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11/29/2011

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While there's some truth to this, it's not fair to blame Trulli for not having achieved wins, podiums or pole positions. In a Lotus? Whoever expects that from him must have very limited knowledge of how F1 works. You could just as well blame David Riccardo for his lack of race wins.

Also, the situation with Villeneuve in 2004 was different as he was "thrown into cold water" without being able to test extensively before getting into the Renault. For Kimi, it'll be different.

It's all about the publicity!

Pedro de la Rosa kind of makes sense. Let's face it, it will be a while before HRT's cars are competitive enough that they'll need a hot driver. What HRT really needs right now are two things: a Spanish driver who can be the PR face of their Spanish team, and they need a driver who has a tonne of car development experience who can help them take their car to the next level. With de la Rosa they get both of those things. Car development is basically all that de la Rosa has been doing at McLaren and now he can bring all that experience to HRT. And two years from now, he'll have hopefully helped them improve the car enough that it makes sense to recruit a hot driver. At which point de la Rosa will be able to transition into a "management" role in the team and still be a valuable PR asset. And my guess is he was willing to work cheap.

Schumacher's return was all about the PR. Bernie wanted it, and Mercedes needed it. Mercedes knew their 2010 car was going to suck (Brawn had put all their eggs into the 2009 car to win the championship) so they needed to give people something else to focus on while they spent 2010 (and it looks like 2011) rebuilding If I was a betting man I'd bet that unless MB comes up with a killer car next year and Michael ends up with multiple podium finishes, he'll be done.

As for Rubens: he's still a decent driver, his performance in 2009 with Brawn was more than decent. And most importantly for a cash strapped team, not only does he bring a wealth of experience at a relatively low cost, but unlike the young tigers he's very unlikely to crash the car - crashing is expensive. If he'd been driving a better car this year, say a Sauber or Force India it's likely nobody would be questioning his desire to stick around for another year. Unfortunately he moved to Williams just as they completely forget how to make an F1 car and has been tainted by their failure to deliver something worth racing.

Kimi is the one I really don't understand. Kimi has never been happy doing the kind of PR that F1 really requires, and he doesn't have the kind of nationalistic PR potential that de la Rosa and Schumacher have for their 'home' teams. And as you say, two years out of the car means he's going to be slow, just like Schumacher was in 2010. And to make matters worse, he has no experience with the new tires or DRS and will likely have to spend time adjusting to those changes as well. It will be a minor miracle if he manages to out perform his younger teammate (whoever it ends up being). Frankly if I'd been Genii, I'd have hired Rubens instead of Kimi. He'd be cheaper, he'd be a better teacher for the young teammate(s), and he'd be a HUGE PR asset for both Lotus/Proton and Genii (who just expanded into Brazil). I've been less than impressed with Éric Boullier this year, and his decision to hire Kimi really makes me wonder if he's a prime example of the Peter Principal in action (or if as part of the deal Kimi is now managed by Boullier's Gravity Sports Management).

I enjoy reading your post and know these issue.It seems that I lost in the tract and don't have any news gather because of too busy schedule in office I have no time to watch and read news.

Is Schumacher back for 2012? Could be his year for a couple of podiums, maybe even in a win. Especially given the calibre of some of the drivers it appears he'll be up against.

Norris said: "Michael Schumacher (on the cusp of 43) is an exception, He’s won seven World Championships, so he gets a pass." I couldn't disagree more. Schuey returned to F1 and was basically irrelevant. Great driver? I may concede that, but what we saw in his heyday is the same thing we are seeing with Vettel today - a "great" driver in a terrific car. Back when Schuey was winning championships, it was Ferrari and then the others. Put the same driver in a Williams then, or even today, and for all his talent, he wouldn't win a thing. In some ways, F1 is all smokes and mirrors. The drivers' championship goes not necessarily to the best driver, but to the driver with the best car. Exhibit A - Fernando Alonso. If he had Vettel's car, and Vettel, the Ferrari, would we be talking Vettel winning the drivers' championship? That said, but for the pedestrian circuits, for the most part I do watch the races.

I don't expect miracles from Kimi from the get-go, I'm aware things have changed since he was last in an F1 car. But to underestimate his ability to adapt is, to me, a mistake. Plus, it's not like the guy was bumming around doing nothing during his retirement/sabbatical.

Regarding the Pirelli tyres, yes, he needs to get used to them but let me just point out that he won his WDC crown in his first year at Ferrari running on Bridgestone tyres. For a guy coming off of 5 years on Michelins during his McLaren stints, I'd say that's more than impressive.

And you are very bias in your reporting of his WRC and NASCAR forays. Why do people have such unrealistic expectations? In both racing disciplines, Kimi went into them knowing nothing - did people really thing he would be grabbing the WRC title from Seb Loeb in his first year. It's called a learning curve people! And for someone who hadn't driven in the Trucks series before and only had one weekend trial, how can you say that finishing 15th overall on the lead lap is not a superlative effort?

Everybody keeps talking about how Kimi was able to make the switch from Michelins to Bridgestone without problems back in the good old days. But nobody seems to mention that back in the good old days Kimi had plenty of opportunities to 'test' the tires before he ever had to go racing. Given the current limits on testing, he's not going to get the time he had back then to adjust. And back then he hadn't spent the previous two years not racing in F1. And if anybody says "what about pre-season testing" I'd remind them that's when the team is suppose to be testing, evaluating, and improving the new car. It's not typically used as 'training time' for the driver(s).


simply not going to get a lot of time to adjust to both the new tires, and the new car before he has to go racing.

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