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Why am I oprimistic about Sirotkin's early F1 debut?


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#1 Anderis

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 17:00

I always felt it's a good think for F1 driver to get his chance in F1 very early as long as the team is going to support him despite his early struggles. People often look at the issue with a question: "Is he experienced enough to perform at decent level imediately?".

Ok, we can think of an 18 years old driver who can drive in F1 or in FR3.5/GP2 for the next two years. People only consider aspect that the driver would have a stronger rookie year if he has spent those two years more in feeders series instead of being thrown to F1 immediately. It's true. But let's look at the other side of this. If we have two identical 18 years old drivers, and one of them goes straight into F1, and another spends two years in GP2, who you believe to be a better driver after those two years? I believe the first one will be, and I do have some evidence to back up my view.

 

I've made a summary of amount of wins scored to GPs participated and podiums scored to GPs participated in relation to the age of an F1 debut by F1 drivers who had their first F1 race after 01.01.2000.

This is what I get from it:

2yy9na0.jpg

6f3vac.jpg

Forgive me for any possible mistakes (I can imagine that those who have some experience with maths or statistics could spot something I've done wrong) and the fact that I will not describe here every single detail of how I used the data (it's just an interesting detail, not a scientific resarch, so no point for me to spend many hours on it). I could have been wrong on some details, but I'm pretty much certain the final outcome I've got is about right and shows the general tendency.

 

And the general tendency is that driver who start in F1 younger, do better in long-term. You may think that it's due to that the most talented drivers get their chance earlier, and it's certainly part of the explanation, but not the complete one, I think. No one will be able to convince me that for example Sebastien Bourdais didn't have the talent to score a single podium in F1, but he didn't get his chance early enough and that's how it has ended up.

 

It's just a simple pattern- the younger man is, the quicker he learns- it's a law of nature. F1 offers much more in terms of learning than any other racing series, so drivers who get their chance early will have the best circumstances to learn at the time when they can learn the most and the quickest, and they tend to benefit in long term from it. If one gets his chance at the age of 25, he will never going to be that good compared to the one who got his chance at the age of 20, because his natural ability of learning has deteriotated since he was 20 and he didn't do the most of it by driving outside the series which offers the most stimulus to learn.

 

One may point out that not every driver who started young was successfull. And it's true. It's also about talent and if one doesn't have one, it will not help him that much. But one thing is for sure- there was verry little success with all those late debuts and there are only 4 drivers who have won the race in F1 in XXI century and started older than 23. Those are Webber, Montoya, Kovalainen and Maldonado. None of them has won more than 10 races or become a WDC.

I believe Sirotkin has enough talent to give him a try. He has been doing considerable job against older and more experienced drivers in any racing series he was competing in recently. Hardly anyone had big very results (like GP2 or FR3.5 title) at his age. Being well in upper half of the field in very strong FR3.5 grid or finishing 3rd overall in Auto GP being that young and inexperienced is a sign of significant talent, I believe.



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#2 sblick

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 17:36

I am too we must be insane :smoking:



#3 sopa

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 17:41

Interesting stuff. Both Vettel and Alonso debuted at 19, so this must immensely help with the 19-y-o statistic. 21 more than 20? Who debuted at 21? I remember Raikkonen. Button was 20. Hamilton 22. Massa either 20 or 21, I don't remember properly. So these are the main drivers since 2000.

 

Of olders drivers, who went on to have some success, Montoya was 25.



#4 sopa

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 17:49

It is food for thought, but I still think driver needs proper preparation too regardless of age. I mean driver has to be ready. There is little point in debuting at 18 if you spin out of most of the races and finish lightyears behind team-mate. Massa was thrown in in 2002 and after having accidents had to take a sabbatical in 2003 before he was trusted for a drive again and did more consistently in 2004. 

 

Maybe we can say for a driver it makes some sense to have a "deep learning curve" if he is on a long-term deal, but for a team it doesn't make sense to lose points and car parts all the time. For a team's point of view it is better to keep in feeder series until he is properly ready to really contribute to team's championship points tally. And for a driver - if he doesn't have a long-term deal, it is very risky business too. Grosjean was fortunate to get back in 2012 after he dropped out after the fail of late 2009.

 

Alguersuari was thrown in too early. Ok, it was midseason too. Later he adapted and by 2011 he was pretty good, but it still took time.

I think Hamilton is a good example of a driver, who was properly prepared before F1 and wasn't rushed into F1 just because then he "would learn quicker". He could have been a good F1 driver already at 20, but he debuted at 22 and his driving was so mature for his age that he immediately fought for the title.



#5 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 17:54

I better post a 'do not think it a good idea' then.

