Mid season replacements

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
Much has been made of Giancarlo Fisichella moving to Ferrari to replace the injured Felipe Massa.
But what of the 2 drivers who were unceremoniously sacked by their teams due to their (presumably) poor performance?

I refer of course to Sébastien Bourdais and Nelsinho Piquet.
Bourdais was replaced at Toro Ross by Jaime Alguersuari after Germany and Piquet at Renault by Romain Grosjean after Hungary.

So how have the replacements performed?
Have they done a better job thereby justifying their promotions?

The following tables show the qualifying position, race result and points for all 4 drivers.
In addition, the 2 team mates, Sébastien Buemi and Fernando Alonso have also been included to be able to make a direct comparison.

Qualifying
DriverAusMalChnBhrSpnMonTurGbrGerHunEurBelItaSinJpnBraAbu
Fernando Alonso10927898101218138612
Romain Grosjean----------1419121918
Nelsinho Piquet14171615121217141015-------
Jaime Alguersuari---------201917201715
Sébastien Bourdais171515201714201719--------
Sébastien Buemi132010161511182017111516191410
[bg=#FFCC66]Gold background[/bg] indicates Pole Position
Red text indicates a problem or penalty



Race
DriverAusMalChnBhrSpnMonTurGbrGerHunEurBelItaSinJpnBraAbu
Fernando Alonso511985710147RET6RET5310
Romain Grosjean----------15RET15RET16
Nelsinho PiquetRET13161012RET16121312-------
Jaime Alguersuari---------1516RETRETRETRET
Sébastien Bourdais8101113RET818RETRET--------
Sébastien Buemi716817RETRET15181616RET1213RETRET
[bg=#FFCC66]Gold background[/bg] indicates Pole Position
Red text indicates Fastest Lap



Points
DriverAusMalChnBhrSpnMonTurGbrGerHunEurBelItaSinJpnBraAbuTotal
Fernando Alonso4142234626
Romain Grosjean0
Nelsinho Piquet0
Jaime Alguersuari0
Sébastien Bourdais112
Sébastien Buemi213
[bg=#FFCC66]Gold background[/bg] indicates Pole Position
Red text indicates Fastest Lap


As can be clearly seen, neither of the replacements have performed significantly better or worse than the drivers they replaced.

Were Renault and Toro Rosso therefore correct to sack the 2 drivers bearing in mind there is a testing ban which has resulted in 2 rookies with no track time at all coming in halfway through a season?
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
As we know, Piquet's relationship with his team was foundering for two reasons. 1) he had a clause in his contract stating that he needed to score a certain number of points to ensure his continued employment at Renault and 2) his collapsing relationship with his manager Flavio. With those two factors in place he was always going to be on a hiding to nothing and his sacking was almost inevitable so a question of when not if.

As for Bourdais. Perhaps it was all down to his attitude and the way he behaved with in the team. As you suggest the teams must have known with the lack of testing that any replacements couldn't be expected with the lack of testing to be on the pace from day one. Therefore it would be a pretty big step to get rid of a driver knowing that. So I suggest it is more about the working enviroment within the team rather than the performance of the driver. It's well known that Bourdais would have gone at the end of last season but managed to stave off the inevitable with his small upturn in performance in the final few races of 08.

My final thought is that if these two teams were already planning on giving the seats to these two drivers anyway then getting them in the car now gives them half a season of feet finding and competative action before starting proper in 2010. Testing is all well and good but as we saw with Luca Badoer, thousands of test miles dosn't mean a driver can perform on race day.
 

Speshal

World Champion
Valued Member
I had a point but I've had a few ciders and I forgot it, I think it had to do with the stupid decision to ban testing.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
If you think about it how both drivers kept their seats after 2008 is rather surprising. Spesh is right, without time in the car the replacements aren't going to get anywhere. Anyone know many hours Hamilton spent in the Mclaren prior to his debut? Driving in the lower formulae is a good apprenticeship but time with your bum in a F1 car is the only way to get real experience.

If the limited testing between seasons and the in season testing ban isn't lifted I reckon we could see Hammy, Fernando, Kimi and Felipe still fighting one another for the title in 2020

Speshal I recommend :coffee:
 
I would agree I think that it was basically throwing in the towel on this season and using the remaining races to test as they may have had these drivers in mind for next season. So why not make the change sooner rather than later to get the guys some seat time.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
So is it the general consensus that if there wasn't a testing ban the teams would have kept their original line up, safe in the knowledge that any new drivers for 2010 would have several months of testing over the winter?
 

Speshal

World Champion
Valued Member
FB said:
Spesh is right

:o this has never happened before.

I think what I was trying to get at is that if there were in season testing it wouldn't be such a challenge for the rookies when they get to their first GP, that said has there been this many in season changes?

Back to the cider
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
"So is it the general consensus that if there wasn't a testing ban the teams would have kept their original line up, safe in the knowledge that any new drivers for 2010 would have several months of testing over the winter?"

Yeah, That's what I was driving at and it seems everyone else has the same thoughts. Once again it proves how awkward this testing ban is. Perhaps a return to the unlimited friday running would have solved one or two problems for the newbies. Remember that's how Anthony Davidson kept himself in the frame for a drive by putting in some serioulsly quick times in the Honda. The chances are that Schuey wouldn't have been able to run in Friday testing anyway because he wasn't a nominated driver at the start of the season however it would have helped RG and JA.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
It's been 2 races since I originally posted this so time for an update.

