In-Season Driver Changes 2011

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Ok so we have the first one out of the way and its no real suprise who went. Hands up who really expected Karthikeyan to last the whole season at HRT? No didn't think so. His replacement is interesting though because by Ricciardio taking the HRT seat it seems to have taken the pressure off the Toro Rosso boys.

All the talk was that Jamie Alguersuari was for the boot after Silverstone and Ricciardio was in but he's scored Toro Rosso highest finishes of the season in his last 3 races and is now sitting one point clear of Buemi in the championship table. Has he now saved his career and will it at least keep him in the seat until the end of the year? In a dramatic change of fortunes he has to be eyeing up that second Red Bull seat next year with all the current Mark Webber fuss going on. Where does that leave Buemi? always the less favoured son at Toro Rosso but without fail has always got the better of his team-mate until now. If they feel Ricciardio isn't getting the experience he needs at HRT might they shuffle the moose out to give him a shot there?

What about the Force India situation? a few races back with thought Sutil was for the scrapheap and that Hulkenberg would be in but, a bit like Alguersuari, Sutil has suddenly clocked in some results which leaves him quite a bit clear of his team-mate Di Resta. Is Di Resta now under pressure? His qualifying has been exceptional but he only has 2 10th places to show for it which means points wise he's worse off to Sutil than Liuzzi was last year. Normally I'd say a rookie would be given a chance but with someone of the talent of Hulkenberg lurking in the garage you just never know.

A suprise candidate I'm going to put out there is Petrov. I thought he had a great start to the season but if you look he's only scored points once in the last 5 races - and that was at Canada when a huge chunk of the front runners went out. Compare this to Heidfeld who has scored points 4 times in the last 5 races and you can maybe see what I'm getting at. It was well known before these five races that Eric Boullier told Heidfeld to raise his game - the rumour behind that comment was Lotus Renualt's increasing money problems and the fact that Bruno Senna is sitting there with a big load of sponsership behind him looking for a drive. I know Petrov brings in money too but you have to wonder if Senna will bring in more. He's been very active in the media this season and there is obviously a big PR campaign to get him a drive - could Petrov be the suprise exit?

The only other obvious candidate for being dropped I see is Jarno Trulli - although he seems a bit more awake this season he's not covered himself in glory since his move to Lotus and has been really shown up by Kovi. Trulli is probably wondering about retirement anyway and with Chandock as the test driver, another media campaigner, you have to wonder whether by the time the Indian GP comes around Trulli might be out the seat.

Thoughts on this? any other candidates for the chop? Do we see Sakon Yamamoto buying his way back into another seat? anyone?
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
No surprise at all as far as Karthikeyan is concerned.
His appointment was a mistake in the first place, as borne out by his dire performances.

I actually predicted Alguersuari would be gone by now, so he has at least outlasted my prediction.
I don't think he'll be there at the end of the season though.
His decent results are far outweighed by his poor performances.

Sutil is quite fortunate that di Resta is having problems in the races, as he has been comprehensively out-qualified.
I think a few more races under his belt will see Paul beating Adrian regularly.
He will probably last the season but I can't see him at Force India again next year.

Petrov I don't see under any pressure or at risk at all.
He's had a few bad races but towards the end of last season he showed that he wasn't just a pay driver and was able to get some decent results.

Frankly I'm surprised Jarno is still in F1 at all. I just don't see what it is he brings to a team.
Again I think he'll last out the season but I would be surprised to see him back next year.
 

EvilWhippet

Podium Finisher
A suprise candidate I'm going to put out there is Petrov. I thought he had a great start to the season but if you look he's only scored points once in the last 5 races - and that was at Canada when a huge chunk of the front runners went out. Compare this to Heidfeld who has scored points 4 times in the last 5 races and you can maybe see what I'm getting at. It was well known before these five races that Eric Boullier told Heidfeld to raise his game - the rumour behind that comment was Lotus Renualt's increasing money problems and the fact that Bruno Senna is sitting there with a big load of sponsership behind him looking for a drive. I know Petrov brings in money too but you have to wonder if Senna will bring in more. He's been very active in the media this season and there is obviously a big PR campaign to get him a drive - could Petrov be the suprise exit?

