F1 » Extended practice could 'hurt smaller teams'

Martin Whitmarsh warns that extending first free practice may not have the desired impact on smaller teams in F1

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September 26, 2013 11:45 AM

If this happens then it just means an extra half an hour with no cars on track, it is bad enough as it is, they either need to shorten the time, or force the teams to be on track for the whole time.


September 26, 2013 5:16 PM

As if Whitmarsh really cares, I would have thought he should be spending his time ensuring that Mclaren produce a top car next season and that he does'nt lose his job. The small teams will follow if they want to stay in F1 as nobody takes any notice of their opinions.


September 26, 2013 10:30 PM

I would wish that the big teams would use that time for young drivers. The likes of Alonso, Hamilton or Vettel have had some good experience from testing before they started racing in F1. Now it has become more difficult for young drivers to cope with F1 and impressing the big teams. And when Witmarsh says that young drivers has no place in McLaren's friday program...
Considering that they have Magnussen and Vondoorne which have impressed at the Renault series. What you can say about teams like Ferrari used to sign their rivasls drivers or Mercedes with a experienced driver pairing but stll on young age.


September 26, 2013 10:49 PM

Firestorm, Something that I've noticed recently is the lack of real talent coming into F1, that might be down to pay drivers or it might be down to lack of testing.
Of the 9 current drivers who have won a race 5 of them are World Champions, Webber is about to retire, Massa might not get another drive, Maldonado's win was a one off and that leaves Rosberg as possibly the only non champion race winner next season. It all seems a bit top heavy with no real talent coming through and that's a worry.
The last real emerging talent was Vettel and Hamilton and before that it was Button, Kimi and Alonso there has been very little since.


September 27, 2013 12:09 AM

Agree with you Taipan. But is another factor as well. In the last 8 years we usually saw the same drivers at the top teams. Alonso was at Renault, McLaren and Ferrari. Raikkonen at the same teams, Hamilton at McLaren and Mercedes, Button at Brawn, McLaren and at a generally competitive car in BAR/Honda from 2004 to 2006. Also we had Massa at Ferrari, Kubica at BMW Sauber and Renault. Rosberg with Mercedes and Vettel with Webber got a competitive car only in the last few years. They have only few chances to impress. Kovalainen had his chance and got sacked, Grosjean has still much to prove and if Kimi hadn't leave Lotus, I guess he would be out. I mean that the top teams don't look too much at young drivers at the moment, they wants proven drivers. Riccardo has a great chance next year to demonstrate that the young guns can be as fast as the champions. He must try to keep the pace with Vettel, for himself, for the team and for the sport in general.


September 27, 2013 12:30 AM

Ty, I want to add something as well. In the early 90s Schumacher, Barrichello and Coulthard did set a new standart in F1. They both started their F1 careers at a very young age and stayed in F1 for 15 years and even more. And the current world champions on the grid followed suit with many other drivers doing the same as well. In the past a driver did race in F1 for 10 season on average and not for 15. Remember Prost, Mansell, Hill, Hakkinen, Villeneuve they weren't such young at their rookie year. Next year we will have Sirotkin only 18 years old. The problem is that with drivers racing for 15 years and staying at top teams for most of their F1 career, the others do not have a chance to win races or to get many podiums. Talented drivers as Hulkenberg or di Resta are struggling to find a seat at top teams because the seats are filled with our experienced champions, so no vacancy left.


September 27, 2013 1:54 AM

Firestorm, as usual you come up with good points. I'm not sure what the cure is but at the moment there is a problem with real talent coming through and maybe its up to the big teams to address that as they may be the ones who suffer in the long run. Who will replace Vettel, Alonso, Lulu, Kimi, Button etc in 4 or 5 years time? To be honest I can't see the natural progression at the moment.


September 27, 2013 7:21 AM

I can't believe anybody still goes for the McLaren young driver program. I mean, look at how well it worked for Heidfeld, Paffet, Green, Parvis, to name but 4. I swear, the only reason McLaren do it is to keep potential rivals out of other teams' cars - Magnussen is going to waste some valuable years before he realises he won't be as lucky as Hamilton and get a race seat with the team. And I honestly can't recall a driver being placed anywhere by McLaren, so...

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