A GPR what-if

The place for respectful and reverent discussion of Reject drivers and teams, whether profiled or not as yet
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Aislabie
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A GPR what-if

Post by Aislabie »

So this is a bit of a what-if kind of game for everyone to compile needlessly detailed manifestos about. The scenario is as follows:
You are the Team Principal of a Formula One team, and you've built the best car on the grid by miles. Unfortunately, you've blown the entire budget and forgotten to sign drivers. You can only afford to hire rejects, so which two reject drivers are you hiring to bring the Championships home?
My answers are as follows:

My first driver is Image Jean-Eric Vergne is probably the best talent to fall out of F1 in recent years. In two years as teammate to Daniel Ricciardo, the pair were almost perfectly matched. But Ricciardo got Webber's vacated Red Bull seat and Vergne stayed at Toro Rosso where he wiped the floor with Kvyat. The young Russian got promoted to Red Bull and we all know how that went; Vergne fell into Formula E and became a two-time Drivers Champion for Techeetah. He could have been anything.

My second driver is Image Anthony Davidson. Probably not quite as quick as Vergne, but when he arrived in F1 he was hot shite: a rookie European F3 Champion and British F3 runner-up against the likes of Sato, Lotterer, Bruni, Courtney and (briefly) Sakon Yamamoto. He was also a long-established safe pair of hands, and a top-quality test driver with almost unmatched ability to set up a car. He would go on to be a World Endurance Champion, showing his ability to close out a season when the pressure was on.

But I'm sure others have their own ideas. What are yours?
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GT_Forti1
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Re: A GPR what-if

Post by GT_Forti1 »

Modern times, Alex Rossi (look what he did in Indy) and Guanyu Zhou. I believe he has real potential, and I never hated him when he got the Alfa seat over Piastri. I hated Alpine and their management of him instead, and look what happened :P
I believe that he will exit Rejectdom, so as an alternative, JEV.
Mid-1990s, I’d go for Bernd Schneider and Eric van de Poele.
Mostly because they impressed in other racing series.
70s, I’d go for Bobby Rahal (yes he is a reject) and AJ Foyt (technically eligible through Indy 500?) If not, I don’t know… Hans Heyer maybe?
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Aislabie
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Re: A GPR what-if

Post by Aislabie »

GT_Forti1 wrote: 01 Feb 2023, 00:32 Mid-1990s, I’d go for Bernd Schneider and Eric van de Poele.
This is a really good pairing. Eric van de Poele had a really good F3K career, then outperformed Damon Hill at Brabham (having already outperformed him in F3K). Despite both being similar ages, Damon Hill ended up as a World Champion and 22-time race winner, and Eric van de Poele raced three more times for Fondmetal. It seems hard to believe that Damon wouldn't have done similarly well in the same cars if he'd had the opportunities.

As for Schneider, he was so unfortunate to only really drive shitboxes in F1. And when he finally did get to sit in the Arrows, he immediately got yeeted for Alex Caffi, who still bagged a couple of points that should have been Schneider's. By 1991 there were so many open seats too - the second Lotus, Jordan, the second Benetton - and he wouldn't have disappointed in any of them. Of course given what he went on to achieve I don't think anyone could call it a missed opportunity for Schneider, but it was a huge missed opportunity for everyone who could have hired him.
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dinizintheoven
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Re: A GPR what-if

Post by dinizintheoven »

You say "rejects", but what about those who never had a chance in F1 at all? Just looking around the FE grid these days, you've got Sam Bird, Antonio Felix da Costa, Robin Frijns, Jake Dennis and Mitch Evans - 30 wins between them, one championship and all the others have been in the mix at least once, and zero F1 entries. Choose two from those five. And if it must be former F1 entrants still in Official Reject Status, I'd choose JEV and Pascal Wehrlein.
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Row Man Gross-Gene
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Re: A GPR what-if

Post by Row Man Gross-Gene »

It's probably worth it to put at least one person currently signed to the grid into your car if you can pry them away. So Zhou, Piastri, Nick de Vries. Beyond that, I like the JEV suggestion and da Costa (not a reject, but reject-adjacent).
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takagi_for_the_win
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Re: A GPR what-if

Post by takagi_for_the_win »

Tora Takagi would slot nicely into one car - sort of duty bound to suggest him, but he was also pretty quick when he wanted to be. Plonked the bathplug awful 1998 Tyrrell 13th on the grid on his debut, and I'm sure if his two teams in the sport weren't Tyrrell in a death spiral and Arrows entering a death spiral we would've seen a lot more from the notoriously quiet lad.

