The challenges in getting a new driver up to speed in F1
Autosport Plus

The challenges in getting a new driver up to speed in F1

By:

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.

shares
comments
Singapore Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Plus

Singapore Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

A testing return to the Singapore Grand Prix in tricky conditions created plenty of hazards and mistakes for the Formula 1 drivers to fall into. That partly explains a number of low scores, including from a handful of high profile runners, allowing others to take a starring role under the floodlights

The two key contributors to Leclerc's defeat to Perez in F1's 2022 Singapore GP Plus

The two key contributors to Leclerc's defeat to Perez in F1's 2022 Singapore GP

In a marathon Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix, Sergio Perez’s victory was only assured hours after the race due to a stewards investigation. Throughout the contest the Red Bull driver impressively held off Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in changing conditions to see the Mexican pull out enough of an advantage to negate his post-race penalty

The time-honoured manufacturer model that can't apply to all F1 teams Plus

The time-honoured manufacturer model that can't apply to all F1 teams

What happens, asks MATT KEW, if the old adage of win on a Sunday, sell on a Monday is no longer true for F1 manufacturers?

Formula 1
Oct 2, 2022
Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie? Plus

Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie?

The Australian rising star is fast, consistent, confident, adaptable and has shown excellent racecraft, but there’s already a taint to his reputation. That hasn’t stopped him becoming the hottest property in this year’s F1 driver market and why McLaren moved fast to snap up the 21-year-old

Formula 1
Sep 30, 2022
The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver Plus

The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver

Formula 1's incoming engine rules shake-up has multiple targets. But it may also solve what has been a bone of contention since the hybrids arrived in 2014. The new plan will allow the series to pump up the volume

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance Plus

How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance

Nyck de Vries appeared to have missed his opportunity to break into Formula 1 as he was passed over for more exciting talents who have now become frontrunners and title fighters. But after catching the eye outside of the F1 sphere, before his stunning impromptu grand prix debut in Italy, will it lead to a delayed full-time race seat?

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment? Plus

Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment?

The Singapore Grand Prix has, explains BEN EDWARDS, played an important role in Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 career. As the series returns to the Marina Bay Street Circuit for the first time in three years, he faces the latest challenge with an underperforming Mercedes car

Formula 1
Sep 28, 2022
Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals Plus

Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals

Although Ferrari's chances of title glory in 2022 have evaporated, chairman John Elkann expects the team to have chalked up both championships by 2026. Both require drivers to play the team game and, having now become more comfortable with the F1-75, Carlos Sainz may be Ferrari's key to title glory

Formula 1
Sep 27, 2022
The great F1 duel that will be recreated in the 2021 midfield
Previous article

The great F1 duel that will be recreated in the 2021 midfield

Next article

Mercedes will do "everything we can" for Hamilton to race Abu Dhabi F1 finale

Mercedes will do "everything we can" for Hamilton to race Abu Dhabi F1 finale