Hot fun in Summertime
Budapest 2014
Hungarian Grand Prix
Glock and Pic’s head-to-head record at Marussia
News
Timo Glock, Charles Pic - XPB
Posted By: James Allen  |  28 Dec 2012   |  12:01 pm GMT  |  47 comments

In the fourth of our team-mates analysis pieces here on JA on F1 we’ve turned the spotlight on the back of the grid and the intriguing youth versus experience duel that took place at Marussia.

Young Frenchman Charles Pic became the vastly experienced Timo Glock’s third different rookie team-mate in as many seasons at the start of the year, the latter eight years older than the 22-year-old GP2 graduate.

Unsurprisingly therefore given their relative experience levels, Glock continued to be Marussia’s lead driver in both name and reality: the German outqualifying Pic 13 times and recording a better race finish on the same number of occasions as well.

However, deeper analysis of the statistics shows Pic ran Glock closer than either of his two predecessors in the role at Marussia managed in 2010-2011. As while Glock’s average qualifying gap over the sister car was one of the largest on the grid – at four tenths of a second – Pic did qualify ahead of the former Toyota driver more times than either Lucas di Grassi (twice) or Jerome D’Ambrosio (five) managed and matched Glock’s best race and Q1 result over the course of the season.

Furthermore, with Pic bearing the brunt of Marussia’s reliability problems (six DNFs for technical reasons to Glock’s one) the three-time GP2 race winner was only shaded 7-5 when both cars made the chequered flag. Indeed, all of Pic’s ‘scores’ in this particular category came from July’s German GP onwards – pointing towards clear signs of continued progression.

Although the budget Pic brings with him no doubt would have played a part in rival Caterham’s decision to sign him on a multi-year deal from 2013, the Leafield team’s principal Cyril Abiteboul said at the time of the announcement that it saw the Frenchman as “a special talent” who “as the year has progressed he has performed extremely well against a very experienced team-mate”.

With the equipment at his disposal in 2012 it’s hard to make a definitive judgement on Pic’s ultimate potential but the statistics show he certainly did a solid job up against the ever-reliable Glock and it will be the kind of relative performance that Marussia’s next rookie through the door, Britain’s Max Chilton, will be judged against in the season to come.

Qualifying

Faster qualifying time: Glock 13 / Pic 6*

Average qualifying gap: -0.401s Glock

Q2 appearances: Glock 0 / Pic 0

Best qualifying result: Glock 19th (USA) / Pic 19th (Abu Dhabi)

Races

Points finishes: Glock 0 / Pic 0

Best finish: Glock 12th (Singapore) / Pic 12th (Brazil)

DNFs: Glock 1 / Pic 6

Higher race finish (including DNFs):  Glock 13 / Pic 6*

Ahead in two-car finish: Glock 7 / Pic 5

Championship

Final championship placing: Glock 20th / Pic 21st


*Glock didn’t take part in the European GP due to illness

 

Featured News
MORE FROM JA ON F1...
Share This:
Posted by:
Category:
47 Comments
  1. Paul says:

    Interesting. How did they fair on fastest race laps

  2. brandon says:

    Well it’d be pretty hard to be worse than Tim O’Glock, the greatest Irish driver to grace the grid.

    1. Kay says:

      Huh?
      Timo Glock is German. :|

    2. Mark Crooks says:

      That’s the funniest joke I’ve seen all day, and even funnier that the joke was lost on some people.

  3. sandy says:

    Lewis is way better than both these guys, isn’t he.

    James, can we make 2013 all about Lewis again?

    1. gordon_g says:

      I’ve just watched the BBC F1 review of 2012 season. For sure, this was a vintage F1 year.

      Yes, Hamilton played a part. But only a middle order part. As did Webber, Button, Massa and many of the others.

      But the real parts were played by the real drivers with the real cars and the real teams. Alonso, Kimi and Seb.

      You can’t them.

      1. Chris Caddell says:

        A middle order part which included more wins than anyone except Vettel and would have been greater if he hadn’t been let down by his car 2 which incidently gifted Vettel the win both times. So you can’t say he’s not a real driver.
        Having said that Alonso deserved the title shame Romain took him out in Belgium

    2. Robert says:

      Strange, I don’t remember Hamilton in a Marussia.

