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How to prove you deserve your seat in F1


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#1 oetzi

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:00

I was just reading the thread about Paul di Resta, and the debate about whether he deserved a drive, and whether he deserved a better seat than the Force India, and it got me thinking about what you need to do to prove you deserve a good seat. And seeing as I mentioned Schumacher in that conversation, I thought I'd start a thread to show what a driver can actually do to announce themselves as a special talent, rather than just a very, very good driver. To put themselves in a position where nobody would doubt they deserve a drive, but also where they're still not free to demand a particular seat, no matter how impressive they are.

Schumacher started in F1 halfway thought '91. Qualified 7th at Spa, got nabbed by Benetton, yadda yadda. Nobody seems to remember his second season. Here's what he did.

Schumacher was at Benetton, paired with Martin Brundle, who absolutely believes he was as good as Senna in equal equipment. And the results in equal equipment suggest he has at least part of a point. The Benetton was roughly the equal second best car. The Williams was in a different race to the rest of the field, with McLaren and Benetton the best of the rest. McLaren's lineup of Senna and Gerhard Berger, who had won Benetton's first ever race, was without doubt the highest rated driver pairing that year.

And, with only 6 races in F1 before the start of that season, Schumacher finished third in the championship. In a championship where he couldn't have realistically finished higher than third, beating Senna and Berger in near-as-dammit equal equipment, and Brundle in the same car. When the car made it to the finish, he only once finished outside the top four once when third was the best position he could realistically expect to achieve at any race in the equipment he had.

That's how you announce you deserve to keep your drive in F1.

Edited by oetzi, 01 February 2013 - 02:21.


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#2 oetzi

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:25

ps I didn't really want to call the topic that, how do I change it? Was just a thought going through my tiny mind, intended to serve as a placeholder, which somehow got left there.

If anyone knows how I can change the thread title, all help will be gratefully received.

Cheers.


#3 BigCHrome

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:44

F1 is a lot more about the car than the driver now than it was in the early 90s.

#4 Kyo

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:52

F1 is a lot more about the car than the driver now than it was in the early 90s.

at the same time the cars are much closer one to another, so a smaller difference can have a bigger impact.

#5 oetzi

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:56

Can a camel pass through the eye of a needle?

#6 Alfisti

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 02:01

F1 is a lot more about the car than the driver now than it was in the early 90s.


I call bullshit.

#7 Jimisgod

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 04:07

That's how you announce you deserve to keep your drive in F1.


So F1 should only be open to the top 10 best drivers ever?

Good drivers aren't going to waltz over their teammates and opposition 100% of the time. Hamilton lost to Button in 2011 no matter how much Autosport tries to forget it. Button had an awful 2002. Schumacher lost to Rosberg for 3 years straight. Kimi was dismal for most of 2008 and was sacked at the end of 2009.

#8 bourbon

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 04:32

F1 is a lot more about the car than the driver now than it was in the early 90s.


If that were the case, Grosjean would have come much higher in the WDC race. The car cannot correct for misjudgments, or self-temper its handling and style to conditions, or select its tyres, or set itself up perfectly for the driver who seats, or check to its left and right or deploy its manual operations, or... It's a 50/50 proposition.





#9 mattferg

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 04:36

I was just reading the thread about Paul di Resta, and the debate about whether he deserved a drive, and whether he deserved a better seat than the Force India, and it got me thinking about what you need to do to prove you deserve a good seat. And seeing as I mentioned Schumacher in that conversation, I thought I'd start a thread to show what a driver can actually do to announce themselves as a special talent, rather than just a very, very good driver. To put themselves in a position where nobody would doubt they deserve a drive, but also where they're still not free to demand a particular seat, no matter how impressive they are.

Schumacher started in F1 halfway thought '91. Qualified 7th at Spa, got nabbed by Benetton, yadda yadda. Nobody seems to remember his second season. Here's what he did.

Schumacher was at Benetton, paired with Martin Brundle, who absolutely believes he was as good as Senna in equal equipment. And the results in equal equipment suggest he has at least part of a point. The Benetton was roughly the equal second best car. The Williams was in a different race to the rest of the field, with McLaren and Benetton the best of the rest. McLaren's lineup of Senna and Gerhard Berger, who had won Benetton's first ever race, was without doubt the highest rated driver pairing that year.

