Archive for the Drivers Category

Stats don’t mean prizes…

Posted in Drivers with tags on December 13, 2012 by philcurryf1

This morning, I read a piece posted on the BBC Sport website by Andrew Benson, which made for interesting reading on a subject I already believed in. I also read some of the comments, and felt many unjust.

To summarise, without plagiarizing, Andrew highlighted that while Micheal Schumacher has seven world titles, he could have won less had circumstances not gone his way. At the same time, Fernando could have had four, as could Ayrton Senna, while Alain Prost may have had five or six, and Vettel only one.

Yet people have perceived the article as full of bias towards Alonso, stating that Andrew has an agenda against Michael Schumacher. Obviously Schumacher is the best, he won seven titles, right? Wrong, and it shows the gulf between true fans of the sport, and those who believe more is better.

Schumacher had a team which benefitted from extensive testing, bespoke tyres and a team-mate who had his back. This led to the domination Ferrari saw between 2001 and 2004 – the 2000 title was fought for. Added to this, there was no driver capable of leading a team to the heights needed until Alonso dragged Renault up there, and it’s easy to see how Michael cantered to his championships.

Now look at Ayrton Senna. Three titles, and could have had more had Imola 1994 not happened. This would have eaten into Schumacher’s seven titles but ignoring that, look at the 1993 season. McLaren had a customer Ford engine, hopelessly down on power on the Williams Renault, while the McLaren lagged behind in the technology race. Their systems were less advanced. Senna fought the car throughout the year winning five races, and never gave up. Why couldn’t Schumacher, with all his seven titles, drag the Mercedes through to more wins?

The article makes for interesting reading, and if you are a true F1 fan, you’ll understand it. Even Schumacher and Vettel fans will understand that their drivers benefitted from various factors. But the vitriol aimed at Andrew Benson is unjust, and shows how narrow-minded some are.

You can read the article here – http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/formula1/20669262

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Bottas in – cue the hashtags…

Posted in Drivers with tags , , , , , , on November 28, 2012 by philcurryf1

Valtteri Bottas has been announced as Williams second driver for 2013, replacing Bruno Senna after one season. The team will keep Pastor Maldonado.

Williams has found a strong talent I feel in Bottas, who ran in most first practice sessions this year, and quite often matched Maldonado on pace. Therefore, it was inevitable that he would get a race seat with the team for 2013.

Yet I feel the decision as to which driver the team replaced shows just how much Maldonado’s money, rather than his experience, is needed. Of course, Bruno Senna brought the team some funding too from his sponsors, but Maldonado makes the team budget with his backing from PDVSA.

Looking over the 2012 season results however, and Senna was the more consistent driver – despite not running in most of the FP1 sessions. He finished in the points in 10 of the 20 races this season, with a highest position of 6th, and scoring 31 points. Maldonado finished in the points in just five races, with his win in Spain, taking his points total to 45. Had he not won that race, he would have been quite some way behind Senna. Maldonado also had a number of penalties, collisions with other drivers, and was demoted 10 places on the grid in Brazil for his third reprimand of the season, for missing the weigh-bridge call. While this may have been a team issue, had he not been cautioned over collisions in the season, a drop would never have occurred.

It remains to be seen where Senna will go, if he is able to find a seat. Caterham no longer need a driver to bring sponsorship – though it would of course help – while Force India and Marussia are the only other teams (of those certain to be racing in 2013) with seats available (although Marussia is expected to name Max Chilton soon).

Bottas will make a good start next season, and deserves his place at Williams. Don’t be surprised if he outpaces, and even out scores, his more experienced, and richer, team-mate.