      Mind you, Marussia might finish closer to Mercedes in 2013 than Mercedes does to the constructor’s champion.

  4. davexxx says:

    James (or anyone) is there a ‘reason’ for Charles suffering more DNF’s through breakdowns? Does the team give him inferior equipment ‘purposely’? Technical innovations/developments aside, you’d assume all the ‘regular’ parts on a car would be the same for both drivers. So why more failures for Pic?
    PS I’m glad you didn’t bring up that other sad stat for Pic – what was it, an F1 record number of times for being lapped or something?!

    1. Kay says:

      Well it is not uncommon for cars of the same team to run in different specs, either due to insufficient parts manufactured or for testing purposes only. For example, Red Bull front wing-gate 2010 Silversone; Massa this year ran various new parts for Alonso to test them while Alonso drove an older spec to be sure of reliability.

      Marussia might’ve done the same.

  5. Rich B says:

    i hope marussia have a competitive car next year, Glock deserves one.

    i hope they beat caterham too, that team has seriously underperformed given their budget compared to marussia.

    1. Kay says:

      I hope Glock gets a better seat. He deserves to be in a STR or Sauber imo.

  6. Elie says:

    It was a great pairing for Marussia this year with both drivers having a solid year.

    Pic’s Brazil drive was outstanding giving the conditions and his little experience. He will serve Caterham very well I,m sure.

  7. Fernando Cruz says:

    We can’t make a fair comparison between Pic and other young drivers that raced previously alongside Timo Glock.

    Lucas di Grassi in particular raced in the first year of Virgin and at the time the team could not afford to give equal treatment to both drivers. In many weekends there were only new pieces to one car, obviously for Timo Glock. Had Pic or even D’ Ambrosio raced in Virgin in 2010 they couldn’t do better than Di Grassi. Pic did very well this year alongside Glock, but obviously he had equal equipment and treatment during the year and that makes all the difference.

  8. forzaminardi says:

    I like Glock, but I think he’s spent too long in a poor car now. I guess he’s not had much of a choice but to stick with Virgin/Marussia but inevitably I think being so far from the sharp end dulls a driver’s own sharpness. A pity as back in the day I thought he was great for Toyota. Hopefully he, Pic and Chilton will all have more competitive equipment at their disposal in 2013!

  9. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    I also think the story inside Marussia this 2012 was the war between both drivers, for example in the 2012 Hungary Grand Prix Glock said that Pic was held him up during qualifying in an unusual hard statement against a team-mate:

    “Maybe he -Pic- doesn’t understand the English on the radio. It’s pointless. It is happening for the second or third time and so it’s up to the team to solve it.”
    http://www.autoviva.com/news/glock_and_pic_unhappy_after_hungarian_qualifying/5294

    Also about Marussia, Pic was overtook by Petrov (Caterham) in the last part of the last race in 2012, triggering suspicions that that was a premeditated move from Pic to benefit his new employer Caterham with the lucrative 10th position in the WCC, as mentioned in the press, for example:

    “With six laps to go, Petrov overtook Pic and gave Caterham the result they needed.Inevitably this proved questions over whether Pic took a fall to benefit his future team. The pair were close on lap times at this stage but Pic’s lack of KERS probably made the difference in this battle.”
    http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2012/11/26/2012-brazilian-grand-prix-lap-charts/

    Who knows, but in my opinion Pic seems to have more potential than Glock maybe.

    1. Very interesting re the Petrov comment

      No doubt that there are way to many conspiracy theories in this sport – but Singapore 2008 taught us that things like this do happen

  10. Scuderia McLaren says:

    Glock has been in the F1 lower ranks too long now. His career is essentially over bar a few seasons in these sorts of teams until someone with tons of money and perhaps some talent needs a low pressure rookie season. His days are numbered I’m afraid though it won’t be a terrible loss. Don’t think Pic has what it takes for long term success. I expect that he will be out of F1 after this stint at Caterham next year. Money can get you into f1 but it rarely, if ever, keeps you there without talent underpinning longevity. Maldonado has transitioned well, Pic will join the scrap heap with Kathekeyan, Ambrosio, Chandhok, Senna, Piquet, Liuzzi etc

    1. alessandro says:

      I could not agree more. Too many mediocre drivers have a seat in f1 because of money and ambition but from there to be a good f1 driver it is a long way.
      Glock Pic Petrov Grosjean …the list unfortunatelly is too long.

