced to get Chilton with his $12 million to improve their spending ability from $60 to $72 million (this is not verified, numbers can be slightly different) to keep their chance to be anywhere near midfield alive.

If there is a budget cap which brings top teams' spending ability to let's say $100 million per year (some things that don't have a direct influence on car's performance, like driver's salaries can be excluded), teams like Williams are not forced to get paydrivers, because their spending ability is simillar to top teams, so it's better for them to have the best possible drivers. Going beyond that, Marussia gets more fair share of their FOM money can increase their spending abillity without paydrivers from $60 to $80 million per year, so the option of having the best possible driver line-up is becoming worth-considering for them as well.
Not to mention that with budget cap we can get rid of these all testing, wind tunnel etc. limitations, because everybody can spend their $100 million whatever way they want without being afraid it will kill many teams financially.

Edited by Anderis, 09 January 2013 - 22:18.


#8 Mauseri

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 23:13

All sponsors who like to show in the cars give their money to FIA in accordance with the success of selected team and visibility of the logo, teams receive income only from money prizes and buy the drivers they would like to have in their car.

#9 Watkins74

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 00:19

Although I like having both cars with the same livery it limits the number of companies that can afford to sponsor an entire team. If they allowed each car it's own livery/sponsor you could possibly get more interest from smaller companies who could afford to sponsor 1 car.

I hope they keep it the way it is though.

Edited by Watkins74, 10 January 2013 - 04:45.


#10 pingu666

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 04:41

you could have paintschemes for just certain area's, like asia for example


#11 BigCHrome

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 07:55

Get the sport back in control of the teams rather than leaches like the CVC and Bernie Ecclestone.

#12 Group B

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 08:53

The real pay driver apart, but who says that hose guys with the money are not talented?

Perez - talented enough for a Macca seat
Petrov - won the 10th place in the WCC for Caterham, quite equal to the other driver in the team
Maldonado - won a race

Even Senna who might be out of a drive next season did not do too bad either.

Unusually, I'm inclined to agree with seahawk. The pay driver phenomenon is undoubtedly an issue, but it's far from a panic stations situation; in the top 10 seats we have SV, MW, FA, FM, LH, NR, KR, RG, JB & SP, all of whom most people would have in their top dozen, with only Gosjean and Perez needing to confirm their potential. We then have Hulkenberg, Gutierrez, Pastor, Glock, Vergne, di Resta, etc, all of whom are surely worthy F1 drivers. For all of the fretting it's really not that bad, even the most blatant pay drivers such as Bruno and Petrov have kept decent team mates pretty honest.

Is it perfect? Absolutely not; but are there really 5, 6, or 7 drivers with F1 seats whom you can definitely say are inferior to 5, 6 or guys not on the grid?

#13 rhukkas

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 12:20

It costs 250.000 a year to race KF3 karts... so in the end the wealth 'problem' starts at age 12. There is no solution.

#14 Shiroo

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 12:28

The real pay driver apart, but who says that hose guys with the money are not talented?

Perez - talented enough for a Macca seat
Petrov - won the 10th place in the WCC for Caterham, quite equal to the other driver in the team
Maldonado - won a race

Even Senna who might be out of a drive next season did not do too bad either.


For some fans that are butthurt that Alonso didn't won 2010 WDC, Petrov is still pay driver. Personally for me, he is probably the most underrated driver on the grid. He had some really good drives, and he developed himself in pretty fine driver, especially after 2010 mistake prone year. His 2011 was good, he was the better than Senna / Heidfeld in my eyes to be honest and his driving is definetly more exciting than these 2 mentioned above.

On the other hand Senna (Bruno) is probably the most overrated driver on the grid, and he clearly deserved to be get rid off.


As about getting better drivers instead of richer. It is not always like that, in the end teams will get better drivers, like Bottas. In the end better driver can give you more points => more cash from construction placement. But as someone mentioned above, the payment for construcion position should be increased and that would solve a lot of problems

#15 SenorSjon

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 12:35

Although I like having both cars with the same livery it limits the number of companies that can afford to sponsor an entire team. If they allowed each car it's own livery/sponsor you could possibly get more interest from smaller companies who could afford to sponsor 1 car.

I hope they keep it the way it is though.

