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British rising star Alex Lynn pushing for Williams F1 chance in 2017
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Alex Lynn
Posted By: James Allen  |  22 Apr 2016   |  7:25 pm GMT  |  28 comments

Alex Lynn starts the new GP2 season with DAMS next month as one of the favourites and the 22 year old believes that winning the title could propel him into F1 next season, as the driver market is due for a shake up.

The 2014 GP3 champion is a reserve driver for Williams and carried out a lot of their simulator work last season, over 45 days in total, in addition to a run in the hybrid turbo F1 car in the Barcelona test.

Now, on the eve of the most important season of his career to date, he feels that the driver market for 2017 could work in his favour as the teams look to younger drivers thanks to the recent success of Verstappen and Sainz and Stoffel Vandoorne’s breakthrough in Bahrain with McLaren.

“This one really is the most important season, it’s the one I really need to perform in,” Lynn said at a small media gathering in London, attended by this site.

“I feel quite lucky that this year could be the year when everything starts to change (in the F1 driver market). And I think it’s really helped that we have guys like Max and Carlos doing so well and Stoffel doing a great job in his first race. Its proving all the time that the guys from the junior categories can come through and fight with the big guys and the previous world champions. So yes, I think this yera everything could change.

Robrt Kubica, Michael Schumacher

Lynn believes that the success of his generation, combined with a stock of older drivers reaching the end of their careers, has created an environment like 2006/7 when a young Robert Kubica was brought into BMW Sauber mid-season and scored a podium almost straight away, which opened the door for Lewis Hamilton to make his mark and the following year Sebastian Vettel.

“I know that if I can do the business then it’s going to give me the best chance possible and if the driver market plays out how I think it could then hopefully I will get a chance,” he said.

Williams has a history of giving rookies a chance; they promoted Valtteri Bottas from GP3 and further back Nico Rosberg and Jenson Button both started young with the team; Rosberg was GP2 champion and Button came straight from Formula 3.

“I’m hopeful that they will have the faith to put me in if I can show I can do the business (in GP2), ” said Lynn. “If I can get a good start to the season it will put a bit of pressure on the powers that be (at Williams) and I’ve made it clear to them that I want to be racing that car next year. I’m here to show that I can do it.

If you look at the season that Stoffel had last season, I’m not going to say that I’ll do that, but I want to win lots of races and win the championship in a convincing manner. I love the fact that the championship is so raw the best drivers going at it, no politics, just pure racing and the cream can rise to the top.”

Lynn believes that the main opposition in GP2 this year will be Red Bull protege Pierre Gasly and Russian Sergey Sirotkin, who has replaced Vandoorne at ART GP.

Alex Lynn

Lynn drives for DAMS, the team that took Jolyon Palmer to the title in 2014. Palmer is now a race driver with Renault.

Lynn will again drive the simulator for Williams this season and hopes to get a run in the F1 car at a test towards the back end of the season. There is also the possibility of getting some mileage in Pirelli 2017 tyre testing as Williams is one of the five teams currently slated to provide a car for F1’s tyre supplier.

Lynn’s optimism is well founded in one sense; there certainly are a number of drivers who have been in F1 a long time. However history also shows that when there is a major rule change, F1 teams can be quite risk averse with young drivers, believing that experienced drivers are a better bet.

There’s no question that there are some talented young drivers on the fringes of the sport with Lynn, Vandoorne and Frenchman Esteban Ocon in particular a trio that look like they deserve a place on the F1 grid next season.

What do you think? Would you like to see more young drivers come in to F1 in 2017 or do you think the sport should stick with the older names?

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1

Yes we should have younger drivers come in as you will only get the older names like Hamilton and Vettel winning titles and races all the time.

2

Well I like the old boys, I’ve got used to them and I like to see them every fortnight they seem to have more personality.

4

One thing he is not slow in coming forward about is his own talents!?!.
Not sure if he is the one for Williams? They need someone who is gunna drive the socks of car week in and week out. I don,t think Bottas will go to Ferrari. He is not good enough.Massa has maybe a couple of seasons left. So there will be spaces. I think Williams need a big name driver, maybe the Hulk or even Hammy? Gunna be interesting.

5

\Well, he’s a racing driver. I’ve never come across one who doesn’t have supreme belief in their own abilities.

6

Who is going to make way for the fresh blood?

The only three drivers who are arguably at the back end of their careers are Kimi, JB, and Massa? Of those JB doesn’t seem past it yet, he remains marketable and is keeping Alonso honest. Felipe is still good, on his day, and doesn’t Bernie like a Brazilian in the mix somewhere?

I only see Kimi being ready to hang up his helmet. Is there anyone l’m missing?

7

“doesn’t Bernie like a Brazilian in the mix somewhere?”