  11. kent says:

    James- perhaps a additional statistic about “Racecraft” would be fun? in other words, how a driver progresses thru the field, during the race. To discount first lap melees, I wouldn’t use grid position at the start; I’d score a driver from the end of the first lap to race finish- basically, how many cars passed during the race. This would be interesting, for example, in the Lewis/Button or Michael/Rosberg comparison.

  12. Fernando Cruz says:

    Damon Hill was not more talented than Pic and many other drivers of current F1 and even so he won 22 races and a championship in f1. However he didn’t win a single race in F3000 and took 10 years to get to f1 after starting in singleseaters. This proves it is also a question of luck, to enter at the right time with the right car. Had Pic or any other driver of the current f1 grid had the conditions Damon Hill had they would have achieved similar results – driving the best car in a time there was almost unlimited testing. It is not a question of money most of the time, as I think Hill didn’t pay for his drive when he started racing for Williams in 1993 and even so many so-called pay drivers of the current f1 field deserved more a great opportunity in f1 for the results they achieved in junior categories.

    1. Andrew M says:

      Yeah, he just lucked into 22 wins, including Jordan’s first win, and nearly won a race in an Arrows, which had been rooted to the back if the grid all season. Not to mention beating Coulthard, Villeneuve and Ralf Schumacher in the same cars.

      1. Andrew says:

        Hill just about held on against Villeneuve, an indy car driver in his first season. Similarly Coulthard was in his first season.

        Hill is the worst world champion in history and is the prime example of the reality of F1 that virtually all the drivers would win if given the best car.

        It makes me sick to read all the xenophobic pay driver comments about people like Maldonado who clearly has tremendous speed. The same people ignore instances in which a british driver gets a seat purely because he is british (latest example is Chilton) or indeed the son of a world champion.

      2. Andrew M says:

        Yes, Hill’s heritage certainly helped him to the front of the grid, but that’s irrelevant when looking at what he did when he got there. Hill had the best part of two seasons against Coulthard and beat him comprehensively, and ended up beating Villeneuve by 19 points, hardly a skin-of-your-teeth title win.

        Chilton certainly got pushed to the head of the queue as a result of financial backing, and I’ve said before he doesn’t look as if he deserves a place at the top table, but drivers have looked like that before and done alright.

        As for Maldonado, before this year he didn’t look like being a top quality F1 driver, and even then his inconsistency this year leaves a lot of question marks against him. I’d love for him to deliver more, I think he’d be a fascinating addition to the front of the grid on a regular basis, and he looks like he calmed down after his Spa penalties.

      3. Andrew says:

        Really Coulthard is another example of a driver promoted purely because of nationality. He was beaten by Panis in F3000 and won several races only because he had the best car.
        He was then beaten by Hakkinen and Raikkonen easily too.

        As a comparison, Maldonado matched Barrichello (who, it is fair to say was a similar level to Button) for speed immediately in his first season. If he was British and called Paul Di Resta everybody would be raving about him. I hope that Senna gets the Force India drive just so that we get a good comparison to judge a few drivers by.

        Hill was good in Hungary, I give you that. The race in Hungary was his best ever race, better than anything he did at Williams.

        When he was with Ralf I seem to remember Ralf being faster most of the time? You also don’t mention the absolute hammering he took off the enigmatic Frentzen.

      4. Fernando Cruz says:

        It was not only Panis that managed to beat Coulthard in F3000 in 1993, Pedro Lamy did the same as well, losing that title to Panis by a single point.

        Yes, if Bruno Senna could get the Force India drive many british fans would realize how wrong they are on their judgements, as Senna would match Di Resta.

        The same happened in 1999. I remember Peter Windsor (I think he is an Australian but he tends to overrate british drivers) saying Hill was faster than Frentzen just when the German was starting to prove otherwise. It may have been hard to swallow but Frentzen completely destroyed Damon Hill that season and I really liked it, as British people had been underrating Frentzen for a long time and overrating Hill. They just didn’t understand that Hill had a rookie as team mate in 1996 and that Frentzen faced a much improved Jacques Villeneuve in 1997. Also 1996 Williams was better than 1997′s.