BAR wanted a lucky strike and 555 car when they started. That wasn't allowed and they ended up with the 'zipper' design.
I would like to see 1-car teams, or perhaps 3-car teams. It was viable in the past (Mercedes/Ferrari in the 50's). I don't know when the two car rule became mandatory, but I believe it was in the end 70's?

Berne rose from the teammanagers ranks. He has grown to the enemy of the guys he once belonged to. :p

#16 seahawk

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 13:10

BAR wanted a lucky strike and 555 car when they started. That wasn't allowed and they ended up with the 'zipper' design.
I would like to see 1-car teams, or perhaps 3-car teams. It was viable in the past (Mercedes/Ferrari in the 50's). I don't know when the two car rule became mandatory, but I believe it was in the end 70's?

Berne rose from the teammanagers ranks. He has grown to the enemy of the guys he once belonged to. :p


3 car teams? 3 RBR, 3 Ferraris, 3 Mclarens and 3 Mercedes. Good chance to score points for the other teams - right?

1 car teams and different liveries for each car would be good.

#17 toroRosso

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 13:18

rich are definetly getting richer in F1 with Marussia getting 10kk and Ferrari getting 90kk. Sure it's fine system but pay drivers are the anomaly you don't want to have because we want to see the best on the field who got there by their own merit.

If you think about it, drivers like Raikkonen who wasn't backed up with governments and massive banks are turned down from the sport right now. We might miss the next Raikkonen, A.Senna and whoever right now because of how it's turned out. Perez, Maldonado can't fill these shoes because they didn't get there by their own merit. They have the stamp of paydriver in their forehead no matter how much they smile or make up. So all those millions are eventually going down the dumpster :)

#18 SpaMaster

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 14:45

Cut the spending in the sport. $300 million per year to $150 million per year would not make much difference to the speed of the cars and the show.

#19 corf

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 14:54

There is no problem. The current situation has the highest quality of drivers we have ever had.

Just a reminder that both Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso were/are pay drivers at some point in their F1 careers.

Very few drivers can reach the fringes of F1 without significant sponsorship in previous series, Hamilton would be included in this. They are all essentially pay drivers at one point in their careers. Motorsport in general is so expensive that talent alone isnt enough.

Edited by corf, 10 January 2013 - 14:57.


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#20 LaoTze

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 15:02

Cut the spending in the sport. $300 million per year to $150 million per year would not make much difference to the speed of the cars and the show.


Have you ever worked in a Formula 1 team?

#21 SpaMaster

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 15:13

^ I don't need to.

#22 Lazy

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 15:27

Get the sport back in control of the teams rather than leaches like the CVC and Bernie Ecclestone.

Have to agree with that as a general statement but is there really a problem with pay drivers?

Pay drivers bring money to small teams to help make the car faster which is the most important to them.

The good drivers bring talent to the established teams which is most important to them.

Is that so bad?


#23 MP422

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 18:20

Life is not fair, you have to pay to play.

#24 ryan86

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 18:53

Was looking at the January 1993 copy of Motorsport today, there was an article then about the same issue. Some things never change.

#25 BigCHrome

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 19:34

Have to agree with that as a general statement but is there really a problem with pay drivers?

Pay drivers bring money to small teams to help make the car faster which is the most important to them.

The good drivers bring talent to the established teams which is most important to them.

Is that so bad?


It is a problem when very good drivers are left without seats for complete scrubs like Max Chilton.

#26 Gagá Bueno

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 20:01

Was looking at the January 1993 copy of Motorsport today, there was an article then about the same issue. Some things never change.


:up: Exactly. And the actual profile of most "paydrivers" has rather improved: It's not more so common to see rich people ( Rebaque, Salazar, von Opel, Foitek, only to name a few ) "amusing" themselves in F1 on family or own money. People like Pérez, Gutiérrez and even Maldonado ( OK, if it must be a Venezuelan, please at least better than Ceccoto Sr. ... ) must have done "a thing or two" in their careers to impress their backers. Actual exceptions would be maybe Chilton and B.Senna (who didn't that bad and seems to be out of F1 anyway ), but are in the minority.

And I don't think we will miss the new A.Senna (who came actually from a very wealthy background... ), Vettel ( Red Bull is still searching for young talent ) or Räikkönen, as long as they show that kind of speed and / or blitz through same base category.

