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teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
The last two-and-a-half years have been a tale of woe for drivers in their home Grands Prix.

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There has not been a home winner since Felipe Massa took the flag and not the Championship in 2008. Since then only Alonso (twice, counting Valencia), Hamilton and Vettel (twice) have finished on their home podium.

Half the field heads into their home Grand Prix next weekend in Germany, and Vettel will be the favourite to become the third German to win the German Grand Prix. The other two are both Schumachers, and both won the European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring too.

These are the best winners on home turf:
  • Alain Prost (6 French Grands Prix)
  • Jim Clark (5 British Grands Prix)
  • Michael Schumacher (4 German Grands Prix + 5 European Grands Prix at the Nurburgring)
  • Nigel Mansell (4 British Grands Prix + 1 European Grand Prix at Brands Hatch)
  • Juan Manuel Fangio (4 Argentinian Grands Prix)
Is a home Grand Prix an advantage? Even if you're Italian? And will Sebastian Vettel (or Michael Schumacher, Nico Rosberg, Nick Heidfeld, Adrian Sutil or Timo Glock) break the two and a half year duck?
Our chances of finishing that run this season could be scarce if the Germans can't, only Jerome d'Ambrosio, Vitantonio Liuzzi, Jarno Trulli, Kamui Kobayashi :cheer:, Narain Karthikeyan, Rubens Barrichello and Felipe Massa will get a go afterwards.
Although I, for one, expect Karun Chandhok and Bruno Senna may get a run in their respective Lotii at their home Grands Prix.
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
I don't believe that a Home Grand Prix is that much of an advantage in GP's. A great deal of drivers consider a track such as Silverstone to be as much a home circuit as their own national tracks (obviously in the case of non British drivers). Unlike Football, Rugby or Athletics for example, the players aren't isolated from the crowd. In F1 a driver has so much to concentrate on and is isolated from the outside enviroment by his helmet, nomex, the car etc on the track and by a berlin wall style security zone when not in the car.

Also, the spread of support is far wider in a GP crowd. It isn't A versus B but A versus B and C and D and E and F etc etc which dilutes the home effect to some extent.
 

sportsman

Sidecar racers have the biggest cojones
Contributor
In the race and within the F1 confines I agree with c_a_t.
But as an ex pat myself when I do come to England there is a difference.Ordinary things that you might do, turn on TV and hear your own language.Walk into a pub and hear your native tongue.So it does make difference.
Strangely enough I have a bigger problem than my Russian wife in adjusting to driving left.Main roads are fine but in the country lanes I frequently switch back to driving on the right and can't understand why a car coming towards me is frantically flashing its headlights.:crazy:

Sorry about straying off topic.
 

Incubus

Champion Elect
I think this a very interesting thread, but as always, each instance has to be looked at seperately. It's s quite possible the perssure of driving in front's own fans has a strong influence on the way one goes on about one's racing (OK I know I deserve a slap if I say "one" one more time. Oh no! <SLAP>) but really, the most important factor still has to be seen as the quality of the car one <DOUBLE-SLAP> drives on the day and how well suited to the track one'<SLAPWITHTHICK-BOTTOMEDFRYINGPAN>car is.

I think I need to lie down for a bit...
 
A home race might actually be a disadvantage for many drivers. Apart from CATs reasons for why a home race doesn't convey that much is added the fact that the driver will have many more people to interact with that weekend. Lots of friends etc in the hospitality box to impress. This must have an effect on some, at the very least cutting the amount of private time they have to prepare that weekend.

Alonso at Abu Dhabi last year, although not a home race, was surrounded by so many well wishers such as the Spanish Royals, it has been suggested that this somehow contributed to his failure to stop Vettel snatching the WC.
 

Incubus

Champion Elect
I think his failure came from the simple fact of a wrong tactic call from the team and a Renault that was some 10K an hour quicker than his car on the straights actually, but there you go.
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
It also depends how you class a drivers home race. For instance Jenson Button lives in Monoco so that probably feels more like his home race than Silverstone. His record there is much better.
 

no-FIAt-please

Champion Elect
Premium Contributor
It also depends how you class a drivers home race. For instance Jenson Button lives in Monoco so that probably feels more like his home race than Silverstone. His record there is much better.

I think you would classify a drivers home race as the nation that they are classified as, e.g. Hamilton is British even though he resides in Switzerland. Most drivers choose not to live in their home country because of two reasons, paparazzi and tax.
 

F1Yorkshire

Avatar for sale to the highest bidder
Contributor
Looking at the upcoming GP's Germany is the best chance for a home win with young Sebastian on form, after Germany the only likely candidate will be Kobayashi but I think we all know thats never going to happen unless all top 3 teams take each other out at the start!
 

tooncheese

Hans Heyer
Contributor
I think Italy is the only country where home drivers are ignored (unless in a Ferrari). Italy have a pretty miserable record when it come to drivers.

In my opinion Jense's sudden drop in form in 2009 was due to arriving in Britain and suddenly seeing the expectation on him and he choked. After that he just was unable to summon his previous driving skill (until Brazil).

