This has been great, great stuff.
Red Bull: Daniel Ricciardo
Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton
Ferrari: Fernando Alonso
Lotus: null - Maldonado failed to set representative lap time
McLaren: Kevin Magnussen
Force India: Nico Hulkenberg
Sauber: Adrian Sutil
Toro Rosso: Jean-Eric Vergne
Williams: Felipe Massa
Marussia: Max Chilton
Caterham: Kamui Kobayashi
Easily the best photoshop of Jumping Max Chilton I’ve seen all day
Credit: Reddit user Travelling_Turnip
At the rate it’s going I’m gonna need medical assistance after arguing for hours about the new F1 rule changes.
Namely the 2x Points Season Finale.
Comparing Nico Hülkenberg’s form in the first and second halves of his three Formula 1 seasons.
Notice a trend?
The best part about the Vettel drama is that it makes it very easy to pick out which F1 fans I want nothing to do with.
Funny faces in Monza.
These could make great reaction images.
There are definitely more paying drivers on the grid now, and certainly, when you look at the overall resumes of the drivers on the grid back then as opposed to those on the grid now,
That said, in the context of 2002, the grid wasn’t QUITE as stacked as you’d think.
You still had “pay drivers” - namely Enrique Bernoldi (Arrows) and Alex Yoong (Minardi) who both amounted to nothing. Allan McNish was a 30-something rookie with little upside in F1 and Mika Salo was 36 and hadn’t raced since 2000. Both would get canned from Toyota the following year. Heinz-Harald Frentzen would never re-capture his 1999 magic and burned his bridge out of Jordan, finished the ‘01 campaign in a Prost, and then went to Arrows - who would both go bust in a 12 month timeframe.
Aside from Webber, other rookies on the grid included Felipe Massa, who was very young and very errattic, and Takuma Sato, who was slightly older and even more erratic. Both were vastly outclassed by their teammates, and neither would be on the grid to start the 2003 season (they’d take testing roles). Neither Eddie Irvine or Pedro de la Rosa could do a whole lot in mediocre Jaguar machinery, and neither of them would be on the grid next year either - Irvine retired, De la Rosa would later test for McLaren. Jacques Villeneuve was a former champion that sunk into mediocrity with BAR Honda, and his “lead driver” role was being undermined by Olivier Panis, who was getting old and was never the same driver after his 1997 shunt in Montreal.
Jenson Button would go on to be a champion, but he was just coming off a TERRIBLE 2001 season where he’d often share row 11 with Tarso Marques. IN A BENETTON. Kimi Raikkonen was a revelation in 2001 as a rookie, but he wouldn’t ascend into the elite tier until ‘03 as he struggled in his first year with McLaren similar to what Sergio Perez is doing now. Jarno Trulli and Giancarlo Fisichella had close calls, but wouldn’t get their first GP victories until well after 2002. And Nick Heidfeld got passed up for the McLaren drive he thought he had sealed up in the junior formulae.
And then you had the dominant German champion (MSC) and his “sympathetic underdog” teammate (Barrichello) with the powerhouse team. A German-powered team that had arguably the most powerful car and its two drivers - an underappreciated German (Ralf Schumacher) and a fiery, charismatic driver who was great at overtaking (Montoya) - similar to Red Bull and Mercedes this year. And then there’s David Coulthard - the championship runner up the year before, but came nowhere near as close as Fernando Alonso came in 2012. Speaking of Alonso, he was testing for Renault this year and didn’t race in 2002.
True, the 2013 grid isn’t stacked with numerous future champions. And yes, it’s ridiculous that talented drivers that don’t have sponsorship can’t get anywhere. But looking back on it, the talent of the previous generation all had their flaws too.