 

Most young F1 drivers, are thrown into the series too early in their career, not all but most. Alguersuari and Klien are two samples from recent history who would have been much much better of not getting a F1 seat when they did, regardless of having a good bit of talent their F1 careers were over for all intents and purposes at age 22, whereas had they been groomed properly they would still be pedaling F1 cars now.

 

Sorotkin must be burning to become a F1 driver, I just do not see that he have anything marking him as one to watch especially closely.

 

:cool:



#6 Anderis

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 17:59

It is food for thought, but I still think driver needs proper preparation too regardless of age. I mean driver has to be ready. There is little point in debuting at 18 if you spin out of most of the races and finish lightyears behind team-mate. Massa was thrown in in 2002 and after having accidents had to take a sabbatical in 2003 before he was trusted for a drive again and did more consistently in 2004. 

 

Maybe we can say for a driver it makes some sense to have a "deep learning curve" if he is on a long-term deal, but for a team it doesn't make sense to lose points and car parts all the time. For a team's point of view it is better to keep in feeder series until he is properly ready to really contribute to team's championship points tally. And for a driver - if he doesn't have a long-term deal, it is very risky business too. Grosjean was fortunate to get back in 2012 after he dropped out after the fail of late 2009.

 

Alguersuari was thrown in too early. Ok, it was midseason too. Later he adapted and by 2011 he was pretty good, but it still took time.

I think Hamilton is a good example of a driver, who was properly prepared before F1 and wasn't rushed into F1 just because then he "would learn quicker". He could have been a good F1 driver already at 20, but he debuted at 22 and his driving was so mature for his age that he immediately fought for the title.

Yeah, it's about finding a balance.

 

For a team it's not an ideal situation to have a vastly inexperienced driver in a seat. He will not deliver results and he will not help develop the car into the right direction.

 

Although for a team like Sauber it might be a gamble worth taking. They will probably not have a driver of Alonso/Vettel/Hamilton calibre if they don't try to do it with a young driver on a long-term contract. If they get that much backing from Russians as it is rumoured, it will be enough to cover any loss they get through Sirotkin's inexperience, though, and in a few years they mind find themselves with a good driver who massively benefitted from getting F1 experience that early and with Russians sponsors still supporting them. That could be a win-win situation if they agree to have a compromised season or two.

Especially if they use that money properly and put a good, experienced driver next to Sirotkin thanks to them to have a benchmark and to pull development of the car into the right direction.



#7 Prost1997T

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 18:06

The FR3.5 field isn't all superstars. By your reckoning, Arthur Pic should be in line for an F1 seat before Sergey Sirotkin. His results have been highly variable - a 2nd place and two 4th places, then races like Monaco where he finished last 2 laps down. It wouldn't surprise me if William Buller outscores him before season's end despite doing only half the races, and with Zeta Corse at that...

 

The fact that Sirotkin is being seriously considered for an F1 seat before the likes of Magnussen, Vandoorne, Calado is disappointing for the so-called pinnacle of motorsport.



#8 BenettonB192

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 18:15

Sample size is way too small to make anything of these graphs. They are heavily influenced by just 3 exceptional drivers, Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel. You can't conclude from that that any other 18 or 19 year old driver who gets thrown into F1 will do well.



#9 Anderis

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 18:17

By your reckoning, Arthur Pic should be in line for an F1 seat before Sergey Sirotkin

No, because Sirotkin is 4 years younger than Arthur Pic and I'm confident he would better Pic's achievements by staying long enough in FR3.5 to reach Pic's current age.

 

The fact that Sirotkin is being seriously considered for an F1 seat before the likes of Magnussen, Vandoorne, Calado is disappointing for the so-called pinnacle of motorsport.

I knew some people would have a problem with so-called pinnacle of mororsport. I forgot to include it in opening post. I'm not sure if F1 teams should care about it, though.

 

Sample size is way too small to make anything of these graphs. They are heavily influenced by just 3 exceptional drivers, Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel. You can't conclude from that that any other 18 or 19 year old driver who gets thrown into F1 will do well.

And that wasn't my conclusion if you've read accurately what I've written.



#10 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 18:20

Alonso is a perfect example of doing it right. Everyone could see a lot of upside, he got a full season at Minardi, 1 season as a Renault tester and only then did he get a front of grid seat. Promptly won a race in his first Renault season.

 

Hamilton was guided through the various classes and was not just thrown in to a F1 seat, had Montoya not gone for the US money he would not have been in F1 when he arrived.

 

:cool:



#11 Deerfield

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 19:11

Anderis, I agree with all your reflections, especially the fact younger drivers learns faster. The talent is evident from early age (I'm already putting my bet on the young De Vries). In Syrotkin's case, more than the debut, the first couple of years in F1 will be crucial. He has talent to drive, that's a fact. But he must learn how to develop it. And so he'll needs a good team and above all a really good ad expert engineer. this single fact could make him blossom, or burn out and fade away. Remember what Giorgio Ascanelli did for Vettel at Toro Rosso? that was invaluable. I hope Syrotkin finds his Ascanelli, cause it's time Russia has his share of top drivers in F1 and this boy could be the first



#12 Nick Planas

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 20:02

Sorotkin must be burning to become a F1 driver, I just do not see that he have anything marking him as one to watch especially closely.