      5. Andrew M says:

        I agree Coulthard was hardly a match for any of his teammates, including Hill, but he wasn’t a chump or a pay driver. His career never really wavered, he was consistently a good number two driver. Saying he was beaten by Hakkinen and Raikkonen doesn’t really put Hill in bad company.

        Hill generally edged R Schumacher (although it’s hard to get a true reading because both of them had a lot of breakdowns) and yes, he got beaten by Frentzen in his last year, who got beaten by Villeneuve, who got beaten by Hill, which makes the universe explode.

        I think saying Maldonado matched Barichello for speed is a bit much, he was beaten in most of the races where both of them finished in Rubens’ final year and had one points finish all year long; there’s nothing to “rave” about there whatever your nationality is.

      6. Andrew says:

        Andrew M. I don’t know what you expected from Maldonado in his first year? What did Button for example do in his first year? How did he compare to his team mate? How did Hulkenberg compare against Barrichello the year before? How did Button compare against Barrichello at Honda when the car was bad (like the 2011 Williams was)?

        Moreover, Maldonado won a race in normal dry conditions in a car that was not the fastest car judging by the fact the performance of his team mate, a GP2 runner up (like Coulthard, Rosberg, Perez etc). Yes Williams clearly had a good car at times but so was the Sauber and the Force india, not to mention the superior Renault and (at times) Mercedes who also only won one race.

        Hulkenberg and Perez came up with mistakes when they had their chance to win. Grosjean rarely gave himself a chance because of all his accidents.

        Yes, Maldonado is a rough diamond, but winning the way he did in Spain was sheer brilliance.

      7. Andrew M says:

        Button and Hullenburg both had stand out moments in their debut seasons that gave an indication of their talent (qualifying third at Spa, taking pole in the wet at Interlagos) even if they were ultimately beaten by their teammates – before this year Maldonado didn’t look like he had any future at the front of the grid, so suggestions he was only there through his financial backing were a lot more credible. It was only this year (through his win in Spain and strong qualifying results) that he’s looked like he can challenge the elite.

      8. Andrew says:

        Andrew M, When I asked the questions in my last comment I hoped you would go and look at what actually happened but I don’t think you have done that.

        So, 2011 Williams, Barrichello won quali 10-9 against Maldonado and scored 4 points to Maldonado’s 2. Maldonado got into Q3 twice including 8th at Monaco and was on for easily their best result of the season at Monaco (5th) before his crash with Hamilton. Not a bad effort in the 9th best car.

        2010 Williams, Barrichello won quali 13-6 against Hulkenberg and scored 47 points to Hulkenberg’s 22. Hulkenberg had his excellent pole but Barrichello had several good moments, eg overtaking Schumi in Hungary.

        2000 Williams, Ralf won quali 11-6 against Button, in the races Ralf got 24 points to Buttons 12 but there would be a greater difference with the current points system. Williams were 3rd in the constructors, bearing that in mind there were no standout performances from Button.

        So, for you to say that Hulkenberg and Button impressed in their first seasons whilst Maldonado did not is completely wrong and appears to be based on nothing but prejudice.

        Of course we all have our favourites but it would be nice if people could try to ensure that their opinions have some correlation to actual events.

      9. Andrew M says:

        Statistics are a good benchmark, but they don’t always tell the whole story. According to statistics Heidfeld was a better driver than both Raikkonen and Kubica based on their time together, but when the time came McLaren chose Raikkonen and Renault/Lotus chose Kubica, because there were other elements of their performance that suggested they’d be able to perform at a higher level.

        The same is true for Button and Hulkenburg. To say Button had no standout performances is his first year is nonsense, he came from the last row of the grid to run in the top 6 in his first race before an engine failure, he came fourth in the wet in Hockenheim in treacherous conditions and was a few laps from a podium, and he qualified third at Spa, a classic drivers’ circuit. Hulkenburg had a tough time during his season, but he stuck it on pole in a car that had no business being there in changeable conditions. Maldonado was taken out of a sixth place at Monaco, but apart from that the only significant memory I have of his first season is trying to sideswipe Lewis at Spa.