And, with only 6 races in F1 before the start of that season, Schumacher finished third in the championship. In a championship where he couldn't have realistically finished higher than third, beating Senna and Berger in near-as-dammit equal equipment, and Brundle in the same car. When the car made it to the finish, he only once finished outside the top four once when third was the best position he could realistically expect to achieve at any race in the equipment he had.

That's how you announce you deserve to keep your drive in F1.


Toro Rosso being as fickle as they are with drivers, I'd say Vettel finishing fourth in China 07 and winning Monza 08 shows he deserved at least to keep his seat, if not definitely move up to the senior Red Bull team.

#10 BigCHrome

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 04:43

If that were the case, Grosjean would have come much higher in the WDC race. The car cannot correct for misjudgments, or self-temper its handling and style to conditions, or select its tyres, or set itself up perfectly for the driver who seats, or check to its left and right or deploy its manual operations, or... It's a 50/50 proposition.


Growjohn had very good pace at many parts of the season. He didn't pick up a lot of points because of crashes. A lot of the other stuff that you say is done primarily by the team.

#11 gm914

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 05:22

ps I didn't really want to call the topic that, how do I change it? Was just a thought going through my tiny mind, intended to serve as a placeholder, which somehow got left there.

If anyone knows how I can change the thread title, all help will be gratefully received.

Cheers.

Just PM one of the Mods, and let them know what you'd like the Title to be.

#12 Atreiu

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 05:37

Senna 85. Podium everytime he finished against one of the strongest fields ever. Too bad Renault wasnt able to keep up with TAG and Honda on race day.

#13 Igorr

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 05:43

That is why we have 1 Michael and 1 Ayrton.. Also Hamilton's debut season was amazing matching the best driver on the grid in equal car.. Not every driver in F1 can be compared to the greatest and i agree that some of them shouldnt be in a car while some drivers that have proved themselves are watching F1 on the TV.

#14 Kingshark

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 06:14

Button had an awful 2002.

2002 wasn't that bad considering he beat Trulli. I'm guessing that you're talking about 2001?

Regardless, I disagree with OP. There are good drivers and there are greats. By that logic, only the top 6 or 7 drivers deserve to be in F1 on merit alone. Di Resta doesn't have to be a superstar. There are 22 seats in F1, for the 22 best drivers, not 6 or 7, and IMO he's good enough for one of them.

#15 mattferg

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 06:15

2002 wasn't that bad considering he beat Trulli. I'm guessing that you're talking about 2001?

Regardless, I disagree with OP. There are good drivers and there are greats. By that logic, only the top 6 or 7 drivers deserve to be in F1 on merit alone. Di Resta doesn't have to be a superstar. There are 22 seats in F1, for the 22 best drivers, not 6 or 7, and IMO he's good enough for one of them.


That raises the question - who isn't in the top 22 but is in F1? Are people's car numbers directly representative of their car ranking? Discuss.

Edited by mattferg, 01 February 2013 - 06:16.


#16 oetzi

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 09:05

Just PM one of the Mods, and let them know what you'd like the Title to be.

Cheers :up:

#17 oetzi

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 09:11

Toro Rosso being as fickle as they are with drivers, I'd say Vettel finishing fourth in China 07 and winning Monza 08 shows he deserved at least to keep his seat, if not definitely move up to the senior Red Bull team.

Yeah, of course. I wasn't saying that only one person ever had proved they deserved a seat in F1, just trying to put some perspective around the 'Di Resta/Kovalainen/whoever has proved they deserve a seat'. They've shown they're capable of driving an F1 car properly, sure. But I don't think they've shown anything that suggests that you would be shooting yourself in the foot by trying somebody else.


#18 ensign14

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 09:20

Trouble with the OP is it also applies to e.g. Jean Alesi, Bruno Giacomelli or Jean Behra, all of whom had very impressive debut full seasons but never really reached the heights.

Mind you, Senna's debut season was surely the most impressive; nearly winning for a team that had never managed a podium, against a very decent set of team-mates who scored 0 points between them. (Obviously Little Leaf - another with a splendid full debut season - did get a 4th, but only when Senna was absent - and Pierluigi Martini was DNQing...)

#19 billm99uk

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 09:44

I think maldonado has done a pretty good job to convince people he's more than a fat wallet since he arrived. Winning a race is always good!

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#20 oetzi

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 09:46

Trouble with the OP is it also applies to e.g. Jean Alesi, Bruno Giacomelli or Jean Behra, all of whom had very impressive debut full seasons but never really reached the heights.

