The challenges in getting a new driver up to speed in F1
At the Sakhir Grand Prix, the trio of Jack Aitken, Pietro Fittipaldi and George Russell all had unfamiliar machinery to contend with. TIM WRIGHT explains what it's like bedding in new drivers from when mid-season replacements were more commonplace
In times gone by when there were many more teams on the grid than today, it was fairly common to see numerous changes to the driver line-up at the final few races of a Formula 1 season as enterprising team owners completed short-term deals to keep their outfits on the grid. The penultimate race of the tumultuous 1994 season, at Suzuka, featured no less than five changes - one of them, JJ Lehto rejoining Sauber after a confidence-jarring year with Benetton, in a car I engineered - while three drivers made their debuts at the same race one year before, including a confident Ulsterman who would earn himself a punch from Ayrton Senna...
Of course, the circumstances around last weekend's changes for the Sakhir GP were anything but the norm. Pietro Fittipaldi, grandson of Emerson, was replacing the injured Romain Grosjean at Haas, while Jack Aitken was driving the Williams normally campaigned by Mercedes junior George Russell, who had been given the golden opportunity of driving Lewis Hamilton's W11 with the world champion sidelined by a positive test for COVID-19.
OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Autosport's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer explains
Humble yet blisteringly quick, Charles Leclerc is the driver Ferrari sees as its next world champion, and a rightful heir to the greats of Ferrari’s past – even though, by the team’s own admission, he’s not the finished article yet. Here's why it is confident that the 24-year-old can be the man to end a drought stretching back to 2008
He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells STUART CODLING about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him
It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as BEN ANDERSON discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…
From being lapped by his own team-mate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...
As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing windtunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places
After winning his past few Formula 1 titles at a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit
The great F1 duel that will be recreated in the 2021 midfield
Mercedes will do "everything we can" for Hamilton to race Abu Dhabi F1 finale