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Old 6 Dec 2015, 11:47 (Ref:3595883)   #1
old man
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old man should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridold man should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridold man should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
F1 Not Attracting the Best Drivers?

In deciding the above title I want to add "And Does it Matter"

It is prompted by something heard yesterday concerning an already respected driver in his mid to late teens who is faced with an enviable decision. Does he take a free drive in a feeder series or a paid drive in another branch of motorsport? He is likely to take the latter.

In recent years when discussing objectives with kart drivers or those in say FF, Vauxhall Junior, F BMW, F Renault, the inevitable reply was "I want to get into F1" but this is increasingly not the case. The brighter ones are now looking simply for a career in whatever branch offers achievability. They see the budgets required to just get them through karting as frightening and realise that as they move into the feeder series these budgets get way out of family reach. They also see drivers in some cases with less perceived talent making it onto the F1 grid because of heavy backing.

To assist drivers there are various schemes that pick up "the best" and offer big support towards the budget for feeders and the driver has to find the rest, often a 50/50 split. Sponsors are attracted to a driver selected for such a scheme but rapidly lose interest if success does not follow. The best young drivers are inevitably highly intelligent, have family advisors or managers who, unless blinded by ambition, see the problems of the budget requirements to F1 and are increasingly looking at alternatives.

Another factor now is the short route taken by Verstappen and before him Button and Raikkonen, many think if they are not in F1 by 20 they have failed and so adjust objectives or have them adjusted. We saw Shumacher and Webber come into F1 through sportscar racing with others from Indycar and these routes should still be open but I do not at the moment see it happening.

Finally, does it matter?

I was attracted by motorsport when I discovered it in the late '40s and enthuse about the cars, the technology, the driving skills, the racing and see that excellent careers can be carved without "making it" to F1, there are many such examples with Tom Kristensen being perhaps the best from circuit racing, you will all list lots of others. It has changed over the years but one thing is constant, it costs a lot of money to buy the equipment if you want to achieve at the top level, even at club level it is not really cheap but vastly enjoyable.

So, what do others think, is F1 losing out on driver talent and does it matter?
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Old 6 Dec 2015, 12:43 (Ref:3595891)   #2
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canamman should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridcanamman should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridcanamman should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
That's a good question! Ever since I have been
following F1 since 1984 I have always thought that they
had the best drivers in 4 wheel motorsports. To drive that
fast on a road course is quite remarkable. To be trusted with
the most expensive gear on the planet a diver must be qualified
for that level. Seems like a lot of the successful sportscar racers
have some amount of F1 experience.

So I would say - yes - F1 does attract the best drivers.
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Old 6 Dec 2015, 12:44 (Ref:3595892)   #3
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S griffin should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridS griffin should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridS griffin should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridS griffin should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
The big problem for me is that with only 20 seats on the grid, so many talented drivers are missing out or leaving F1 too early, like di Resta. I only hope no more teams drop out
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Old 7 Dec 2015, 17:47 (Ref:3596169)   #4
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It does not help that there is very little movement in the driver ranks. Of the 20 confirmed drivers for 2016 (minus the 2 at Manor), 17 are in the same seat they were last year and all three that are not was caused by Haas joining the grid.
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Old 8 Dec 2015, 02:39 (Ref:3596302)   #5
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Given the reviews that Webber has given Timo Bernhard, it is clear that all the best drivers are not in F1.

MotoGP on the other hand - they are the best, no question, and no pay riders either!
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Old 8 Dec 2015, 02:53 (Ref:3596304)   #6
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MotoGP on the other hand - they are the best, no question, and no pay riders either!
I was thinking the same thing. That's why I mentioned 4 wheel motorsports.
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Old 8 Dec 2015, 08:58 (Ref:3596352)   #7
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F1 will always be the dream for every aspiring young driver but the sad truth is 99% of them will never make it, no matter how talented they are.

Money, lots of it, and connections (management) are the prime reasons. Add into the mix that circa 50% of the F1 teams require pay drivers and you're looking at maybe just 10 to 12 talent based seats.

I actually don't think that's good for F1 but frankly it's never been any different.

Drivers who want to earn a living from the sport should be encouraged to consider everything and anything......sure they won't become World famous or multi millionaires but they could do OK.
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Old 8 Dec 2015, 09:26 (Ref:3596358)   #8
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Are the best drivers in F1? In my opinion yes, the very best will and have normally made it. There will always be the argument that we don't know how successful some people would have been. Senna always said that Fullerton was the most complete driver he ever raced against in Karting. Could he have been the best F1 driver in History?

