New blood for 2009?

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
As the GP2 season draws to a close this weekend, I'm wondering which drivers (if any) have justified consideration of an F1 rookie seat for next year?

Bruno Senna has had all the headlines in GP2, and may yet be champion. He is strongly linked to Toro Rosso for next year, but would he be a worthy replacement for Vettel or Bourdais? Sebastian Buemi will test the car shortly too, however his performances have fluctuated.

At the start of the season Romain Grosjean was highly tipped, as part of Renault's Driver Development Programme, and with low expectations of Nelson Piquet's performance. However as Nelson has got better, Romain seems to have got worse, and his season overall has to be classed as disappointing.

And what of Lucas di Grassi? Unable to do as much testing as he'd like for Renault's F1 team, he accepted the chance to go back into GP2 and has done really well. Still, with his experience, that's the least we should expect of him, isn't it?

As for other series, Willi Weber-managed Nico Hulkenberg has been the standout performer in the Formula Three Euroseries, though mistakes and misfortune have made the championship closer than it ought to be. Could he make the leap?
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff member
Premium Contributor
I find it rather strange that the path to an F1 seat for a young and up coming driver could be blocked by Honda's golden boy Mr T Sato. For some reason Torro Rosso have announced that they are testing him with a view to a race seat next year. Weather this is to put pressure on their current line up to improve their performances or not I'm not sure but it dosn't make much sense to me.

Can it mean that Ferrari engined Torro Rosso could be Honda engined Torro Rosso from next season ??
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
I think Red Bull are keen to sell more "product" in Japan?

The way things are going they should definitely stick with the Ferrari engine, as long as they can afford it. Still no new owners on the horizon are there? Worrying.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
Honestly I don't have an answer.

No-one has been head and shoulders above the rest in GP2 this year in my opinion.
Bruno Senna has driven well but he has also had some terrible races.

Not sure they should replace either Vettel or Bourdais with him.
Vettel is getting better and better and Bourdais may come good next year after a season under his belt.

Romain Grosjean as you say seems to be going backwards in terms of performance.
I would doubt that any of the major F1 players will show any real interest in him as a drive for next year.

If Lucas Di Grassi isn't careful he may end up stuck in the "lower" series for a while longer yet.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
Latest rumours here.

As the formula one world this week dashes across Europe between the Spa-Francorchamps/Monza double header, rumours abound about possible driver changes for the future. Despite Sebastien Bourdais enjoying a strong weekend in the Ardennes, the Belgian paddock on Sunday night buzzed with speculation the Frenchman's days at Toro Rosso may be extremely numbered.

Indeed, some sages whispered that Sunday's Italian grand prix could be his last, as the Ferrari-powered squad possibly turns to giving 2009 contenders Takuma Sato, Sebastien Buemi and Bruno Senna the opportunity to prove their worth at the remaining races of this season....[MORE]
 
Most of the names being thrown around here have done better than some drivers who then got into F1. I wouldn't rule out Di Grassi, Buemi, Grosjean or "Senna" as capable of being good F1 drivers. Glock is doing better than I expected so, who knows, perhaps even Pantano would be worth hiring for a drive in one of the teams at the back?
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
Croydon Bob said:
Most of the names being thrown around here have done better than some drivers who then got into F1. I wouldn't rule out Di Grassi, Buemi, Grosjean or "Senna" as capable of being good F1 drivers.
I don't know what the inverted commas are for, evidence so far shows that Bruno Senna is indeed named Senna, although he's not that Senna!

He's Ayrton Senna's nephew apparently, and he definately hit a dog in Istanbul!
 

Penske666

Rookie
Yep - Senna is Sennas nephew - he was banned by his family from racing in 94 and only retook it up a few years ago. He did splat a dog - the producers showed us what happened and then stopped it about 2 frames before the splattering!!!

My money would be on Di Grassi - not been in in for first few races and doing a damn fine job. Grosjean is good but prone to daft mistakes and Senna I think could easily go through as well.