        Also, outside the teams gunning for the front row, qualifying head-to-heads are a lot less meaningful than they were even a few years ago; in the Pirelli/DRS/KERS era focusing on the correct race set-up is more important than ever.

        My perception of Maldonado isn’t based on prejudice at all, he simply did nothing to convince me after one year in Formula 1 that he was anything more than a midfield driver who gained his place on the grid due to his external funding. In 2012 he showed that he can put superb weekends together as he did at Barcelona, as well as some blistering qualifying pace, as as a result my opinion of him has changed and I hope he can get his act together and become a consistent challenger, because as I said I think he’d be a great addition to the front of the grid and it would be a waste of his untapped talent if he didn’t. My opinion of him changed because his level of performance changed.

      10. Fernando Cruz says:

        Damon Hill had the ideal conditions to develop and improve as a driver, but I believe any other driver would get similar results with the same conditions and the same cars he drove in F1 from 1993 to 1996. That includes some 90% of f1 drivers of the ninetees and close to 100% of drivers of the current f1 grid.

        Had Ayrton not died Hill could only win a race if both Ayrton and Michael could not finish and he would add only a few more wins to the 3 he got in 1993. Yes, he did well against a Prost that had been out of racing in 1992 and was already 38 or 39. After Imola in 1994 he was completely dominated by Schumacher and could only be a match in the championship due to the many points the German lost with penalties and everything, otherwise the difference would be some 30 or 40 points at least instead of 1. He improved in 1995 and even more in 1996 but was champion having by far the best car and a rookie as a team mate. At Hungaroring in 1996 he had maybe the race of his life but don’t forget Pirelli tyres were by far better on that day. Yes, he won with Jordan but in 1999 he could do nothing against Heinz-Harald Frentzen, way better than him with the same car.

        Don’t get me wrong, it’s not my intention to devaluate what Hill did. The point is that I’ve read here many times that Bruno Senna could not get better being already 29 and I remind you that Hill got better in 1995, aged 35 and better in 1996, aged 36. The point is also that Bruno Senna and many other so-called pay drivers of the current f1 grid showed more talent than Hill in junior categories and could only do at least as good as Hill also in f1 if they had the same conditions and probably some of them could even do better.

        That is why most of us feel sick to read all the xenophobic pay driver comments about people like Maldonado or Bruno Senna.

      11. Andrew M says:

        “That includes some 90% of f1 drivers of the ninetees and close to 100% of drivers of the current f1 grid.”

        There’s virtually nothing to back up that statement at all. Hill’s record against a great driver (Prost) and some solid drivers (Villeneuve, R Schumacher, Coulthard) indicates he was a talented driver. I agree, he wasn’t as good as Schumacher or Senna, but that doesn’t mean Charles Pic could have jumped into Hill’s car and driven to a world championship and 22 race wins.

        Yes, he had one of the best (if not the best) cars from 1994-6, but plenty of other world champions have had a similar car advantage (Hakkinen and Vettel spring instantly to mind).

      12. Fernando Cruz says:

        Correction: The race of Hill life, at Hungaroring, was obviously in 1997, not 1996.

      13. Fernando Cruz says:

        “…but that doesn’t mean Charles Pic could have jumped into Hill’s car and driven to a world championship and 22 race wins.”

        Remember Hill did some 10.000 (or maybe even some 20.000) Kms of testing before his first season and he was already testing for Williams the year before. Remember testing was allowed during a season at the time and Hill spent 4 full seasons racing with the best car, with a great advantage over other cars in 1993 and 1996. I may have exaggerated a little but I believe maybe 70 or 80% of F1 drivers would have had similar results with the conditions he had, or at least they would have won races, not necessarily 21. Also remember Prost had been out of racing in 1992 and was already 38. Remember Ayrton beat Hill in qualifying by 1.6 at Interlagos in 1994 and lapped him in the race with the same car, despite Hill having already one year of experience racing with Williams. Compare that to what Hakkinen did for his first qualifying alongside Ayrton Senna, beating the Brazilian at Estoril in 1993 after almost a year out of racing, just testing the McLaren. Remember also Jacques Villeneuve was a rookie in 1996 and much better in 1997. British journalists even wrote Hill was a Champ and Frentzen a Chump (at Williams) and they were right, but they didn’t consider how much Villeneuve could be better in a second year, when Frentzen was there. Had Frentzen been there since 1994 (after Imola) he would be the Champ and Hill the Chump, as he proved in 1999 with Jordan.