Also, when Heidfeld failed to score it was at Canada in what was an unavoidable freak accident. At that point he was strongly in the points and ahead of Petrov, having put in an emotionally moving performence. However, although I do not rate Petrov at all, I'll admit he wipes the floor with Bruno Lalli (his real name) who is only in F1 because he's chosen to use his uncle's surname. His record at HRT was beyond awful. If talent has anything to do with it he'd be looking across the atlantic for employment and would've been dropped many moons before Chandock who was happily out finishing him.
Here are the driver talent rankings at Renault:
1. Quick Nick Heidfeld

2. Vitalu Petrov
3. The rest of the team, the engineers, managers, etc.
4. Bruno Lalli

I'll comment on the others in a moment.
 

EvilWhippet

Podium Finisher
Torro Ross
I think they'll stick with the status quo for the rest of the season. The moose has been strong and consistent for most of the season and Jaime's upped his game considerably in the past few races. Ricciardo will gain experience at HRT but nothing else, it's impossible to look good in that car and his teammate has all the advantages.

Force Indio
Sutil was awful for most of the season but has got some good finishes, he's also spent his entier career with the team and has been with them since the start. Paul has been great this year, it's mainly been circumstance and one or two (although less than most people) rookie mistakes that have cost him top ten finishes. He is a rookie afterall. It will happen but he has been exceptional.

Lotus
I think Trulli will survive the year, but he's not really driving with the fire of a young man who thinks he could be WDC some day. Chandock very much deserves to be in F1 anyway, on talent alone HRT should never have dropped him as he was by far the most talented guy to drive a Hispania during 2010. Part way through the season they had a table in F1 racing, scoring the finishes of the new guys (as in the highest finishing of the new teams gets 25 points, the next highest gets 18 etc.) and Karun was way ahead, despite the HRT being the slowest thing out there. I hope we see Chandock in F1 next year, I don't think Trulli would leave a gapig hole, despite his longevity.
 

RevMaxPower

Banned
Re these "dismal performances" from some of the new guys. Would they be so dismal if they were driving Ferraris, Mclarens or Red Bulls? I doubt it very much. F1 is definitely a game where the workman CAN blame his tools...
 

EvilWhippet

Podium Finisher
Bruno Lalli failed aganist several benchmarks in one year, most of which hadn't even driven the car before.

"Should we employ that guy?"
"Lolwhat!? He just got out-qualified by Yammamoto!"
"His uncle's Ayrton Senna."
"OK, fair enough."
 

Slyboogy

World Champion
Contributor
I agree with you there Rasputin, Buemi the Moose, is clearly the less favoured, Alguersuari has put in countless of poor performances, even last year, and somehow just gets chance after chance. Buemi also this season seemed to be the one getting replaced in Friday Practice more than Alguersuari.

I think Buemi has much more to offer, I kind of mess around when talking about him calling him a Moose and all that for a laugh, but I quite like the guy.

As for Force India, how the tables have turned there...don't think either will get replaced this year, and I very much doubt di Resta will get replaced next season either as he is highly rated.

Renault is an interesting one, with all the drivers contracted, I really don't think Bruno Lalli deserves an F1 seat, Petrov is not doing that bad despite whatever Whippet says, he has impressed me this year, he has had some bad luck aswell. But that Renault car seems to be going backwards aswell. On top of that, unlike Heidfeld, he has a contract for next year too.

Here are the driver talent rankings at Renault:
1. Quick Nick Heidfeld

2. Vitalu Petrov
3. The rest of the team, the engineers, managers, etc.
4. Bruno Lalli

I'll comment on the others in a moment.

ROFLROFL
 

Slyboogy

World Champion
Contributor
I would have said Maldonado would be under threat, but he's got sponsorship, Williams don't tend to change drivers halfway through the season, plus Barrichello isn't exactly out shining anyone is he?
 

EvilWhippet

Podium Finisher
I do get a little frsutrated with the likes of Schumi and Barrichelo hanging around for know particular reason. I know it's hard to leave a sport that's brought you wealth and fame but Stevie Wonder can see their time has long since past. And he isn't even into motorsports!

