Posted on October 31, 2008
Available: 2 F1 seats. Problem: no-one to fill them | James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1

It’s not often you can say this, but there are a couple of great drives available for next year, but no outstanding young talent to fill them

There’s a seat going at Honda and one at Toro Rosso, but a glance across the ranks of the GP2 field , at the US scene and across the other ranks below F1 yields little. It’s intensely frustrating for the team bosses. They’d love to give a talented 22 year old a try next year, especially Honda, but it’s slim pickings.

I suppose we shouldn’t be too surprised; we’ve seen the arrival of three real gems recently in Hamilton, Kubica and Vettel, but it is still surprising to me that there is no-one coming up behind them who demands attention. If there were, as the teams have admitted to me, they would slide effortlessly into a seat next year. So who’s out there? [ more ]

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Available: 2 F1 seats. Problem: no-one to fill them
11 Responses

  1.   1. Posted By: Keith Collantine
        Date: October 31st, 2008 @ 3:12 pm 

    Buemi’s not bad but he needs another year in GP2, ditto Grosjean. Filippi is the next Pantano. Di Grassi might just be worth a try – he was underwhelming last year but very good (and a little lucky) this year. Di Resta absolutely should be in GP2 – and Oliver Jarvis for that matter.

    Hamilton showed how to do it: do a lower series like Formula Renault for example, do F3, do GP2, and don’t rush things.


  2.   2. Posted By: James Allen
        Date: October 31st, 2008 @ 3:56 pm 

    Keith, the answer to your question about the track surface here is that it has not subsided at all since last season. Some teams ran more ride height this morning just in case, but are now lowering it for the afternoon session. The track is proving very stable, which is one less thing to worry about. J


  3.   3. Posted By: Finn
        Date: October 31st, 2008 @ 5:42 pm 

    “but there are a couple of great drivers available for next year, but no outstanding young talent to fill them”

    I wonder if you meant: DRIVES rather than DRIVERS ;-)

    I hope that Bourdais is kept on – he has shown promise and deserves another year.


  4.   4. Posted By: Links for 31 October 2008 to 1 November 2008 « vee8 - a Formula 1 blog
        Date: November 1st, 2008 @ 2:01 pm 

    [...] Available: 2 F1 seats. Problem: no-one to fill them – James Allen’s Grand Prix Diary"The success of Vettel has caused McLaren and Mercedes to realise that they may have made a mistake by shunting Paul di Resta, who beat Vettel in F3, into touring cars. He’s still young and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get back in a single seater next year and maybe into F1 the year after if all goes well." [...]

  5.   5. Posted By: Andy
        Date: November 1st, 2008 @ 2:10 pm 

    Why on earth is no-one bringing Robert Doornbos back? Probably the best driver out there without a sensible ride at the moment, and he’s lobbying to get into the IRL because F1 seems closed to him. Meanwhile he’s driving anything that moves to keep in practice – Superleague Formula, he’s listed for Team Netherlands in A1GP later this season… madness that he’s not in F1 when Toro Rosso has a vacancy.


  6.   6. Posted By: Jason C
        Date: November 1st, 2008 @ 3:02 pm 

    It is odd, especially as you mention we have had a glut of talent over the last few years.

    So long as F1 has the best drivers in the world, let’s not worry about whether they are young and inexperienced or old hands.

    There are some experienced hands that could be useful, and I think some of them deserve another crack ofthe whip. I’m thinking mainly about Tonio Liuzzi, but Sato and Davidson are lurking in the background. Those two can handle an F1 car to a decent standard, even if they are not champion material.

    Actually, now that I’m thinking about it, Kovalainen should be looking over his shoulder at those three. He *really* needs to find better results in 09.


  7.   7. Posted By: von dauer
        Date: November 3rd, 2008 @ 11:52 am 

    It’s a shame that episode with Glock… lose 20 seconds in the last lap? Come on, we all know it was ridiculously schematized by McLaren. And i’m German! Shame on you, F1!


  8.   8. Posted By: Jonathan Trimble
        Date: November 3rd, 2008 @ 12:14 pm 

    James, what a great finish to the F1 year and what a great finish for ITV-F1 and its commentators! Will you be commentating along with Martin Brundle next year on BBC 1? We hope so. Sad to see DC go out on the first corner like that.


  9.   9. Posted By: Flynn
        Date: November 3rd, 2008 @ 1:01 pm 

    There are a few drivers who sat this season out. Anthony Davidson springs to mind. Are these forgotten about?


  10.   10. Posted By: Andrew Webb
        Date: November 3rd, 2008 @ 11:11 pm 

    For a moment then, reading this, I though James Allen was refering to the Commentary Box seats, than in the cars!
    Personally, get Anthony Davidson in a car…he was robbed of a season after the Super Aguri problems and he deserved his chance to get another chance.
    No way should Doornbos get another chance, he was rubbish.


  11.   11. Posted By: Kenny Ramsey
        Date: November 4th, 2008 @ 5:01 pm 

    No doubt I’ll be panned for saying this but JV (Villeneuve) would crawl over broken glass to get another go in a new spec F1 car. With massive experience, setup and development ability, speed and pure racing ability he has got to be worth a shot. Wouldn’t be any less a gamble than the current GP2 crop.


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