Maldanardo seems to have picked up well since his win but think it was too late in season for him to become an option.
 

bogaTYR

Points Scorer
i don't watch gp2 a lot but i found the driving well below par this year from what i did see. although the driving at times was impressive, so were the mistakes. and some of the mistakes would be disastrous for any f1 driver.

but i do hear there is interest in certain drivers, especially di grazzi. but he did not impress me from what i did see.
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff member
Premium Contributor
I expect the Senna name would be too hard to turn down for some teams. An emotive name likely to draw a lot of publicity and as a result bring in plenty of hard cash from the sponsors.

As for which team he will end up in to best showcase his talents I don't know. He won't get a top drive because there shouldn't be any available (maybe the best he could hope for is a Renault spot) and if he goes further down the grid he could be written off so it's going to be a tough one.
 
teabagyokel said:
I don't know what the inverted commas are for, evidence so far shows that Bruno Senna is indeed named Senna, although he's not that Senna!

He's Ayrton Senna's nephew apparently, and he definately hit a dog in Istanbul!
Ayrton and his sister Viviane (Bruno's mother) had the surname "Senna da Silver", Ayrton shortened it. Viviane married Flavio Lalli. Bruno was born Bruno Lalli, his sister's name is Bianca Lalli. Bruno's father died 18 months after Ayrton, knocked off a motorbike that had belonged to Ayrton while stationary at a junction.

Bruno has changed his name from that of his father to benefit from the connection to his uncle; he has used it cynically. So that is why I called him "Senna" because he is no more a Mr Senna than I could be if I chose to call myself that.

But that doesn't change the fact that he did do rather well in GP2. Coming close behind Pantano with much less experience and a bit of bad luck (such as the dog incident).
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
Thanks for that bit of trivia - I never knew that :)

I have to say, it's probably likely that Senna will get a drive purely because of the name and sponsorship/advertising opportunities, as others have alluded to.
 

Ninad13

Rookie
I dont think Giorgio Pantano might get a chance despite of being a GP2 champion because he has already wasted one F1 opportunity in past with Jordan team and it took him 4 seasons to get GP2 title.
But I'll like to see Bruno Senna get a chance in F1....
:cheer:
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
Well apart from Toro Rosso, Toyota and Honda, all the other teams have confirmed their driver line-ups for next season with the only change being Sebastian Vettel partnering Mark Webber at Red Bull due to David Coulthard's retirement.

So with just 6 seats left and the likelihood that at least 4 of those will be filled by current drivers, it's not looking promising for any up-and-coming drivers to get a seat for 2009.

The confirmed line-ups for 2009 are here.
 

Speshal

World Champion
Valued Member
Brogan said:
Well apart from Toro Rosso, Toyota and Honda, all the other teams have confirmed their driver line-ups for next season with the only change being Sebastian Vettel partnering Mark Webber at Red Bull due to David Coulthard's retirement.

So with just 6 seats left and the likelihood that at least 4 of those will be filled by current drivers, it's not looking promising for any up-and-coming drivers to get a seat for 2009.

The confirmed line-ups for 2009 are here.
I can only see 2 spots, 3 at the most available

Vettel's spot at Torro Rosso
Reubens at Honda
and at a push Jarno at Toyota (this I'm doubtful about due to new regs next season)

I think the younger recruits will and should go into testing roles I think Lewis was an abomination being brought straight into the F1 Team (I agree that it was right tho!)

A) There are no decent entry level seats available as per the above and B) In my opinion there are none of the new recruits that I can see that could immediately step into a top seat (moot point as there are none available)

It's all about 2010/2011 as far as I can see

There are maybe 2 retirements coming up within the next year or 2 and that's Jarno and Reubens so it seems that a lot of drivers will have a lot to prove next season. Personally I feel Mark Webber may well be under pressure to perform consistently well next season.

Oh and please no seat for Taku - lovely bloke but..... ;)
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
Looks like I missed the Toyota announcment weeks ago where they confirmed Trulli and Glock for next season

So that just leaves 4 places and I expect 2 of those (Honda) are more or less certain.
So it's all down to Toro Rosso and what they decide to do with Bourdais which will mean a maximum of 2 places available.

Any ideas who might take Vettel's seat?
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff member
Premium Contributor
Any ideas who might take Vettel's seat?
No but I've heard there is a reward of $10000 to catch the bounder. You just can't leave anything unattended these days.
 
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