Monday, October 21, 2019

Will Esteban Ocon become Another of F1's Lost Generations?

Esteban Ocon will return "Home" for the 2020 Formula 1 season, with le Reggie'. (Image Source:
"You know how that rabbit feels
Going under your speeding wheels
Bright images flashing by
Like windshields towards a fly
Frozen in the fatal climb
But the wheels of time
Just pass you by

It slips between your hands like water
This living in real time
A dizzying lifetime
Reeling by on celluloid..."

Author's Note
Like many stories languishing like broken pieces of scattered Driftwood here upon thoust Isle 'O Nofendersville. This story was originally "Penned" in the Fall of 2018, but simply wasn't finished. And therefore is slightly dated, but still relevant concerning today's Formula One's Stairway Development Schemes.

whilst surely Y'all know that Monsieur Ocon will return to thoust Pinnacle 'O Motorsports, nee Formula 1 triumphantly next year for le Reggie', alongside Danny ric', Wee-Wee...

Perhaps you've heard All of the Kerfuffle over the current plight of Mercedes Junior Team Driver member Esteban Ocon, who's apparently likely being locked-out of a Formula 1 race seat next year, due to his backing by Mercedes.

As Ocon's a highly rated Up 'N Comer; Err rising F1 Star who Mercedes wishes to keep racing in Formula 1 in preparations for when or if his services are required at the Silver Arrows as one of its future race Pilotes'.

But current Scuttlebutt suggests that it's looking unlikely the French Young Gun will land the lone remaining Team Willy' seat, the last vacancy for the 2019 Grid. As apparently Williams F1 is seeking another "Pay Driver" to help fill Thar coffers upon Martini's exodus.

Yet Mercedes is probably partially keen upon keeping Ocon active in Formula 1 since he was one of the few drivers able to go toe-to-toe with the overly ballyhooed Max Dutchboy' Verstappen during their formative years.

As Ocon won the 2014 FIA Formula 3 Euroseries Championship with nine wins vs. Verstappen finishing third overall that season. Whilst I'd ARSE-Sume that Carlos Sainz, Jnr, Lance Stroll, Charles Leclerc and Stoffel Vandoorne are part of this "Brat Pack" youth generation hoping to usurp the current Top Bananas, i.e.; 'lil syd Viddle, nee Sebastian Vettel and Golden Child, aka Lewis Hamilton.

Although we know that Vandoorne's been tossed aside by McLaren in favour of it's far younger Rising Star Lando Norris, with the Belgian having sought refuge in the Formula E Series instead...

Ironically, Mercedes two current F1 Drivers are graduates of other teams past Development programmes, for which we'll soon discover, a plum Junior Driver assignment doesn't necessarily automatically Punch your Ticket for the Big Dance, nee thou Pinnacle of Motorsports, aka Formula 1. Nor long-term employment Thar'.

As what's that Old Motor Racing saying? Oh Yeah, "You're Only as Good as Your last race!"

Current F1 Driver Development programmes
Although unofficial, this is what I could gleam from the All Knowing "Intrawoods," nee internetz' regarding Formula 1 Teams currently using some sort of Driver Development scheme, whilst not all ten current F1 Teams are currently doing so.

Presumably the most well known is the Red Bull Junior Team, which feeds both Red Bull and Scuderia Toro Rosso at a prodigious rate! Next best known is the Ferrari Driver Academy, which is pre-dated by the Renault sport Academy, followed by the McLaren Young Driver program

Mercedes Junior Team arrived on-scene relatively late to this "Farm system" tradition, albeit they didn't return as a Formula One Constructor until 2010. While Force India has, or had a Junior Team? And lastly, Ditto for Team Willy', aka Williams F1, which I don't think has anyone presently on its Driver Development rolls?

And I couldn't find anything "technically" for either Sauber or Haas, which isn't exactly true, especially since both are linked with Ferrari unofficially. As I know I wrote about current F2 and IndyCar Driver Santino Ferrucci being one of Haas's "Development" Drivers last year.

Meanwhile it's old news that current Alfa Romeo X Sauber Young Gun Charles Leclerc's graduating to Ferrari next season in a seat swap with Kimi thee "Iceman" Raikkonen.

Yet for Mwah, I tend to think of Driver Development from thou 'Ol Dayzes', when Test Drivers actually got to test year round, with some making quite a comfortable living this way. As the names Gary Paffett, Alexander Wurz, Pedro de la rosa and Olivier Panis come to mind. While others like Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa were groomed for future F1 racing careers...

Partial Song lyrics from: Rush
"Thee Unofficial No Fenders House Band"
Song: Between the Wheels
Album: Grace Under Pressure
Year: 1984