 

Money :lol:



#13 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 20:14

Money :lol:

 

I get that part, and once I was young and thought I would be King of the World as well. I just do not think that he is in any way, shape or form helped by being thrown into F1 now. He does seem to have talent, but he also seem not to be the front running talent in the class he is currently racing in. I fail to see any upside in getting him into a F1 seat, where I would expect that he will underachieve compared to what the car is capable of, burn a brazillion Rubles and leave Sauber financially and results wise with nothing after 1, 2 or 3 years.

 

Depending on whom he will be teamed with, he will either get completely dominated and the supporters will explain that by youth and not having 'x' number of years racing, which does not hold and never holds. If he is not ready then he should not be there.

 

Hulckenberg would eat him for lunch, Gueterriz (sepling) may not, but the jury is out on him as well.

 

Sorotkin and the Russian backers are setting himself and themselves up for spending a lot of money without getting any real payback, whereas had they decided to ease Sorotkin in to F1, while backing Sauber they could have had a very fine prospect in 2 - 3 seasons, and then place him in the seat based on actual performance.

 

:cool:

:cool:



#14 Jimisgod

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 20:55

The FR3.5 field isn't all superstars. By your reckoning, Arthur Pic should be in line for an F1 seat before Sergey Sirotkin. His results have been highly variable - a 2nd place and two 4th places, then races like Monaco where he finished last 2 laps down. It wouldn't surprise me if William Buller outscores him before season's end despite doing only half the races, and with Zeta Corse at that...

The fact that Sirotkin is being seriously considered for an F1 seat before the likes of Magnussen, Vandoorne, Calado is disappointing for the so-called pinnacle of motorsport.


Money talks. As far as I'm concerned this kid is usurping the seat meant for Frijns, who I would say has the talent for a fairly good F1 career if we only gave out rides based on talent.

He has been average at best in a 2nd or 3rd tier development series. Lord knows what he will do given the mediocre Gutierrez was a GP2 front runner.

If his daddy is pumping money into the team then his teammate might have a golden opportunity. A decently developed car and a pushover teammate.

#15 Tron

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 21:41

He's certainly an interesting prospect due to his age, however, lets remember that unlike Schumacher to Vettel who entered F1 at a young age as well, they entered by merit, not through money.



#16 midgrid

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 22:06

Schumacher had to bring £150,000 to Eddie Jordan to make his F1 début, although the sum was admittedly paid by Mercedes.

#17 Jimisgod

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 22:12

Schumacher had to bring £150,000 to Eddie Jordan to make his F1 début, although the sum was admittedly paid by Mercedes.


Having a company pay for your ride on merit is different to having your father basically buy a stake in a team for you to run in.

Mercedes is a business with no familial connection to Schumacher. He must have been talented enough to be a profitable business option for them to sponsor.

#18 William Hunt

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 23:13

@ Anderis: it's an interesting stat that you have calculated but... which drivers did you put in those calculations? If it were only recent drivers that makes it useless. It should at least include all drivers since the 1970's or earlier.

And also: most driver who made there debut at a very young age did that because they were exceptionally talented (Barrichello, Alonso, Vettel to name some).



#19 JHSingo

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 00:10

I don't think he'll be nearly as bad as a lot of people think. There have been far worse than Sirotkin, that's for sure.



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#20 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 02:38

I do not think that he is especially bad, but most of the drivers being slagged as being 'just a pay driver' in F1 the last 5 seasons, had better racing CV's than him. I simply suggest that he is placed on an actual supported ladder to F1, and are graduated if he has the talent.

 

Just to make my position on these matters clear, I was against Kimi getting a Super License when he entered F1.

 

:cool:



#21 Juggles

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 03:03

I'm sure getting a seat early is good for Sirotkin as a driver. As you say, he'll just be getting extra experience at an age when you absorb everything.

 

My concern is that on the F1 grid he won't be driving on his own. If he makes mistakes it may not just be his afternoon he ruins. He will be thrown into a far deeper swimming pool than he has ever been in before. Alonso is always bemoaning the "GP2 mentality" of drivers coming in, drivers who have less and less chance to prove themselves so are more and more desperate to make an impact. Will Sirotkin have a "Formula Renault 3.5 mentality?"

 

Also, we're heard rumours of drivers like Perez being "bullied" (Martin Whitmarsh's word) by some of the older drivers for their over-aggressiveness. If Sirotkin takes out a championship contender how can he stick up for himself as a boy in a room full of men, and what affect will that have on him?