I'm not old enough to have seen Behra, and I was a 6 year old new to F1 when Giacomelli started, so I can't really comment on how good they looked. As for Alesi, he may never have quite fulfilled what a lot of people thought was his potential, but I don't think anybody doubted he deserved a seat in F1 until he started knocking on a bit.

Mind you, Senna's debut season was surely the most impressive; nearly winning for a team that had never managed a podium, against a very decent set of team-mates who scored 0 points between them.

Yeah, horses for courses. He didn't beat Senna, though :cat:

Obviously Little Leaf - another with a splendid full debut season - did get a 4th, but only when Senna was absent - and Pierluigi Martini was DNQing...

Well, if you drive for both Ferrari and McLaren, I think you can say you've proved you deserve a seat in F1.

#21 oetzi

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 09:47

I think maldonado has done a pretty good job to convince people he's more than a fat wallet since he arrived. Winning a race is always good!

Completely agree. Might need to calm down a little, but he's good enough.

#22 Rob

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 09:57

Mind you, Senna's debut season was surely the most impressive; nearly winning for a team that had never managed a podium, against a very decent set of team-mates who scored 0 points between them. (Obviously Little Leaf - another with a splendid full debut season - did get a 4th, but only when Senna was absent - and Pierluigi Martini was DNQing...)

I still maintain that Pierluigi Martini was better than his performances suggest. I think he would have shone in something better than a Minardi.

#23 oetzi

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:32

I still maintain that Pierluigi Martini was better than his performances suggest. I think he would have shone in something better than a Minardi.

He did a pretty good job in a Minardi.

I always got the same feeling. He was always at smaller teams, and he always scored almost all of the few points they scraped together.

#24 Rob

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:40

He did a pretty good job in a Minardi.


True, but he never seemed to be noticed by the bigger teams.

#25 Levike

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:40

I was just reading the thread about Paul di Resta, and the debate about whether he deserved a drive, and whether he deserved a better seat than the Force India, and it got me thinking about what you need to do to prove you deserve a good seat. And seeing as I mentioned Schumacher in that conversation, I thought I'd start a thread to show what a driver can actually do to announce themselves as a special talent, rather than just a very, very good driver. To put themselves in a position where nobody would doubt they deserve a drive, but also where they're still not free to demand a particular seat, no matter how impressive they are.

Schumacher started in F1 halfway thought '91. Qualified 7th at Spa, got nabbed by Benetton, yadda yadda. Nobody seems to remember his second season. Here's what he did.

Schumacher was at Benetton, paired with Martin Brundle, who absolutely believes he was as good as Senna in equal equipment. And the results in equal equipment suggest he has at least part of a point. The Benetton was roughly the equal second best car. The Williams was in a different race to the rest of the field, with McLaren and Benetton the best of the rest. McLaren's lineup of Senna and Gerhard Berger, who had won Benetton's first ever race, was without doubt the highest rated driver pairing that year.

And, with only 6 races in F1 before the start of that season, Schumacher finished third in the championship. In a championship where he couldn't have realistically finished higher than third, beating Senna and Berger in near-as-dammit equal equipment, and Brundle in the same car. When the car made it to the finish, he only once finished outside the top four once when third was the best position he could realistically expect to achieve at any race in the equipment he had.

That's how you announce you deserve to keep your drive in F1.


Hmm...this was that year when Senna had 7 DNQ vs. Schumacher's 4 ?


#26 oetzi

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:53

True, but he never seemed to be noticed by the bigger teams.

He followed the Ferrari engine from Minardi to Dallara, which suggests Ferrari might have had an interest at some point. If they did, it didn't come to anything though. Minardi took him straight back the next year, so they must have thought highly of him there.

#27 oetzi

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:55

Hmm...this was that year when Senna had 7 DNQ vs. Schumacher's 4 ?

I'm guessing you mean DNFs? I don't know. But the point isn't to compare them, it's to show that a driver can clearly prove they deserve a seat, rather than just suggesting they're good enough.


#28 ensign14

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:57

I still maintain that Pierluigi Martini was better than his performances suggest. I think he would have shone in something better than a Minardi.

Second time around at least, in his first Minardi season he was beaten by the mighty Huub Rothengatter in an Osella. One of those who got to F1 too soon, but unusual in that he managed a second chance and made the most of it (q.v. Peter Revson, Mike Hailwood, perhaps Grosjean).

