2008 Formula 1 – Rookies and veterans – Part 3

I will close this series with a look at Kazuki Nakajima (almost rookie), Rubens Barrichello and Giancarlo Fisichella.

Rookie no 3 – Kazuki Nakajima

Kazuki Nakajima Bahrain 2008

Still can consider him a rookie after only one race in 2007 season :-) What to say … Can be quick in free practice but can’t get the best out of the car in qualifying. He pretty much ruins his races on Saturdays already. Kind of like Alex Wurz last year or kind of like Kazuki Nakajima in Brazil 2007 :-) … It may be way too early to judge him, remember Kovalainen and 2007 season. But if he does not want Williams to keep him only because of his Toyota connection, he needs to start thinking more about how to get his car into Q3 rather than how to get his helmet paint job on AirAsia plane

Veteran no 3 – Rubens Barrichello

Rubens Barrichello Honda

Rubens Barrichello is on track to become the most experienced F1 driver later this year (number of races he participated in). No one, even he himself does not know what race exactly will be the record breaking one, but some time this season he will break the 256 races mark set by Riccardo Patrese.


For for such an experienced driver he is however making way too many rookie errors. In Australia he threw away sure points for Honda. The drive through penalty for making pit stop when pitlane was closed he could not avoid (unless he chose to run of fuel). But ignoring the red light on the pitlane exit can’t be excused especially when 2 drivers were blackflagged for the same in Canada last year… His excuse – he could not see the red light. Then a week later in Malaysia he gets the drive through penalty for speeding in the pitlane. His excuse – the markings in the pitlane to indicate where the speed limit ends were not clear enough … Well a bit lame for my taste … However, when it comes to racing itself, Barrichello is not doing too bad so far this season. In qualifying he is a match his team mate. In races his best result is 11th to Button’s 10th and there is that 6th place in Australia he lost to the red light incident …

Barrichello has no contract for 2009. He still has something to give to the team, but the main reason Honda hired him is his experience. The silly errors are not what Honda is paying him for… To dream about 300 race starts is nice, but he can’t dream during the races…

Veteran no 4 – Giancarlo Fisichella

Giancarlo Fisichella Bahrain 2008

Giancarlo Fisichella is back at the back end of the grid. He also seems to be back enjoying racing and giving his best. I have been saying long before Force India confirmed their 2008 drivers that Fisi would be a perfect choice for them at this stage of their development. Cool head, experience, development skills. I have been impressed but not surprised with Fisichella this season. He is wiping the floor with Sutil whether it is in qualifying, or in the races. Fisi has been just barely missing out on Q2 in all 3 races this season and it looks like just a matter of time before he finally makes it. He has been doing well on race days too. Lewis Hamilton could talk about that … Two consecutive 12th place finishes are great results for a driver in car that belongs just ahead of Super Aguri … He is not doing that much worse than the guys driving for his former team, Renault. It is funny to think that few months ago Sutil was a hot candidate for McLaren and Fisi was on his way out of F1 …

Photos: AT&T Williams, Honda Racing, Force India,

7 Comments Post a Comment
  1. OleaNo Gravatar says:

    I don’t think that Kazuki Nakajima should be classified as a rookie.

  2. Black ZeddNo Gravatar says:

    F1 teams (esp cars) can split racing career like mad. Barichello and Fisi were dominant racers few years back with different teams, and now they’re struggling to even qualify to q3…imagine where Sutil will be if he’s at McLaren..

    …And where Hamilton is if he’s at Force India…

    Black Zedd’s last blog post..Best CEO Candidate: Marketers or Engineers?

    • F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

      well, when I see how “great” Sutil is this year when compared to Fisichella I do not think he would make it too far in McLaren …

      well, but as in any career, it is all about being at the right place at the right time…

  3. StewNo Gravatar says:

    Fisichella isn’t only wiping the track with Sutil, he’s showing everyone including Renault he still has what it takes and wiping their faces with it. I am looking forward to Fisi in Q2 and finishing ahead of Alonso.

    I have been a fan of Rubens for a long time, but his mind seems elsewhere these days. Your’re right with these stupid mistakes. Not only that, but he looks foolish with his excuses. He is however driving well this year, a year I thought Button would be the clear #1 at Honda.

    Lets see what Honda has in the bag with their update package

  4. marcNo Gravatar says:

    I’ve always been puzzled with the Japanese F1 drivers, Nakajima-san is no different.

    They seem to excel in other forms of the sport, Rally and all three classes of MotoGp, for example, but in F1 they go no where for the most part.

    marc’s last blog post..The Mosley – Villeneuve – Nazi Sex Den Connection

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