Edited by Gagá Bueno, 10 January 2013 - 20:48.


#27 Myrvold

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 22:04

Did watch a quali-clip from Eurosport in 95 yesterday, where they talked about Pedro Lamy. A man they thought had some good results, and was a good talent. He still had to bring money to Minardi to race. But that was the way it always had been.

#28 LaoTze

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 07:37

^ I don't need to.


:lol:

#29 SenorSjon

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 10:23

3 car teams? 3 RBR, 3 Ferraris, 3 Mclarens and 3 Mercedes. Good chance to score points for the other teams - right?

1 car teams and different liveries for each car would be good.


Well, we had 26 cars and 6 scoring positions (23%). Now we have 22 cars and 10 scoring positions (45%). So when 4 top teams, the top 8 was done and it is the same with 3 cars who occupy the first 12 spots. But chances are, that 12 cars have more failures and crashes than 8 cars.

And I don't see Mercedes as a top team, at the end of last season they really struggled.

#30 7MGTEsup

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 12:42

Well, we had 26 cars and 6 scoring positions (23%). Now we have 22 cars and 10 scoring positions (45%). So when 4 top teams, the top 8 was done and it is the same with 3 cars who occupy the first 12 spots. But chances are, that 12 cars have more failures and crashes than 8 cars.

And I don't see Mercedes as a top team, at the end of last season they really struggled.


Exactly, although the fact that most cars are in the order of 80% reliable these days makes scoring for a small team just as hard.

#31 seahawk

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 12:56

Well, we had 26 cars and 6 scoring positions (23%). Now we have 22 cars and 10 scoring positions (45%). So when 4 top teams, the top 8 was done and it is the same with 3 cars who occupy the first 12 spots. But chances are, that 12 cars have more failures and crashes than 8 cars.

And I don't see Mercedes as a top team, at the end of last season they really struggled.


And that was the reason for the change of the points system. It is way easier for the average person to understand that FI is ahead of Sauber by 3 points, than FI is ahead of Sauber by finishing at place 11 two times more often, while both have 0 points.

Apart from that the midfield teams are now in a position that they can score points regularly by their own achievement. 15 top cars (if we count Lotus and Mercedes) and considering todays reliability of the cars, make this next to impossible and the whole competition becomes another game of luck - just like last seasón´s 10th place

Edited by seahawk, 11 January 2013 - 12:58.


#32 Mauseri

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 15:44

If you think about it, drivers like Raikkonen who wasn't backed up with governments and massive banks are turned down from the sport right now.

Williams is replacing Senna with Bottas who does not have major sponsors or excessive small formula record if I'm not mistaken. Maybe his teammate paying some bills help. I think it's mainly become more difficult for the average seasoned drivers to stay in the sport, with less manufacturers involved and more private midfield and backmarker teams. But teams are still interested to try find the next Senna if they believe there is one.

Edited by Mauseri, 11 January 2013 - 15:46.


#33 Kyo

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 18:46

Williams is replacing Senna with Bottas who does not have major sponsors or excessive small formula record if I'm not mistaken. Maybe his teammate paying some bills help. I think it's mainly become more difficult for the average seasoned drivers to stay in the sport, with less manufacturers involved and more private midfield and backmarker teams. But teams are still interested to try find the next Senna if they believe there is one.

Supposing Bottas is the next A. Senna, what will it bring to Williams? Half a dozen extra points that will not cover the loss in sponsorship this season and he would be gone to one of the bigger teams next season.

#34 Spillage

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 19:05

Essentially it is a really, really simple solution - give the teams a larger cut of the money generated by F1 and they won't need to take on pay drivers. Cannot see it happening though.

There's even a case to be made that drivers 'buying' seats is at the moment the only way fresh talent is making it onto the grid. With the testing ban meaning it is difficult for young drivers to gain experience, young drivers are either having to forge a relationship with a team involving them taking over an existing driver's car for Free Practise - as Bottas and Di Resta did - or simply raising enough money to buy their way onto the grid. Fortunately, many of these are talented drivers - Grosjean and Maldonado were both pay drivers, yet both were also GP2 champions so it was difficult to argue at the time that they didn't deserve a shot at F1. You could even argue that the fact that even the good drivers now need sponsorship means that only the best get to F1; last year, only Karhikeyan and Pic were the only three drivers on the grid who didn't really have the credentials to be an F1 driver, and Pic had a strong year. So I think that the quality of pay drivers has risen since the 1990s. There will be no equivalent of Rosset, Deletraz or even Yamamoto on the F1 grid in 2013.