Qualifying
DriverAusMalChnBhrSpnMonTurGbrGerHunEurBelItaSinJpnBraAbu
Fernando Alonso10927898101218138612
Romain Grosjean----------1419121918
Nelsinho Piquet14171615121217141015-------
Jaime Alguersuari---------201917201715
Sébastien Bourdais171515201714201719--------
Sébastien Buemi132010161511182017111516191410
[bg=#FFCC66]Gold background[/bg] indicates Pole Position
Red text indicates a problem or penalty



Race
DriverAusMalChnBhrSpnMonTurGbrGerHunEurBelItaSinJpnBraAbu
Fernando Alonso511985710147RET6RET5310
Romain Grosjean----------15RET15RET16
Nelsinho PiquetRET13161012RET16121312-------
Jaime Alguersuari---------1516RETRETRETRET
Sébastien Bourdais8101113RET818RETRET--------
Sébastien Buemi716817RETRET15181616RET1213RETRET
[bg=#FFCC66]Gold background[/bg] indicates Pole Position
Red text indicates Fastest Lap



Points
DriverAusMalChnBhrSpnMonTurGbrGerHunEurBelItaSinJpnBraAbuTotal
Fernando Alonso4142234626
Romain Grosjean0
Nelsinho Piquet0
Jaime Alguersuari0
Sébastien Bourdais112
Sébastien Buemi213
[bg=#FFCC66]Gold background[/bg] indicates Pole Position
Red text indicates Fastest Lap



Not great.
On balance I would say both Grosjean and Alguersuari are now performing considerably worse than the 2 drivers they replaced.
 

bogaTYR

Points Scorer
maybe all teams should have to enter 4 drivers, all 4 having with a certain number of test km's before the season starts.

two of these will become the main drivers and the others back up drivers. so when one of the main drivers drops out for whatever reason there is a serious backup. to keep up with potential changes in the driving characteristics of the car, these back up drivers should be allowed to do the friday tests.

its just pointless to pick up young drivers in the middle of the season and treat them like this, if only from a psychological point of view. part of it is the test ban i admit, but at the same time, its ludicrous for teams to throw young drivers into the deep end like that.

when you see that even fisi has an issue with driving a ferrari, then god only knows what it must be like for grosjean and argy.

edit: plus i think that what happened to bourdais and piquet junior is embarrassing and not good for F1 nor the drivers. ok, they maybe did not do great but they should at least be given more then they had now. another rule change if you ask me. any driver should have at least a 1 year deal.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
bogaTYR said:
its just pointless to pick up young drivers in the middle of the season and treat them like this, if only from a psychological point of view. part of it is the test ban i admit, but at the same time, its ludicrous for teams to throw young drivers into the deep end like that.
I agree.
I think Martin Brundle made a similar point during today's race.
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
I feel that Nelsinho Piquet produced absolutely nothing and Romain Grosjean was worth a try, as he couldn't score less than nothing! There have been other issues surrounding Piquet's departure that have rendered the sacking a nonsense, but I feel on racing it was fair enough.

As for Bourdais, he hasn't done significantly bad enough to feel the shepherd's crook on his neck! The Toro Rosso isn't worth a whole lot of points over a season, and he scored an excellent point in Monaco when the opportunity was there, as well as sneaking in at Melbourne. He wasn't in the same postcode as Vettel all too often last season, but at his biggest chance at Monza when the Toro Rosso was the best car(!), Bourdais was struck by bad luck as he stopped on the grid. He'd have been a better option than Alguersuari for the second half of the season.
 

GeoffP

Thank you and good night
Contributor
I don't agree with this at all. Somehow, somwhere new drivers have to have their first F1 race experience, they're never going to get that on the test track and some will succeed, whereas others will fail.

It is also unreasonable to expect drivers to have to have a "limbo" portion of their career where they go from successful race driver buiding on the PR of wins to being a "test driver under scrutiny" for a team that may, or may not, use them.

Some drivers will always succeed and some will always fail, their only filter that is missing is the ability to to allow these guys track time in order to prepare for their first F1 race. I actually don't believe that Algethingy and Grosjean performed particularyly badly, people do crash out, I seem to remember that two of the weakest links for that habit were Massa and Raikkonnen. The weak link, repeatedly during the weekend, was Buemi - this may be his inaurural series, but then he did first drive an F1 car in 2004. So, 15 races, perceivably 5 years of history of driving an F1 car, and still a rookie!

Maybe the focus should not be on the guys making mistakes rather than the rules that ensure they don't have a chance at being prepared. Certainly life would be fairer if teams had to nominate substitutes, but then that means that the most successful drivers from the junior series should lock themselves into a team that may not require them. Surely, under those circumstances the best drivers would want to be free agents?
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
GeoffP said:
Maybe the focus should not be on the guys making mistakes rather than the rules that ensure they don't have a chance at being prepared.
That was kind of my point.

I was trying to highlight that changing drivers mid season for rookies who have had no testing benefits no-one; the fans, the teams and least of all the drivers themselves.

This silly no testing rule needs to be reviewed as it does nothing for F1 or for the safety of the drivers.
 

GeoffP

Thank you and good night
Contributor
You're right, it was - I kinda missed that one one my red mist!

I think Algethingy my be on the road to being a player, all it would take is a little visit to the deed poll office so that I can spell his new and wisely chosen name, and recognition of the unfair challenge placed in the way of new entrants to this marque by the governing body. This would reopen F1 to new participants as well as providing some recognition to the remarkably high number that have had the high pressure entry offered to them this season.
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
I agree, I bet with a decent winter of testing Romain Grosjean could march Nelsinho Piquet, Jaime Algersuari could match Seb Bourdais and Luca Badoer could come within 2 seconds of Felipe Massa. There is no reason Vitantonio Liuzzi should be slower than Fisico!
 
Top Bottom