Friday, October 25, 2019

F1: How Well Do Driver Development Programmes Work? Especially for the Midfield Runners?

Since although it's All the Rage to have a Junior Team, not everyone can Afford one...

Alfa Romeo (Sauber)
The Sauber Driver who stands out most to Mwah is Felipe Massa, who Kicked Off the Ferrari Driver Academy's role when being "Farmed Out" to Sauber in 2004-05 after spending the '03 F1 season as Ferrari Test Driver,. After Massa had campaigned his Rookie Formula 1 season for Sauber in 2002 alongside Quick Nic' Heidfeld. As Massa was subsequently called up to la Scuderia in '06 to partner DER TERMINATOR', nee Michael Schumacher...

And that was when Sauber was a True Privateer under Peter Sauber's control... Which I suppose they are still technically, albeit Peter's long since departed - along with Thar ever increasing linkage to la Scuderia, nee Ferrari seemingly diminishing that nomenclature to Mwah.

Especially now that Charles Leclerc, a former Ferrari Academy member having a very promising Rookie campaign with Alfa Romeo by Sauber has graduated to Scuderia Ferrari for 2019, effectively swapping seats with Kimi Raikkonen.

As thou Original Iceman' Raikkonen's team-mate this season is another former Ferrari Academy member, Italian Antonio Giovinazzi. The first Italian Formula 1 Pilote since "Trully Scrumptious," aka Jarno Trulli Departed F1 in 2011.

Although Giovinazzi made a most scintillating Debut in Shanghai as then Sauber driver Pascal Wehrlein's substitute in 2017, before finally getting a Fulltime race seat Nod this year at Alfa Romeo Racing.

As the Alfa Romeo Racing Longbow Finance SA owned Sauber Motorsport AG Alliance is somewhat muddled; ARSE-Sumedly only Outdone by the previous Lotus-Lotus, Renault-Renault affair, Eh?

Which includes the Sauber Junior Team run by the Czech Republic's racing Organisation Charouz Racing System, which currently competes in the FIA's "global" ladder system. Most notably in the lower tier FIA Formula 2 & FIA Formula 3 Championships for starters.

And the Charouz name is somewhat familiar, due to the past exploits of Jan Charouz being an F1 Reserve Driver, and now dabbling in Sports Cars? See's more names heading it's various Feeder Series teams than I wish typing!

With a Plethora 'O aspiring F1 Drivers currently on its roster, with the two highest members being the aforementioned Juan Manuel Correa, who's racing career is potentially over? Along with Callum Ilott, with both Drivers competing in FIA Formula 2 for the Sauber Junior Team.

Yet I'm somewhat Cornfuzed, since I thought Ilott was listed as a Ferrari Academy member, who's apparently being "Farmed Out" to Sauber's; Err Alfa Romeo's Junior Team?

Thars' a trio of FIA Formula 3 recruits, along with Formula 4 Pilotes', the most intriguing being named Arthur Leclerc; Hmm?

And some Wee Go Karting lads, along with the Sport's lone Femme fatale Tatiana Calderón, currently designated as Alfa Romeo Racing's Test Driver. but will any advance to a future Formula 1 race seat with thou Alfetti?

Since Scuttlebutt currently suggests that Raikkonen's F1 Drive will be inherited by some bloke named Mick Schumacher in 2021...

Haas F1
This current day American Formula 1 Team, not to be Cornfuzed with the late 1980's Carl Haas Force Lola F1 Team is primarily known as a pseudo Customer Ferrari B-Team', with its controversial usage of Scuderia Bits, it's Wind Tunnel and the requisite Prancing Horse running gear it utilizes.

Currently Haas just has one lone Test Driver listed, being former IndyCar Driver Pietro Fittipaldi. Whilst past Haas Alumni include thee Great Santini', aka Santino Ferrucci, who Wowed in Indy Cars this season at the Minnowesqe Dale Coyne Racing outfit.

McLaren Young Driver programme
Arguably McLaren's greatest ever Junior Driver is simply known here at No fenders as Golden Child, aka Lewis Hamilton, for which must I say anymore?

Currently Brazilian FIA Formula 2 competitor  Sergio Sette Camara is the Wokking based Squad's lone "Development" Driver.

As a few of its former Young Drivers Alumni include the likes of Guido-the-Dutchman', aka Giedo van der Garde, Kevin Bacon' Magnussen, Jack "Not Bloody Nige!" Harvey, Alexander Albon and Stoffel Vandoorne.

Whilst Lando Norris is the latest graduate to race for McLaren in Formula 1 after having finished runner-up to George Russell in last year's FIA Formula 2 Championship.

Williams F1
Currently, a la past McLaren prodigy's, Team Willy's biggest Name on the Formula 1 Grid is former William F1 Finnish Driver known here in Nofendersville as Bottas, The Name is Valtteri Bottas... Cue the 007 Theme Musak'; Hya!

 Although I must confess, I've cooled mightily upon Valtteri who seems destined to only ever be a No. 2 Driver, Eh? Since even after his most recent victory at Suzuka, all I could say was Valtteri Who?

 Whilst I've got zero clue on whether or not Team Willys' got any Junior Team members right now? Which surely is thou least of Thar Problemas! Especially with its current, Uber recalcitrant FW42 mount.

Yeah,  I know I left out the Force India; Err Racing Point F1 Team, but simply have No clued what Thar doing in this Arena, especially since one could say they're in a rebuilding mode right now...

And that's what I currently know for the various Formula 1 Junior Team Schemes Folks! Which for some strange reason conjures up an 'Ol favourite song of MINE. Presumably since I was listening to another F1 Hopeful named Jack, Not Chet Achey-Breaky' Atkins; Hya! Aitken filling time in the Sky Sports Commentary Booth for Friday's second F1 Free Practice session at Suzuka...