Tora's presence in the team limits me realistically to late 90's drivers, so it's a bit of a toss-up for the second seat. Alex Zanardi would be a fun shout, but realistically he really struggled to get to grips with the grooved tyre cars and was demolished by Half Schumacher, so with that in mind his CV gets put in a drawer in my desk, never to resurface. Vincenzo Sospiri had a demon karting career, but never really had the chance to show what he could do in open-wheelers, so he gets a lot of consideration. Jan Magnussen was another shout, clearly latent talent there but he never lived up to the hype at all.

However, in the interests in keeping the wage budget low, I'd draft in Tarso Marques. I seem to remember the ITV F1 1997 pre-season guide rating him fairly highly, and for the notoriously keen-eyed talent spotters in Minardi to keep him around for two years despite not really being able to afford to give him a fair crack of the whip has to count for something. Yeah, he was demolished by Alonso in 2001, but he hadn't driven an F1 car in anger for nearly 4 years by that point, and Alonso is fairly good so no real shame in being beaten by him.

Not necessarily the most obvious pairing, and almost certainly far from the best driver pairing this thread will see, but two lads who definitely had the talent but just didn't have the environment in which to display it.
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tBone
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Re: A GPR what-if

Post by tBone »

So, I decided to spend way too much time on this one... I tried this nice "what if" for multiple points in time, in backward steps of 5 years for basically as far as my memory goes.

2023
1 - Guanyu Zhou. I do want to have at least one driver with recent experience in F1. That slims down the list to Zhou, Tsunoda and perhaps guys like Latifi, Mazepin etc. Although I like Yuki, I have to say that Guanyu Zhou had a very solid debut season and imo he shows a bit more potential.
2 - Oscar Piastri. Yup, this is perhaps a bit of a cheat since he hasn't driven a GP yet. But Piastri is obviously a big talent and that's why I want him in my team.


2018
1 - Pascal Wehrlein. I believe he was mentioned in this thread before. I always liked Wehrlein as a driver, since he seemed able to occasionally punch above his weight. Such a pity he was dropped at Sauber while Ericsson was allowed to stay on.
2 - Stoffel Vandoorne. He had a bad 2018 season in reality, but he was looking to be improving in 2017. His F2 career was nothing short of incredible and he is still doing well in Formula E, so I would have liked to give him one more chance.


2013
1 - Jean-Éric Vergne. Probably an obvious choice, Vergne was matching Ricciardo on race pace in the Toro Rosso and deserved more chances in F1.
2 - Jules Bianchi. Would not have been a reject if that tragic Suzuka GP hadn't happened. He was arguably one of F1's most exciting talents of the early 2010s.


2008
1 - Anthony Davidson. I guess also a rather obvious one, but this guy was quick and had vast experience in developing cars by this point. If it wasn't for a groundhog in Canada he would probably not even have been a reject.
2 - Robert Doornbos. Yes this is pure Dutch chauvinism. But Robert never really got a fair chance to show what he could do in F1, although he was immediately on the pace both at Minardi and at Red Bull when he jumped in halfway through the season. He was also pretty good in F3000 and ChampCars, so I would have liked to see him get a full season in a race seat somewhere in F1. By the way if I wasn't being chauvinistic, I would have probably picked André Lotterer.


2003
1 - Ricardo Zonta. Zonta had become quite a solid driver and had tested (and raced) a lot by 2003. He performed well on his sparse race outings after 2000 and it looks like he would have been a safe option for a new team.
2 - Antônio Pizzonia. Without even being able to explain why, I always had kind of a soft spot for Pizzonia. Yes, he was wild and very inconsistent, but on a good day he was as fast as anyone (Spa 2004 for example). Being in a small team and getting enough attention might have helped him a lot.


