Driver Changes

Posted on November 30, 2012


The Brazillian Grand Prix is one heck of a race to try to analyse, and I haven’t done it yet as I’ve been a little busy. I figure that as the season is now over, and there is going to be little to talk about (unless you’re into discussing green flags and yellow flashy lights ad nauseam), that the analysis can wait until next week.

As a little aside, we have pretty much got the 2013 line up announced now, so I thought I’d give a little of my thoughts from the year’s data analysis on those who are moving.

Lewis Hamilton (McLaren -> Mercedes): I know Rosberg is not slow, but you can’t help feeling that Lewis will bring a chunk of time to the team. He has been comfortably faster than Button (with notable exceptions) throughout the last two years. Although neither team nor driver are known for looking after the tyres…

Sergio Perez (Sauber -> McLaren): Perez has been a bit of a data analysis hero for the last two years, and it has been good to see him getting results that his pace deserves. I think that the guy is very fast – not as consistent as Button, but I think Jenson will not have things all his own way next year.

Nico Hulkenburg (Force India -> Sauber): Toe-to-toe with Di Resta for the first ten or so races, has shown a clean pair of heels (to the tune of 0.5s consistently) to the Brit in the closing events. Beginning to look like a real star – and the data supports it.

Kamui Kobayashi (lost Sauber drive): Just wasn’t as fast as Perez and was likely to be soundly beaten by Hulkenburg. But still quick enough to be in F1.

Bruno Senna (lost Williams drive): Was never fast enough – in some ways it is a surprise that Bottas wasn’t brought it at the summer break. I think that Williams had a very fast car this year and, had Raikkonen decided to go Grove rather than Enstone, may have been much higher than eighth best constructor. I have a feeling that Bottas will show this next year.

Charles Pic (Marussia -> Caterham): Was pretty quick and, on occasion, left Glock behind. Definitely has potential, but it is difficult to tell how much. Good to see him staying for next year.

With all the talk of drivers having to pay for their drives, I’ll leave you with a quote I read recently:

“Inevitably the cost of F1 continued to spiral and despite the injection of some new sponsorship funds the financial outlook is grim. Virtually every driver now has to provide some sponsorship of his own to earn his seat – ability alone no longer is enough”

The source? Autosport’s seasonal survey from the 1971 season. Very little is ever really new…

Posted in: Comment