Barrichello's legendary bad luck at Interlagos - most time's the race ending/ruining reason hasn't been his fault. GO RUBENS! Break the duck!

And Schumacher is too robotic to be effected by emotion when driving, hence 9 wins.

So it seems each case is individual, and I should think of a better conclusion

I think you would classify a drivers home race as the nation that they are classified as, e.g. Hamilton is British even though he resides in Switzerland. Most drivers choose not to live in their home country because of two reasons, paparazzi and tax.
Because their filthy rich cheapskates? Although I think Alonso and Kobayashi live in their home countries.
 

F1Yorkshire

Avatar for sale to the highest bidder
Contributor
I think you would classify a drivers home race as the nation that they are classified as, e.g. Hamilton is British even though he resides in Switzerland. Most drivers choose not to live in their home country because of two reasons, paparazzi and tax.

Yet Webber, Ricciardo and I think others choose to reside here in blighty! I wonder what tax difference they have here compared to Oz and other countries.
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
Interesting stuff tby. I bet the home driver most disappointed with the result will be the last one who did win, though. Funny.

It seems to me it's all a question of pressure, in one of Brundle's favourite phrases, in F1 you're either giving pressure or taking it. The home race brings a level of expectation, a demand for a higher level of performance, and inevitably some drivers will blossom under that pressure, while others will wilt.

David Coulthard, despite winning twice at Silverstone, has said that it was never a circuit he felt he truly mastered, and comparing him to his team-mates on raw pace rather bears that out. Michael Schumacher wasn't a regular winner at Hockenheim - but then, he drove quite a few cars that weren't perfectly suited to the unique nature of the old circuit, so who knows?

The point about familiarity is a good one, though. I very much doubt whether Mark Webber had ever raced at Melbourne before making his F1 debut in 2002. Having gone through the junior single-seater series in Europe, though, places like Silverstone, Spa, the Nurburgring and Magny-Cours would have been very familiar. In the 1990s when a tranche of drivers (both Japanese and European) came to F1 from Formula Nippon, they typically performed better at Suzuka than at most circuits; undoubtedly a reflection, in part, of the challenge of the circuit and the importance of having banked a lot of experience there.
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
I think you would classify a drivers home race as the nation that they are classified as, e.g. Hamilton is British even though he resides in Switzerland. Most drivers choose not to live in their home country because of two reasons, paparazzi and tax.

I just meant where Monoco is concerned drivers like Jenson and Nico Rosberg are actually driving around the streets they drive round on a day to day basis - surely that has to feel more like a home grand prix to them than Silverstone or Nurenberg
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
Just as a pedantic point of order, Jenson Button no longer lives in Monaco.

Michael Schumacher wasn't a regular winner at Hockenheim - but then, he drove quite a few cars that weren't perfectly suited to the unique nature of the old circuit, so who knows?

Having said that, his childhood home was closer to the Nurburgring where he won on six occasions. I'd say he didn't have a look in at Hockenheim quite as often as usual due to the power of the Mercedes/BMW engines in the late 90s and early 00s. And, of course, driving into Giancarlo Fisichella.

And Schumacher is too robotic to be effected by emotion when driving, hence 9 wins.

So it seems each case is individual, and I should think of a better conclusion

Interestingly, this does not explain Felipe Massa's comfort around Interlagos, because he's an extremely emotional guy.

Its an interesting discussion because there is an individual reaction. Webber's never achieved in Melbourne save from his attritional 5th in a Minardi. Alonso has only won one race in Spain. But (2006-8) Massa seemed extremely comfortable at home, Ralf Schumacher won both his home Grands Prix.

And then there are other factors, Jacques Villeneuve and Damon Hill never won in Canada and Monaco respectively. Did their late fathers affect that in any way?

I'll move on to a different question:

Given the choice, which nationality would you take (with regard to this topic):
  • Spanish - two Grands Prix
  • German - one GP, one driver amongst many
  • Belgian - one GP, familiarity with circuit, only driver
  • Chinese - one GP, less familiar with circuit, only driver
  • Italian - home Grand Prix where no-one gives a toss
  • Finnish/Polish - a "nearest to" home GP in Hungary
  • South African - no GP
 

Incubus

Champion Elect
I don't know but Bertrand Gaxhot in the late eighties/early nineties used to describe himself as european because although he raced under belgian licence, he actually boasted something like like four different nationalities
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
I don't know but Bertrand Gaxhot in the late eighties/early nineties used to describe himself as european because although he raced under belgian licence, he actually boasted something like like four different nationalities

OFF TOPIC - Bertrant Gachot secured his footnote in history punching that taxi driver
 

Speshal

World Champion
Valued Member
I
Strangely enough I have a bigger problem than my Russian wife in adjusting to driving left.Main roads are fine but in the country lanes I frequently switch back to driving on the right and can't understand why a car coming towards me is frantically flashing its headlights:crazy:

Note to self, never get a lift with Sportsman ;)

Galahad already said what I had in my mind (as he usually does)

The home race brings a level of expectation, a demand for a higher level of performance, and inevitably some drivers will blossom under that pressure, while others will wilt.
 
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