1998
1 - Luca Badoer. Experienced by this point and reasonably quick, Badoer really deserved a full-time drive in a somewhat capable team in the late 1990s. And hey, I have built the best car on the grid by miles, so he should be able to bring a plethora of points home, shouldn't he?
2 - Stéphane Sarrazin. Perhaps the biggest wildcard choice of them all and he only had F3 experience by this point. But there was something about this guy, even in his first F3000 season in 1998. He of course had that spectacular showing in a Minardi in 1999 and was solid in all kinds of cars after that: F3000, LMP1, WRC, Formula E, Extreme E... So why not in F1?
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Row Man Gross-Gene
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Re: A GPR what-if

Post by Row Man Gross-Gene »

tBone wrote: 13 Feb 2023, 13:56 So, I decided to spend way too much time on this one... I tried this nice "what if" for multiple points in time, in backward steps of 5 years for basically as far as my memory goes.

2023
1 - Guanyu Zhou. I do want to have at least one driver with recent experience in F1. That slims down the list to Zhou, Tsunoda and perhaps guys like Latifi, Mazepin etc. Although I like Yuki, I have to say that Guanyu Zhou had a very solid debut season and imo he shows a bit more potential.
2 - Oscar Piastri. Yup, this is perhaps a bit of a cheat since he hasn't driven a GP yet. But Piastri is obviously a big talent and that's why I want him in my team.


2018
1 - Pascal Wehrlein. I believe he was mentioned in this thread before. I always liked Wehrlein as a driver, since he seemed able to occasionally punch above his weight. Such a pity he was dropped at Sauber while Ericsson was allowed to stay on.
2 - Stoffel Vandoorne. He had a bad 2018 season in reality, but he was looking to be improving in 2017. His F2 career was nothing short of incredible and he is still doing well in Formula E, so I would have liked to give him one more chance.


2013
1 - Jean-Éric Vergne. Probably an obvious choice, Vergne was matching Ricciardo on race pace in the Toro Rosso and deserved more chances in F1.
2 - Jules Bianchi. Would not have been a reject if that tragic Suzuka GP hadn't happened. He was arguably one of F1's most exciting talents of the early 2010s.


2008
1 - Anthony Davidson. I guess also a rather obvious one, but this guy was quick and had vast experience in developing cars by this point. If it wasn't for a groundhog in Canada he would probably not even have been a reject.
2 - Robert Doornbos. Yes this is pure Dutch chauvinism. But Robert never really got a fair chance to show what he could do in F1, although he was immediately on the pace both at Minardi and at Red Bull when he jumped in halfway through the season. He was also pretty good in F3000 and ChampCars, so I would have liked to see him get a full season in a race seat somewhere in F1. By the way if I wasn't being chauvinistic, I would have probably picked André Lotterer.


2003
1 - Ricardo Zonta. Zonta had become quite a solid driver and had tested (and raced) a lot by 2003. He performed well on his sparse race outings after 2000 and it looks like he would have been a safe option for a new team.
2 - Antônio Pizzonia. Without even being able to explain why, I always had kind of a soft spot for Pizzonia. Yes, he was wild and very inconsistent, but on a good day he was as fast as anyone (Spa 2004 for example). Being in a small team and getting enough attention might have helped him a lot.


1998
1 - Luca Badoer. Experienced by this point and reasonably quick, Badoer really deserved a full-time drive in a somewhat capable team in the late 1990s. And hey, I have built the best car on the grid by miles, so he should be able to bring a plethora of points home, shouldn't he?
2 - Stéphane Sarrazin. Perhaps the biggest wildcard choice of them all and he only had F3 experience by this point. But there was something about this guy, even in his first F3000 season in 1998. He of course had that spectacular showing in a Minardi in 1999 and was solid in all kinds of cars after that: F3000, LMP1, WRC, Formula E, Extreme E... So why not in F1?