#22 Anderis

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 10:44

Oh dear, if you have any questions or objections, please read the OP properly first, then write.

 

@ Anderis: it's an interesting stat that you have calculated but... which drivers did you put in those calculations?

The answer has always been in the OP:

by F1 drivers who had their first F1 race after 01.01.2000.

 

 

If it were only recent drivers that makes it useless. It should at least include all drivers since the 1970's or earlier.

No, including drivers since 1970's would make it useless. Things have changed far, far too much since then to draw any conclusions from data including 1970's or 1980's.

 

And also: most driver who made there debut at a very young age did that because they were exceptionally talented (Barrichello, Alonso, Vettel to name some).

This is the thing that I've also mentioned in the OP:

 

You may think that it's due to that the most talented drivers get their chance earlier, and it's certainly part of the explanation, but not the complete one, I think. No one will be able to convince me that for example Sebastien Bourdais didn't have the talent to score a single podium in F1, but he didn't get his chance early enough and that's how it has ended up.

I think you would be able to find some drivers who had been equally promising to Vettel and Alonso before they reached F1, but I think it's no coincidence these two have pretty much dominated F1 in the last couple of years.

 

 

I do not think that he is especially bad, but most of the drivers being slagged as being 'just a pay driver' in F1 the last 5 seasons, had better racing CV's than him.

That's the matter of age. I'm sure Sirotkin would become a title condenter in FR3.5 or GP2 by the time he will reach an age that average pay-driver makes it to F1.

If I compare Sirotkin's achievements in single-seaters at the time when he was 17, and Hamilton's single-seaters achievements at the time when he was 17, I don't see much to suggest that Hamilton was superior in terms of achievements.

 

 

I'm sure getting a seat early is good for Sirotkin as a driver. As you say, he'll just be getting extra experience at an age when you absorb everything.

 

My concern is that on the F1 grid he won't be driving on his own. If he makes mistakes it may not just be his afternoon he ruins. He will be thrown into a far deeper swimming pool than he has ever been in before. Alonso is always bemoaning the "GP2 mentality" of drivers coming in, drivers who have less and less chance to prove themselves so are more and more desperate to make an impact. Will Sirotkin have a "Formula Renault 3.5 mentality?"

It's fair point. Hopefully Sirotkin feels secure next year and doesn't need to prove anything in his 1st year, so he can take it easy, not being overagressive against other drivers and not doing much harm to others.

Pressure from media and F1 supporters will not do good for him, I'm afraid. Hopefully he will not want to prove in his first year that they are wrong and he deserves his seat on merit, because that may lead to some mistakes, collisions etc. Let him better focus on learning instead of proving himself.



#23 Kalmake

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 11:34

Sample size is way too small to make anything of these graphs. They are heavily influenced by just 3 exceptional drivers, Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel. You can't conclude from that that any other 18 or 19 year old driver who gets thrown into F1 will do well.

And those guys were able to do a lot of testing, which made it much easier to develop. Testing ban is hurting current rookies a lot.



#24 Prost1997T

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 11:47

By the time Alonso debuted in 2001 at the age of 19, he had already won the equivalent of WSR and placed 4th overall in F3000 with a win and a podium finish. Not to mention the extensive testing available. Is Sirotkin going to win the FR3.5 title and place well in GP2 in the next 2 seasons? We can only speculate.


Edited by Prost1997T, 07 September 2013 - 11:48.


#25 bushgold

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 13:56

As far as I'm concerned this kid is usurping the seat meant for Frijns, who I would say has the talent for a fairly good F1 career if we only gave out rides based on talent.

 

Somewhat disingenuous to suggest that Sirotkin has attained this level due to better financing rather than talent. We aren't even in 2014 yet. Sauber isn't the only team on the grid. If Frijns is as talented as you suggest he'll be snapped up by another team.



#26 EightGear

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 17:33

Somewhat disingenuous to suggest that Sirotkin has attained this level due to better financing rather than talent. We aren't even in 2014 yet. Sauber isn't the only team on the grid. If Frijns is as talented as you suggest he'll be snapped up by another team.

 

How can you not see he's only there because of the $$$$$?



#27 DutchQuicksilver

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 22:43

Somewhat disingenuous to suggest that Sirotkin has attained this level due to better financing rather than talent. We aren't even in 2014 yet. Sauber isn't the only team on the grid. If Frijns is as talented as you suggest he'll be snapped up by another team.

Doubt that. Apart from the top four every other team needs drivers who bring money. Unless Frijns can talk his way into Red Bull and be placed at Toro Rosso, but that seems unlikely with Da Costa and Sainz there as well. It's time Marcel Boekhoorn puts his money into Frijns, instead of his son in law with less talent.