#29 Rob

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 11:21

He followed the Ferrari engine from Minardi to Dallara, which suggests Ferrari might have had an interest at some point. If they did, it didn't come to anything though. Minardi took him straight back the next year, so they must have thought highly of him there.

The Martini family have a tenuous Ferrari connection - his uncle Giancarlo raced a Ferrari run by Scuderia Everest (owned by Giancarlo Minardi funnily enough) in some non-championship races in the 70s.

#30 oetzi

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 11:28

Ah, I didn't know that. Thanks.

#31 boldhakka

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 13:01

Podiums and wins. Nothing more, nothing less.

#32 Boing 2

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 13:07

Out-qualify your team mate decisively and do something racey, Alesi's race lead and re-pass of Senna in a Tyrrell essentially gave him an open chequebook.

Edited by Boing 2, 01 February 2013 - 13:07.


#33 Szoelloe

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 13:28

Increase my sponsorship to the team by an extra five million bucks, and I promise....

#34 Mohican

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 13:36

Nobody has mentioned Kimi's first season in the Sauber; he was immediate star material.

Going further back in time, Ronnie Peterson (1970) and James Hunt (1973) both started out in March cars run by private teams - and made huge impressions.
Nelson Piquet started in a private McLaren M23, same applies.

Then you have the lucky sods who started out in the best cars on the grid: David Coulthard 1994, Jacques Villeneuve 1996 & Lewis Hamilton 2007...

#35 billm99uk

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 13:45

Completely agree. Might need to calm down a little, but he's good enough.


Easier to calm down a quick driver than teach a slow driver to go faster, or so they say  ;)

#36 Atreiu

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 18:05

It would be less difficult to assess drivers, especially rookies and newcomers, if they at least got some decent testing mileage.

#37 oetzi

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 21:56

Easier to calm down a quick driver than teach a slow driver to go faster, or so they say ;)

Absolutely.

Usually :)

Edited by oetzi, 01 February 2013 - 21:57.


#38 oetzi

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 21:57

It would be less difficult to assess drivers, especially rookies and newcomers, if they at least got some decent testing mileage.

Surely they can just simulate that these days?

#39 ExFlagMan

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 22:02

Surely they can just simulate that these days?

Perhaps that's why some drivers struggle somewhat in close situations when they get into the real thing.

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#40 AndreasF1

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 22:24

Lots of $ will qualify you for a seat.



#41 g1n

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 22:41

F1 is a lot more about the car than the driver now than it was in the early 90s.


you are very wrong there, every interview I hear/read on this subject indicates that the driver is only 20-30% of the performance, the rest is the car.

#42 oetzi

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 22:46

Nobody has mentioned Kimi's first season in the Sauber; he was immediate star material.

Going further back in time, Ronnie Peterson (1970) and James Hunt (1973) both started out in March cars run by private teams - and made huge impressions.
Nelson Piquet started in a private McLaren M23, same applies.

Then you have the lucky sods who started out in the best cars on the grid: David Coulthard 1994, Jacques Villeneuve 1996 & Lewis Hamilton 2007...

You know, Kimi has clearly and obviously proved he deserves a seat in F1, but I see something similar to the Jean Alesi theme there - not sure he's quite as good as he's looked at times. For all the talk of how quick he is, his main strength throughout his career seems to have been bringing the thing home fairly rapidly without breaking it (2003, 2007, 2012 are obvious examples.) Shame his bowels are so insistent, or he might be up for Kristensen's record one day.

Hunt and Piquet were both great, not old enough to have seen Peterson, unfortunately. I think Piquet is criminally underrated. Really, how bad can you be if you're a triple world champion? And Hunt certainly had the ability. He was fun too, which doesn't hurt.

Interesting list of lucky sods - none of them ever looked better than their first year, did they? Not from here;anyway. I'd seen enough of Coulthard before F1 (no, not like that) to think he might do something special. While on the subject, Barrichello too. And de Ferran. They all looked pretty special, but it just never really quite hit 100% of expectations for any of them, did it?

At least Lewis still has the chance to fix it.

Edited by oetzi, 01 February 2013 - 22:47.


#43 chumma

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 22:56

Open the cheque book and empty your wallet.

#44 oetzi

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 00:00

Calm down. There's a nice man from the Hungarian Embassy here to help you.