Drivers in Formula 1 come and go. Some like Michael Schumacher retire, passing the racing baton to other drivers. Some leave before their time as the cut-throat business takes yet another victim.
2013 is going to be a completely different season to that of its predecessor as new drivers join the sport. Perhaps, as we join a new era of racing and driver line ups, it would be appropriate to examine the drivers who no longer race but have made a great impact on the sport? The drivers on this list are here because I feel they are yet to show their full potential in Formula 1.
First on my list is a driver who has been linked to a race seat since the start of the season.
Jaime Alguersuari, was dropped by Toro Rosso (look out Vergne and Ricciardo) after two years despite solid drives. This is possibly a case of age defining a driver. The Spaniard was the first driver born in the 1990s to reach the pinnacle of motor racing, in this instance I think shareholders failed to take him seriously. It would be in the interest of a team to reintroduce Alguersuari back into the fold for 2013; Toro Rosso, along with the Red Bull, invested time and money into him. What’s more the young driver has knowledge of the Pirelli tyres that no other racer has after spending a year as their test driver. Something for Force India to consider perhaps?
Next on my list is a driver who is known as ‘Mr Reliable’ but can’t seem to get the same continuity in his racing career.
Nick Heidfeld left Formula 1 with unfinished business. I admit the German is somewhat of a controversial choice. Called in to replace Robert Kubica in 2011, at the team then known as Renault, he was quickly dropped. Cue lawsuits and the end to a slightly topsy-turvy career. Not the most memorable personality and certainly an older driver by F1’s standards, the 35 year old does however boast some impressive credentials. 259 points from 183 race starts (using the old points system) is a sign of a reliable driver. Ultimately the good of the team comes before the wishes of a driver. Heidfeld is not an example of supreme youth and investment but more a mark of what great experience can bring to a team.
Driver number three’s exit from Formula 1 was a true reflection of his passion and dedication to the sport.
Robert Kubica’s accident in a rally race before the start of the 2011 season saw the Polish driver undergo numerous operations, most notably to his right forearm which had become partly severed. As is the way with any sporting injury, time was of the essence and reluctantly Eric Boullier had to sign two new drivers for the start of the 2012 season. Recent successful rally races have proven that Kubica is back on winning form but a return to single seater racing is regrettably unlikely as new racers take their moments of glory.
Finally I look to a driver to who has been mentioned in one of my previous blog posts as a contender for a seat at Force India once again.
Adrian Sutil has not had the best of luck. In my opinion, his time in Formula 1 did not act as a true reflection of his impressive talent. I know, of course, all drivers on the grid were born with a certain degree of race talent. Some impressive qualifying in a generally disappointing Force India did improve his profile. However any chance of a return may be tainted by two quite poignant reasons: Firstly, he has a criminal conviction for an assault on a leading member of the-then Renault team. Secondly: he has been away from racing for a year and has done little of any real significance related to competitive driving.
The above named drivers left Formula 1 without fulfilling what they are truly capable of. All four, to varying degrees of likelihood, could return to Formula 1 if an appropriate seat can be found.
This is my list. Who is on yours? Let me know by commenting below (please note you do not need a WordPress account to do so).
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