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Robin Frijns back in F1 wilderness

Robin Frijns.jpg

Dutchman Robin Frijns was hoping, much like Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson, that in 2014 Caterham would finally make a step forward in F1 after bringing up the rear for several years. Unfortunately this year has proved to be a nightmare for the supremely talented Dutchman as he watched the Caterham team descend into farce as the season went on.

Earlier this week Frijns formally ended his relationship with the team for good, as the team faces an uncertain future, hoping to remain on the F1 grid next year. Frijns was the test and reserve driver for Caterham this year and had Free Practice runs in Bahrain and Britain, although he had limited running outside of these sessions.

Frijns commented on his departure from the team by stating "I'd like to say thank you and goodbye to all the people at Caterham, whom I have worked with over the past 12 months,I keep my fingers crossed that there will be a future for the team in Formula 1 in 2015 and beyond.Especially I'd like to thank former Team Principal Cyril Abiteboul whom I consider to be mainly responsible for giving me the chance to become a part of the team."

The next step is unclear for Frijns, who would likely prefer to remain in F1 next year, although this is largely dependent on bringing finance to teams which he simply doesn't have. Frijns has a hugely impressive CV including winning the Formula BMW Europe series in 2010, Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup in 2011 and finally the World Series By Renault 3.5 series in his rookie year in 2012.

Robin Frijns is clearly a hugely talented young driver, the only thing that seems to be holding him back from an F1 seat is finance, which is systematic for a lot of driver recently. For Frijns the future remains unclear, although whether he remain in single seaters or changes to sportscar racing he will prove his undeniable talent whatever he races in the coming years.

Bram Hengeveld

RaceDepartment Founder
Unfortunately talent isn't always enough to make it in F1. The lack of financial backing and his outspoken opinion in the media hasn't helped him to secure a seat either.

Shame though as this driver has the speed to succeed.

David O'Reilly

A bad quali means I can go forwards in the race.
It does trouble me that the very best of talent isn't enough.
It begs the question who are we watching on race weekends?
Is it merely the most gifted of the most connected ones?

This was supposed to be the difference between amatuer sport and professional sport.
In amatuer sport you play because you want to and can afford it.
Professional sport is IMO for the very best.
If the best cant get a drive the model is broken.
And if you don't have the finance to buy you way into a F1 seat it is not smart to step on important toes. He made some not so smart comments about the Red Bull talent development programme. So besides money also his big mouth is keeping him from F1. Too bad because that man has talent written all over him.
Frijns is also tainted by the dubious way he 'won' his FR 3.5 title at the final round.

He is very fast and deserves a seat over quite a few who already have one. But then F1 has never been fair..
I don't think team owners hold that against him threecounties. If that is the case there wouldn't be any F1 driver left. Remember how Schumi "won" his first world championship?? I bet the British remember that one.;)
Schumi had a history of 'trying it on' and for that reason can't be considered the best of all time. He won many races, yes, but what with his very dubious ethics (some might call it cheating), winning his first two titles in a bent car, and his insistence on a deferring team mate, I just can't put him in the same bracket as Alain Prost, the best ever in my opinion.

I sit waiting for the backlash...
I cant understand why so many drivers try to get into F1 for such a long period of time. There are so many other racing series out there and some won't ask you for millions of money, they will even pay you.

@threecounties I think Prost, Senna, Alonso, Schumacher all had their bad moments, but I think the Michael Schumacher we saw in his second career was a much better one. He only left to soon.

Deleted member 130869

Perhaps the most talented guy who's been "baiting" for a few years and hasn't been given a shot yet. Sure he may not have always played nicely with people but it is annoying to not see someone young with potential like he be given an opportunity.

David O'Reilly

A bad quali means I can go forwards in the race.
We need to do a "where are they now"
for GP2 and FR 3.5 for say 5 or 6 years.
See if GP2 is twice as valuable (its twice the price.)

Ole Marius Myrvold

JWB 96-13
We need to do a "where are they now"
for GP2 and FR 3.5 for say 5 or 6 years.
See if GP2 is twice as valuable (its twice the price.)

That is a big job. However, I do think all junior series will go through a period of drivers not going to F1, with only 18 seats, and 4 of them guaranteed to Red Bull drivers, 2 Ferrari seats which never go to youngsters. Lotus, Force India and Sauber needing pay drivers. That leaves the 6 seats at Williams, McLaren and Mercedes up for grabs. Merc with two top-drivers, and Wehrlein as their young shot. McLaren is overcrowded already. So then we are down to the 2 seats at Williams, which only is possible if Williams keeps having good results.

Anyway, to further show this. From 2005 to 2011, of the people who ended in top 3 those GP2 seasons, only Alexandre Premat and Luca Filippi is without F1 races in their career.
While from 2012-2014 only Gutierrez and now Nasr will be the graduates (as long as Nasr's money comes through).
I think that is just as much down to how hard it is to get into F1 now, as the level of drivers. So, maybe it would be better and just skip the whole thing, and fly out to Japan!

David O'Reilly

A bad quali means I can go forwards in the race.
@Ole Marius Myrvold
I think you have summarised it nicely.
The number of seats for talented drivers is diminishing as teams struggle with budgets.

I get annoyed with Red Bull sometimes but at least each year or two there are 2 seats in Toro Rosso due to their program. Sometimes even more eg Ricciardo farmed out to HRT in season 1.
I was worried that they would get cold feet and take Alonso in lieu of Ricciardo. It was rumoured that Horner wanted that. His (Ricciardo) promotion and performance validates their program.
Now Sainz has got a seat too so we can't complain. As ruthless as they are in Red Bull talent talks nothing else.
Sainz and Verstappen will be an interesting tussle.

The Superformula car sounds a bit of a cross between a DW12 and a FR 3.5.