Nasr’s Brazilian 🙂

8

Media reports suggest Williams are short of money. They want to use only 4 of their permitted 5 PUs this season, it certainly looked like that in China where their engine looked down on power compared to the works Mercedes. If they change a driver next season I suggest they will be looking for another Maldonado, a reasonably quick driver with plenty of budget. British drivers tend not to bring money with them so Lynn looks like he will on the sidelines again unless he can drum up some sponsorship.

9

These articles on GP2 drivers just remind me of all the good talent that doesn’t get a look into F1 purely because a lack of funding.
Why haven’t we seen Mitch Evans getting some testing. The Russia Time team isn’t exactly one of the top flight teams, but Evans has shown that he has just as much potential as is needed. Oh well, another Kiwi destined for WEC glory.

10

It is always good to see new and exciting talent making the cut and from what i can ascertain there are some possible talents out there that would fit the bill. that should, and is, always tempered by the need to be competitive from the start especially since WCC income is derived by points scored. williams have a problem as they really are a team going nowhere ATM. their last championship win was almost 20 years ago and apart from one aberration, maldonado’s win in 2012, you have to go back to 2004 for williams last win!! that is one win in 12 years. people claim that they are underfunded but they do have, by all accounts, enviable facilities and an engine which is the cream of the crop! so some of their problems seem to be with their driver selection, IMO. whether this chap lynn is any good is beyond me but their current drivers, while fast, do not get me too excited.

11

Williams do have a much smaller budget than the top teams.
I think they are a team that just hasn’t been attracting the top drivers. A shame because I for one would love to see them back on winning form

12

I think their drivers are pretty good. Who did you have in mind? And how much faster would these top drivers be, maybe 10 sec over a race distance. It wouldn’t change much.
Fixing their strategy team, now that might make a difference.

13

@ kramgp….if the difference between hiring a top driver is around $5/10 million per year SFW could do it with a blink of the eye. he is reputedly worth somewhere around $220million!!!!! time to put some back if they want to up their performance on the driver front.

14

Yes, as a team they have a lot of fear. I will give them another 5 years to get it sorted or I’ll write to Bernie to get them taken off the “Special treatment group”. The only thing that got them into in the first place it was hiring Newey.

15

that’s not true, they won several constructor and driver titles before they hired newey

16

I’m sure Bernie will read your letter and act in accordance with your wishes.

17

Also……….. happy to see Williams getting the fastest pit stops now. I guess last year was like a runner training with a tyre tied to their waste. Now they don’t have the front jack impairment they’re flying.

A fun game for anyone watching the race with others. When a car comes in for a pit stop. You have until the stationary time comes up on screen to call out how long the stop was. Closet wins. (Please don’t gamble)

18

If we got rid of pay drivers, that would free up more seats for the youngsters.

The drivers on the gird are like a “Watched kettle”. You’ll ask where is all the young blood and the next moment you realise Jarno Trulli hasn’t raced since 2011 and Lewis is 31……….

She’s in rude health,…….. other than drivers having to bring money. (It should not be aloud).

19

Hi James, how do you rate Mitch Evans and do you feel he has any chance of making the F1 grid? Interesting that Alex Lynn didn’t mention him as a title contender this year.

20

Good driver for sure one of the quick guys

Won some races but seemed to struggle for consistency ?

21

So who will they get rid of? Massa or Bottas?
Seems to be Massa has had a better start than Bottas. Though Bottas may be Ferrari bound. Though that maybe of the boil now.

22

I think its just a question of whether someone is special enough to get a drive. Whilst older F1 guys are on the brink of leaving they still have more to offer than someone who does not have the consistency and ability to deal with the many facets of F1 – The only way is to try them and perhaps Pirelli being primed for 25 days of testing for 2017 is the perfect chance. By the 2nd day the teams can see the drivers ability to improve and integrate with the engineers and absorb the complexities. There was never a doubt for Wehrlein , Verstappen, Sainz and Vandoorne and thats exactly how it should be.Obviously following proven ability in lower formula. (Not someone looking down their overalls to check their gender) ????

23

Def off the boil – I can think of at least 3 other names ahead of gim there

24

Great News. He deserves a drive. Good luck to the fellow ????

25

I’m searching my head, but I can’t remember a single stand out moment from his GP2 campaign last year. He was consistently in the top 10 iirc, but pretty quiet other than that.

If he couldn’t beat Rossi, who couldn’t beat Vandoorne, I don’t really see a reason to push for him to be in F1.

Let’s see how this year goes I guess, but my prediction is that he will finish behind Gasly and Serotkin in the championship.

26

Too close to call between Sirotkin, Gasly and Lynn in thier rookie seanson!

James, was this media event organized by Williams or DAMS?

27

Neither

28

Lynn’s a good driver but I don’t think he’s quite got the speed massa and bottas have. I remember frank raving about bottas when he was testing but not a lot’s been said about lynn

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