#35 Arska

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 19:16

Supposing Bottas is the next A. Senna, what will it bring to Williams? Half a dozen extra points that will not cover the loss in sponsorship this season and he would be gone to one of the bigger teams next season.


Unless he's signed to a one year deal he could be sold, just like Kimi after 2001.

#36 pdac

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 19:21

I think the answer is pretty obvious.

For some teams, at the moment, it is more profitable to have a driver that brings sponsorship money to the team than have a driver who can win money for the team. So, the solution is to reverse that. Make the primary source of income - for even the smallest of teams - be from racing results.

One possible idea I can think of is to have an enormous entry fee so that there is plenty of money to return to the teams based on their performance. Of course, this would probably end up with many teams not being able to enter.

#37 pacificquay

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 19:26

The standard of pay-driver now is exceptionally high though.

It's not like we have any Fabrizio Barbazza or Jean-Denis Deletraz type drivers.

#38 Szoelloe

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 19:27

There are so many things that can be done. Nothing is needed to be done though, IMHO. Some of the very best drivers of Formula 1 came from pretty much a plebeian background. 10-12 teams, max 22 drivers, thousands of candidates. It s very rarely a question of getting a seat on the grid. It is always about getting the chance to get a seat on the grid. Exceptional talent always stands out sooner or later.

#39 Anderis

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 21:37

Supposing Bottas is the next A. Senna, what will it bring to Williams? Half a dozen extra points that will not cover the loss in sponsorship this season and he would be gone to one of the bigger teams next season.

Bottas has a long-term deal with Williams.

If he fulfills the promise he gives with his junior formulas results and opinion he has in the racing world, he certainly is able to make a one or two places of difference in WCC in simillar circumstances to 2012, which would alone bring about enough money to compensate the loss in sponsorship, considering the fact that he is also bringing some sponsorship with him. Not to mention that better results give further benefits, like more interest from sponsors etc.

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#40 Myrvold

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 22:05

It's not like we have any Fabrizio Barbazza or Jean-Denis Deletraz type drivers.


Barbazza was never WDC material, but to put him in the same category as Deletraz is mighty unfair. Even though Deletraz has two class wins in Le Mans, he was... well. Poor in F1 to put it in a nice way.

#41 Kyo

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 22:14

Bottas has a long-term deal with Williams.

If he fulfills the promise he gives with his junior formulas results and opinion he has in the racing world, he certainly is able to make a one or two places of difference in WCC in simillar circumstances to 2012, which would alone bring about enough money to compensate the loss in sponsorship, considering the fact that he is also bringing some sponsorship with him. Not to mention that better results give further benefits, like more interest from sponsors etc.

I don't know how is Bottas contract so I'm just talking hypothetically.

If you try your chances with a rookie that doesn't bring a big sponsorship you do a long-term deal (which could backfire if he turns out a bad driver), pray for a field as close as 2012 (most of years will not happen), so if he delivers (some do, others don't) you will be in a similar (maybe a little better) condition if you had chose the pay driver.


Anyway I do share the opinion that todays pay drivers are way better than the past ones.

#42 lbennie

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 02:31

Wouldn't the most talented driver's be the ones that have companies backing them?

you would think it would be in the best interests of these investors to chose the cream of the crop, rather than the also rans... or am i missing something?

I'm not talking about the one's with family money/their country's government backing etc.



#43 boldhakka

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 03:07

Wouldn't the most talented driver's be the ones that have companies backing them?

you would think it would be in the best interests of these investors to chose the cream of the crop, rather than the also rans... or am i missing something?

I'm not talking about the one's with family money/their country's government backing etc.


Not at all. It's the marketability of a driver for their chosen demographic that determines whether a company will fund them or not. An example might be a Spanish bank with an interest in expanding to Latin America. This would prompt them to fund a young Massa over Lewis (just examples).