        Hill was a talented driver? Sure he was, just like 80% or 90% of F1 drivers of the ninetees or almost 100% of drivers of the current F1 field, as now the so-called pay-drivers are really good, with better results in junior categories than those Hill could achieve. The fact is that Hill could develop more than most of others with the conditions he had and he consequently got better than most of them. The same would have happened with many other talented drivers (remember some 80 or 90% of F1 drivers of any time are talented.)

      14. Andrew M says:

        Another way to look at the Hill > Villeneuve > Frentzen > Hill loop is that Hill was 39 in his final season and age and lack of motivation was finally catching up with him; you seem to make the exact same argument for Prost in 1993 after all.

        The testing thing really is a red herring; Hill proved he was one if the best drivers on the grid given the regulations at the time; it’s not like he had the advantage of unlimited testing and everyone else didn’t.

        Bringing up Senna vs Hill in one qualifying session reall doesn’t prove much – Senna is widely regarded as the best qualifier ever, and he often beat Prost by some staggering margins as well.

        Just for clarity, I’ll redefine what I mean by talented – he was good enough that anyone on today’s grid (including Pic) couldn’t have just jumped in his car and achieved the same results; the success he achieved against several drivers in several teams points strongly to the contrary.

      15. Fernando Cruz says:

        Yes, Hill was already 39 in 1999 but only lost some motivation because Frentzen was beating him everywhere and often by a large margin. I remind you Frentzen was as talented as Schumacher in junior categories and only lost his way through bad career options and by not being so focussed and committed. Had he been in Williams since 1994 (after Ayrton’s death) I have little doubt he would be faster than Hill.

        As for the testing, it was more or less the same for many but those with the best car were always taking more advantage of it and I think a Top Team like Williams used to do more testing than many others. Put drivers like Alesi, Hakkinen or Frentzen on that Williams of 1994 to 1996 and they would get even better results than Hill could get, as they were more talented. Remember Hakkinen was a match for Senna on speed in the 1993 McLaren, mainly in qualifying. Alesi was also one of the fastest of the time, more than able to be a match to Ayrton Senna on equal cars, something Damon Hill never was.

        Yes, Hill could improve a lot with the conditions he had but I believe almost 100% of drivers of current F1 would also get better if they could have the same conditions. It is not a question of jumping in the car and doing the same, it is more a continuous process of learning and improving while testing for more than a year with great cars and driving them in races for 4 full seasons. I think virtually any driver of current f1 could improve as much as a driver as Hill could and also a lot of them outside F1, as there are more talented drivers than the seats that are available. Remember most of them showed more talent than Hill in junior categories.

      16. Andrew M says:

        I’m not sure how Frentzen’s “poor career choices” can have somehow resulted in him stunting his own career; if he couldn’t handle the pressure of a Williams drive in 1997-8 I can’t see how he would have been able to handle it in 1994. Also, if he wasn’t as focused or committed as other drivers then frankly that’s a failing of his, you can’t just write it off.

        Like I said before, Hill was hardly the only one out there testing, I doubt Williams did significantly more than the other top teams. Also we’ve seen loads of occasions where being a good tester doesn’t just turn you into a great driver (Badoer, de la Rosa) – you need a racers talent to be able to race, and Hill had that.

        I’m not sure of the relevance of saying Hakkinen could have matched Senna whereas Hill (in the three qualifying sessions and two races they had together) couldn’t; I rate Hakkinen higher than Hill anyway. There’s plenty of room for Hill to be behind Hakkinen and ahead of a lot of drivers, including Pic.

        As for Alesi, there’s not a lot of evidence that he could have matched Senna in equal cars; they never shared cars throughout their career as far as I know. He was beaten by Prost in their year at Ferrari and was usually only a small bit ahead of Gerhard Berger, who Senna absolutely trounced in equal cars. Needless to say, even then I rate Alesi much higher than Charles Pic anyway.