Is F1 made up of the best 20 drivers? No certainly not, but it never has so why are people (not necessarily on here) worried about that? F1 has always had Megastars/Great Drivers/Good Drivers/Grid Fillers and that I think is one of the appeals, can a "grid filler" work hard and become a great driver? can a perceived "megastar" fail to fulfil his potential?

Even on the current grid there are a few drivers that are great but have never won a race and some that are good/grid fillers that have won. History will say that Maldanado was a more successful driver than Hulkenberg (assuming no more success from either) but I think that the majority of people will say otherwise.
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Old 8 Dec 2015, 10:06 (Ref:3596369)   #9
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Ogier is one of the best 20 drivers in motorsports - don't remember him ever wanting to be in F1. Loeb similarly.....

So, No...the best drivers are not necessarily in F1.
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Old 8 Dec 2015, 10:24 (Ref:3596374)   #10
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A quick flit around the wonder of the internet would seem to indicate a lot of people who have never been associated with F1 have done A OK.

http://www.celebritiesmoney.com/indy...ies-list-2015/

http://thenewdaily.com.au/sport/2015...d-sports-star/

http://tsmplay.com/money/nascar-drivers-salaries/


Net worths

Tom Kristenson $20M
Seb Loeb $55M
Tony Stewart $70M
Danica Patrick $30M
Jeff Gordon $150M
Kyle Busch $25M

So either try and get into F1 or go to America I guess.

Don't know what some of the Japanese drivers and some of the Asian championship drivers are paid???!


Webber is apparently on $2M a year at Porsche.

P.S. There are some contradictory figures around.

P.P.S. Wonder what some of the team owners in the lesser categories make out of the wannabees ART, DAMS, Campos, Trident etc.

Last edited by wnut; 8 Dec 2015 at 10:29.
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Old 8 Dec 2015, 10:30 (Ref:3596376)   #11
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Ogier is one of the best 20 drivers in motorsports - don't remember him ever wanting to be in F1. Loeb similarly.....

So, No...the best drivers are not necessarily in F1.
Loeb tried a few years ago, but the muppets said he did not qualify for a super licence.
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Old 8 Dec 2015, 11:38 (Ref:3596393)   #12
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Hotshots have always fallen off the radar for lack of cash, lesser drivers are in because of their cash and some drivers aren't interested in F1.

Realistically drivers should need to reach a certain threshold of high excellence but F1 being the best of the best is just marketing jazz.

I'm actually surprised that Kyle Busch earns less than Tom Kristensen but that list is hardly a metric for quality. Danica Patrick, for example, is a very middling character.
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Old 8 Dec 2015, 15:47 (Ref:3596433)   #13
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Thanks for that research wnut, interesting figures in those links, one wonders just how accurate but even if out by a large % they are still impressive.

Given these figures why would a talented driver not get himself over to the USA as quickly as possible, Max Chilton and his dad must wonder why they bothered with second tier teams in F1.

It brings up other thoughts, now we know why more top US drivers don't come to F1, we know why Bernie struggles to get teams involved when it is clear they must find the money through drivers to get on the grid and finally, I wonder how much Nigel Mansell made when he went Stateside?
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Old 8 Dec 2015, 16:05 (Ref:3596439)   #14
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i also have an issue with pay drivers. i respect that in motorsports a driver must be able to attract personal sponsors to make themselves more attractive but there is a difference in what the trend is now although im not sure i can say where exactly that line is.

i do think that if F1 wants to be the 'pinnacle' then this practice should not be allowed in F1. really there should be a minimum salary paid for by the teams irrespective of what type sponsorship a driver can bring in.

no doubt it would be difficult to monitor who got what/was it because of talent or commercial appeal/connections but for me its more of an appearance thing anyways and the hope that if a team has to pay then they will pick based only on perceived talent.

to be a professional sport and to be an professional athlete one must be paid by the team that they perform for. if the athlete is the one paying the team then they are not professional athletes and as such its not a professional sport.

i should add that i dont hold the same concerns for other categories as there is more of a blending between ownership and drivers with drivers often owning their own teams then there is in F1.
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Old 8 Dec 2015, 17:06 (Ref:3596449)   #15
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to be a professional sport and to be an professional athlete one must be paid by the team that they perform for. if the athlete is the one paying the team then they are not professional athletes and as such its not a professional sport.
Not exactly the same, but near enough, is the case of Michael Schumacher and now, apparently, Alonso. Schumacher's drive at Ferrari was paid for by Philip Morris (he received no fees from Ferrari), whilst it is believed that Alonso is paid by Honda.

This is surely the same type of arrangement that the pay-to-drive lot have with the teams; it would be hard to tell where the sponsorship stopped and the bought drive starts.
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