Why are the likes of Hulkenburg and Chandock, two obvously talented drivers out of race drives when there's these old dudes doing nothing more than clogging up the market. If they were consistently out-finishing their team mates I could understand it but Rosberg is dominanting Michael and Maldonado (a rookie who few people thought deserved the seat) is making Rubens look pretty poor at times too.
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
Interestingly, the scores in the Team Mate Prediction thread

Prediction Game.jpg


The lowest scores are Mark Webber, Felipe Massa, Michael Schumacher and Narain Karthikeyan. Which of these 4 are up against top quality drivers and which are losing to themselves is up to you to decide.

I think Trulli, in a Ferrari vs Kovalainen, would be in that list too. Unreliability explains his exclusion rather than pace.
 

Bus Stop Chicane

Points Scorer
Personally I hope we don't see anymore this year. Nothing worse than constant driver changes throughout a season. 2008 was great in that we never had a single one.

Sutil has gotten a lot of bad press simply because his teammate is Di Resta. The BBC and the rest of the British media feel the need to slate anyone who's directly competing with a British driver (Liuzzi last year, trying to keep his seat from Di Resta). Nevermind that he's the one who's got the majority of the points. It's quite pathetic really.

I have to admit that until the last three races I have never been a fan of Alguersairi. Thought he was incredibly fortunate to still have a drive after a unimpressive 2010 season, and a very poor start to this year. Really wondered what many people saw in him. He's in the form of his career at the moment though, and hopefully he can keep it up.

I also agree with EvilWhippet in that Barrichello really needs to pack it in now, along with Schumacher. Is he going for 1000 race starts or something?
 

no-FIAt-please

Champion Elect
Premium Contributor
Hmm I disagree with you about the BBC being unfair to Sutil, so far he's had a quiet season that hasn't needed much publicity. To be fair to the BBC they should put slightly more emphasis on British drivers as a large portion of the BBC's viewer are British and and therefore will be more interested in the British drivers.

As for Schumacher if you asked me before the season started I would have said he needed to retire. But other than the fact that he can be clumsy (as seen at Silverstone) I think he is actually starting to compete on a similar level to Rosberg, even with his stop and go he was still 9th. I will wait for the season to finish before making my final verdict on him, similar with Barrichello.
 
Also, when Heidfeld failed to score it was at Canada in what was an unavoidable freak accident. At that point he was strongly in the points and ahead of Petrov, having put in an emotionally moving performence. However, although I do not rate Petrov at all, I'll admit he wipes the floor with Bruno Lalli (his real name) who is only in F1 because he's chosen to use his uncle's surname. His record at HRT was beyond awful. If talent has anything to do with it he'd be looking across the atlantic for employment and would've been dropped many moons before Chandock who was happily out finishing him.
Here are the driver talent rankings at Renault:
1. Quick Nick Heidfeld

2. Vitalu Petrov
3. The rest of the team, the engineers, managers, etc.
4. Bruno Lalli

I'll comment on the others in a moment.

If Bruno Senna is apparently 'Bruno Lalli', then Ayrton would be 'Ayrton da Silva'

Bruno's full name is Bruno Senna Lalli.
Ayrton's full name is Ayrton Senna da Silva.
Therefore they should either both be Senna, or one be 'Lalli' and one be 'da Silva'
 

Speshal

World Champion
Valued Member
Off topic but by that reasoning Fernando Alonso should be called Fernando Alonso Diaz - from Spanish naming customs the first surname is the father's first surname, and the second is the mother's first surname. Therefore he is Bruno Senna.

Back on topic - I can sort of understand the logic behind the smaller teams switching mid-season if a driver can bring in more cash then fair play to them if that's what they need to do to survive, every single driver on the grid regardless of weather they are a pay driver or not still has to hold a super license and those aren't that easy to come by.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
every single driver on the grid regardless of whether they are a pay driver or not still has to hold a super license and those aren't that easy to come by.

**ahem** Yuji Ide **ahem**

Anyway, I don't think there will be any more changes this season but I used to love "guest" drivers. Tiff Needell, Slim Borgudd, Kevin Cogan, Stephen South, JV snr and just take a look at the Osella wiki page, they have a paragraph entitled "Driver Merry-go-round" LOL

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osella
 
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