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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?