        The whole junior formulae thing isn’t cast in stone anyway – there have been plenty of occasions where drivers’ performances in junior formulae haven’t panned out. Also, one of the reasons Hill didn’t have such a successful time in junior formulae is because he was a full time tester for Williams.

        At the end of the day, my analysis of Hill’s career shows that it was pretty representative and gave a good indication of where he was in the Formula 1 pecking order, apart from his last year (1999) where he had one eye on retirement and he was losing motivation, along with advancing age. Your interpretation is that of his seven years in Formula 1, 1993 (Prost is old), 1994-5 (Coulthard was new), 1996 (Villeneuve was new) and 1997 (Villeneuve suddenly improved massively from one year to another) were unrepresentative, while in 1999 he finally showed his “true” quality as a driver due to being beaten by Frentzen. I’m all for looking for analysis and interpretation behind statistics but that’s just far too much of a stretch.

        And I’m the one who is supposedly some sort of biased xenophobe…

      17. Fernando Cruz says:

        Frentzen poor career choices were going to F3000 and then to Japan, while Schumacher was in Sports cars and remaining in Europe could develop more and have a good opportunity in F1 well before, late 1991, while his countryman’s was only in 1994 with Sauber. In 1994 Frentzen was at a peak of confidence and motivation and I have no doubt he would handle the pressure much better than he could alongside Jacques Villeneuve. Besides in 1997 the Williams was not as dominant as it had been in 1996 and that is also a factor. Had Hill been there with Frentzen in 1997 I believe the english would do a better job in the first half of the season (due to more experience in the team) and Frentzen a better job in the second half (being naturally faster and more talented). It was in the second half of 1997 that Frentzen could beat J.Villeneuve in more races and the canadian was surely way better than in 1996, as he was not a rookie anymore. A good driver improves a lot in a second season, we saw it with Maldonado this year. And even as a rookie J. Villeneuve only lost his Championship battle with Hill in the last race of the season.

        I think junior categories are a very good benchmark to see the real potential of drivers, as cars are much more at the same level. In F1 a lot depends on the opportunities a driver has. Take Bruno Senna, he showed more talent than Hill in junior categories and I have no doubt he would do at least as well also in F1 if he had the same opportunities Hill had in his time. He could have developed much more (like Hill could) had he done thousands of miles of testing with Honda in the 2008/2009 winter. If the japanese didn’t quit F1 when they did and the car was as good as the Brawn was, surely Bruno Senna would do at least as good a job in his rookie season in 2009 than Hill did with Williams in 1993. He would have started from a higher level (more talent in junior formula and a great test alongside Jenson Button, only 0,3 shy of the english best time in his first ever test in a F1 car, at Barcelona late 2008).

        So it is not at all a question of jumping in Hill’s cars and doing the same, it is a question of having the same opportunities and the same amount of testing, learning and improving as a driver. And almost all drivers of currrent f1 showed more talent than Hill in junior formula, so I’ m sure most of them could do as well (or near as well if you like) with the same opportunities. That also includes talented drivers outside F1, like Alguersuari, Sutil, Buemi, Kobayashi, and so on… Yes, maybe we should not include Pic, as he really didn’t do better than Hill in junior formula, even if maybe he didn’t do worse either…

      18. Andrew M says:

        Villeneuve was a CART champion, back in the days when CART used to mean something; he was arguably the most experienced “rookie” F1 has ever had, I doubt he suddenly improved massively from year to year.

        I’m still not convinced junior formulae is relevant, for every Senna or Hamilton that shines in the junior formulae there’s a Liuzzi or a Zonta.

        “Yes, maybe we should not include Pic, as he really didn’t do better than Hill in junior formula, even if maybe he didn’t do worse either…”

        Well, that’s all I’ve been saying. As for everyone else you mention I don’t think they are remotely on the same level for all the reasons I’ve already said. We’re pretty much just going round in circles now, so I’ll leave it there; we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

      19. Fernando Cruz says:

        We have different perceptions. In my view a driver like Damon Hill is not in the Top 50 of a ranking of all time F1 drivers (numbers don’t tell us the whole story), even if I’m sure he deserves to be in the Top 100. However, I don’t think we disagree as much as it seems. It is also a question of misunderstanding.