I like your version of the exercise. My memory is poor, so I can't really agree or disagree with most of the choices, but I like it.
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Conventi
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Re: A GPR what-if

Post by Conventi »

Aislabie wrote: 01 Feb 2023, 09:37
GT_Forti1 wrote: 01 Feb 2023, 00:32 Mid-1990s, I’d go for Bernd Schneider and Eric van de Poele.
As for Schneider, he was so unfortunate to only really drive shitboxes in F1. And when he finally did get to sit in the Arrows, he immediately got yeeted for Alex Caffi, who still bagged a couple of points that should have been Schneider's. By 1991 there were so many open seats too - the second Lotus, Jordan, the second Benetton - and he wouldn't have disappointed in any of them. Of course given what he went on to achieve I don't think anyone could call it a missed opportunity for Schneider, but it was a huge missed opportunity for everyone who could have hired him.
Schneider really was a talent wasted in F1. Didn´t he test a McLaren in the late 1990s (a bonus for winning several DTM titles) and was almost as quick as Hakkinen or Coulthard ?
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Re: A GPR what-if

Post by Bleu »

Conventi wrote: 06 Mar 2023, 13:27
Aislabie wrote: 01 Feb 2023, 09:37
GT_Forti1 wrote: 01 Feb 2023, 00:32 Mid-1990s, I’d go for Bernd Schneider and Eric van de Poele.
As for Schneider, he was so unfortunate to only really drive shitboxes in F1. And when he finally did get to sit in the Arrows, he immediately got yeeted for Alex Caffi, who still bagged a couple of points that should have been Schneider's. By 1991 there were so many open seats too - the second Lotus, Jordan, the second Benetton - and he wouldn't have disappointed in any of them. Of course given what he went on to achieve I don't think anyone could call it a missed opportunity for Schneider, but it was a huge missed opportunity for everyone who could have hired him.
Schneider really was a talent wasted in F1. Didn´t he test a McLaren in the late 1990s (a bonus for winning several DTM titles) and was almost as quick as Hakkinen or Coulthard ?
I don't remember him testing but I remember some news that he was considered to replace Häkkinen had Mika not been fit for the season-opener in 1996 due to the accident at the end of previous season.
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mario
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Re: A GPR what-if

Post by mario »

Bleu wrote: 06 Mar 2023, 16:49
Conventi wrote: 06 Mar 2023, 13:27
Aislabie wrote: 01 Feb 2023, 09:37 As for Schneider, he was so unfortunate to only really drive shitboxes in F1. And when he finally did get to sit in the Arrows, he immediately got yeeted for Alex Caffi, who still bagged a couple of points that should have been Schneider's. By 1991 there were so many open seats too - the second Lotus, Jordan, the second Benetton - and he wouldn't have disappointed in any of them. Of course given what he went on to achieve I don't think anyone could call it a missed opportunity for Schneider, but it was a huge missed opportunity for everyone who could have hired him.
Schneider really was a talent wasted in F1. Didn´t he test a McLaren in the late 1990s (a bonus for winning several DTM titles) and was almost as quick as Hakkinen or Coulthard ?
I don't remember him testing but I remember some news that he was considered to replace Häkkinen had Mika not been fit for the season-opener in 1996 due to the accident at the end of previous season.
So, it turns out that you were right about Schneider testing for McLaren - he is listed as having tested a MP4/10B in Jerez on the 5th Dec 1995: https://www.unracedf1.com/overview-form ... g-in-1995/

You're also correct that the test was arranged as a reward for Schneider's victory in the 1995 DTM championship, with Dario Franchitti also getting to drive the car. https://www.motorsportretro.com/2011/07 ... schneider/

The only thing that isn't clear is what sort of lap times that Schneider was setting, or whom else took part in that session apart from Dario - the second link seems to imply that only Schneider and Dario were present that day, so it's not clear what his relative performance was.
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Re: A GPR what-if

Post by CoopsII »

Aislabie wrote: 31 Jan 2023, 22:52
You are the Team Principal of a Formula One team, and you've built the best car on the grid by miles. Unfortunately, you've blown the entire budget and forgotten to sign drivers. You can only afford to hire rejects, so which two reject drivers are you hiring to bring the Championships home?
Driver 1 HWSNBN
Driver 2 Not Required, see Driver 1
Just For One Day...
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