2008 Formula 1 – Rookies and veterans – Part 1

Before the season resumes in Spain in about 3 weeks time I want to look at how the 2008 rookies and the F1 veterans have been doing so far this season.

Rookie no 1 – Nelson Piquet Jr.

Many people say that Piquet has yet to prove he deserves a seat in F1. Well, he did not show much in F1 so far, but to be fair to him he did not have much chance yet …

The season did not start very well for him. The Melbourne opener was just a disaster. While Alonso scored points, Piquet had difficulties to keep the car on the track. It would not however be fair to compare his performances with those of Fernando Alonso … Yes, Hamilton was also a rookie last year and managed to regularly beat Alonso from the beginning of the season. But the big difference was, the 2007 McLaren was a good car. Renault 2008 car seems to be a real dog so far. Even Alonso himself considers the R28 to be only 8th best on the grid at the moment.

One can understand that Alonso with his experience can get more out of the bad car than a F1 rookie. Piquet hasn’t set F1 on fire yet but when comparing his times to Alonso’s during Bahrain practice sessions it is quite clear that his pace is not that bad. What he is lacking is the F1 racing experience and that is situation similar to Heikki Kovalainen in 2007. The attitude of Renault towards him seems to be very different then their attitude towards Heikki last year. Piquet Jr has full suport from the team (at least it looks that way). Pat Symonds even goes as far as saying “he has had a damn good start“. Hmm… I can understand if he argues that it “is nothing to be ashamed of” if Alonso outqualifies him. But rating his F1 start as “damn good” is bit too much. Sounds like words Piquet’s sponsors would like to hear … I would say that so far he hasn’t been disapointing but he did not impress either. Let’s see what next few races will bring.

Veteran no 1 – David Coulthard

David Coulthard is one of the most experienced drivers in Formula 1 history. As of today (after 2008 Bahrain GP) he has 231 race starts to his name (source Forix). Only Michael Schumacher, Rubens Barrichello and Riccardo Patrese are above him in this table. But when wacthing and listening to him this season sometimes it looks like he is the rookie …

He got involved in 2 crashes in 3 races so far. Some people blame him for closing the door on cars trying to overtake him, some blame Massa / Button for being too adventureous in their attempts. I think that a driver with his experience should know better … It looks like there is a big message “Hit Me !” instead of Red Bull logo on his car … His “wise” words on the Massa accident made the headlines, in case you missed it, here is the interview:

So far this season only in Australia he qualified better than Mark Webber. That was however the session when Mark Webber had mechanical failure. In 2 races that both Red Bull cars finished Coulthard was beaten by his team mate who scored points in both of them.Coulthard’s position within Red Bull is strong but if his season continues the way it has started the questions about his future may start causing him some headaches …

10 Comments Post a Comment
  1. CraigNo Gravatar says:

    I’m worrying that this will be DC’s last year already – as long as he was scoring points, and scoring more than his teammate, then he had a case for continuing but now he isn’t then the chips are stacking up against him.

    Which is unfortunate as he hasn’t done a lot wrong – I’d blame both Massa and Jenson for the accidents he has had – just unlucky to be in the wrong place at the wrong time I suppose!

    Craig’s last blog post..10 Benson & Hedges, 6-pack of Tennents, a Vauxhall Corsa and a pack of Tenaladys please

  2. ShaunNo Gravatar says:

    The youtube video seems to have broken your layout (at least i think thats what it is) everything is fine up until the video then the layout is broken.

    This is in Firefox btw

    Shaun’s last blog post..Josh Day – The season so far

  3. F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks ! YouTube loves to do this … Fixed it, hopefuly :-)

  4. ShaunNo Gravatar says:

    yeah looks fine now :)

    Shaun’s last blog post..Josh Day – The season so far

  5. marcNo Gravatar says:

    DC’s goose is cooked and I would be far from surprised to see him cashiered before the season end.

    marc’s last blog post..Announcing a Max Mosley Fund Drive

  6. BenNo Gravatar says:

    I think it may be DC’s last year too. He is being out performed I think by Webber and creating a lot of debate about his comments and crashes.
    He has been a good racer in the past, but I guess I am one of the few who think he should retire now before he makes things worse and ruins his reputation.

    I think Coulthard was at fault for both crashes especially the Massa one. I don’t think its a coincidence that the accident involve around him, most of the time its the same drivers responsible. Raikkonen, Hamilton, Webber, Kovalainen, Kubica and Heidfeld feks. has not to my knowledge been involved with similar things, and here Coulthard is doing it twice in 3 races.

  7. Black ZeddNo Gravatar says:

    Yes have to agree there’s something fishy about ‘damn good start’..certainly not true at all.

    Broken layout…wordpress + youtube do that a lot. It’s fixed now :)

    Black Zedd’s last blog post..Never Do These In Job Interviews

  8. danielNo Gravatar says:

    coulthard is great for the red bull team, right attitude, but not the pace anymore.
    for webber i expect we will see some good positions, last year he was a bit of a quali-expert.
    about nelson he does not seem to be as quick as i hoped, alonso really shows how fast he is this time..

    daniel’s last blog post..Ronnie Peterson Museum nu online

  9. zblkhwkNo Gravatar says:

    In my opinion, the best benchmark of a driver’s performance is how they compare to their team mates. Alonzo has 6 points, Piquet 0. Weber has 4 points, Coulthard 0.

    Piquet has the excuse of being a rookie and his team mate is a two time world champion. Coulthard has been out finished and significantly outqualified by Weber. Add to that he has become way too outspoken. If he does not pick it up fast, you would have to think his seat may be gone.

  10. OleaNo Gravatar says:

    In my opinion, David Coulthard is one of the best drivers around and he deserves respect from us. Just remember the times when he was in McLaren with Mika Hakkinen and was rocking. Right now he is going through a bad time but he will be back.


2014 Teams and Drivers

Red Bull
Sebastian VETTEL
Fernando ALONSO
Adrian SUTIL
Force India
Sergio PEREZ
Felipe MASSA
Valtteri BOTTAS
Toro Rosso
Daniil KVYAT
Jean Eric VERGNE

2014 F1 Calendar

14-16 March - Australia
28-30 March - Malaysia
4-6 April - Bahrain
18-20 April - China
9-11 May - Spain
22-25 May - Monaco
6-8 June - Canada
20-22 June - Austria
4-6 July - Great Britain
18-20 July - Germany
25-27 July - Hungary
22-24 August - Belgium
5-7 September - Italy
19-21 September - Singapore
3-5 October - Japan
10-12 October - Russia
31 October-2 November - USA
7-9 November - Brazil
21-23 November - Abu Dhabi


2010 Mercedes GP F1 Merchandise
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