    2. Kay says:

      Heikki had the same car as Lewis which was a very fast car back in 2008, Heikki didn’t shine out so well.

      So having the best car don’t mean anything if there are no skills to push it to the limits.

      1. Fernando Cruz says:

        It depends on the degree of the superiority of the best car. In 1993 and 1996 the Williams was by far the best car, while in 2007 and 2008 McLaren was not even the best car in most of the races. Kovalainen didn’t do particularly well in 2008 and 2009 against Lewis but he surely would do as well as Damon Hill if he raced with a great car (much better than others) at a time there was almost unlimited testing. Also remember the field is much closer nowadays than it was in the 90′s.
        Take 1993 or 1996, there was only a car capable to win everywhere and by a large margin and only 2 teams able to win a race when someting could go wrong with a Williams (a mechanical failure, a mistake or something). This year we had not one but 3 or 4 teams with the potential to win races on a regular basis and 8 teams with potential to win a race or at least fight for it, even if Sauber and Force India didn’t win… (but they were very close, Sauber in Malaysia and Force India in Brazil)

      2. Kay says:

        Kovo didn’t do well in 2008, and 2009 as you say.
        Lewis managed better and won the WDC in 2008 while Kovo drifted some distance behind. How can this come to the conclusion of he’d have driven as good as Damon Hill when Lewis in the identical car performed better?

        Yes, the field is definitely closer but that doesn’t mean you can’t shine. These days despite the field being closer, there are still 5-6 drivers shining on top, and as you see from 2012, it set the record for multiple race winners in a single season.

        Testing have an affect to a degree, yes, but there are still those who, without testing, still can shine on top. Lewis being one of them and he was team mate to Kovo. Kimi came in with little experience in single seaters and he is one of the best drivers today, up there with Alonso and Vettel. Vettel came in and drove a brilliant race to win a wet Monza and that’s with talents toi read the race right while driving on the edge (and yes that’s me speaking with a dislike for the guy).

        If you really must compare someone to Damon Hill, take someone like Jenson Button who won with a far superior car to start the season and gave him enough cushion to fend off RBR. Kovo never won anything other than one race which was half luck. Damon has some skills and as some others mentioned, he took a dog of an Arrows to almost a win. Kovo is more like a Fishichella or Trulli in my honest opinion.

      3. Fernando Cruz says:

        Yes, Kovalainen is like Fisichella or Trulli. All three and many others would get similar results to those Damon Hill could achieve in his time if they could get a great car and almost unlimited testing. Yes, Hamilton proved way better than Kovalainen just like Ayrton Senna was way better than Damon Hill. Yes, Jenson Button is a driver that reminds Hill, both are unspectacular and both need a winning car to win races, but I think Button is more talented. Button was a match for Hamilton many times in many races whereas Hill would never be able to match Ayrton Senna or Michael Schumacher on a regular basis with the same car. I don’t think we can rate the Prost of 1993 at the same level of Ayrton or Michael. Hill matched Prost on speed in many races in 1993 but he was way far behind Ayrton Senna when the brazilian raced alongside him at Williams in 1994, even lapping him at Interlagos after beating him in qualifying by 1.6 seconds. Talking about drivers of the ninetiees, I think Alesi, Hakkinen or Frentzen were all more talented than Damon Hill. Frentzen could prove it in 1999 with the same car.

  13. Robert says:

    I thought Pic was an decent talent for the simple reason of being inexperienced, in slow equipment, and rarely causing problems a la Kart, Petrov, etc. And let me be blunt – that is HARD in my opinion – the front runners come up behind you very quickly, your mirrors are vibrating, you can only hope that your team has told you about traffic around you, etc. And he still did well in the car. Front-runner someday? Who knows. But he seems to have decent awareness, drives reliably, and that isn’t a bad start.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Top Tags
SEARCH News
JA ON F1 In association with...
Download the chequered flag podcast today
Download the chequered flag podcast today
MTS
Industry-Leading Testing and Sensing Solutions
Multi award winning Formula One photographer
Multi award winning Formula One photographer