Dec 16, 2013, 12:00 PM EDT
With Sergio Perez (Force India) and Adrian Sutil (Sauber) finding homes last week, the F1 grid is down to its final four remaining seats, the second Sauber, second Marussia and two Caterhams. Here’s a look at who is left and some of their potential upsides and downsides:
PAUL DI RESTA, 12th in 2013
- GOOD: Consistent points-scorer who’s occasionally starred, notably in Bahrain and Canada this year. Doesn’t overextend the tires, a good trait to have.
- BAD: Has had a few too many dropouts from Q1 for a driver in his machinery level.
- VERDICT: Worse than the “bad” is the fact the Scot brings no budget, and thus he’s almost a certainty to return to DTM in 2014. He is F1-worthy talent, though.
ESTEBAN GUTIERREZ, 16th in 2013
- GOOD: Matured and developed over the course of his first season, especially given the limited testing opportunities. Every race weekend was a trial by fire.
- BAD: Was made to look worse than he was by virtue of lining up alongside Nico Hulkenberg at Sauber. Like di Resta, too many eliminations in Q1.
- VERDICT: Has potential, and has some budget, and could probably make a step forward in his second season if Sauber thinks he’s worth it. Otherwise, a year as a reserve driver likely beckons.
CHARLES PIC, 20th in 2013
- GOOD: Two years of race experience and a few noteworthy moments in 2013’s first half.
- BAD: Frequently anonymous and has made way too many mistakes in the few moments he has been noticed.
- VERDICT: Hasn’t done enough at either Marussia or Caterham to think a third year would be anything better. Perhaps sports cars would fit him.
HEIKKI KOVALAINEN, 21st in 2013
- GOOD: The most experienced free agent on the market.
- BAD: Simply did not deliver in the two races he drove for Lotus.
- VERDICT: Could still lead Caterham’s efforts if they opt for a veteran-youngster lineup.
GIEDO VAN DER GARDE, 22nd in 2013
- GOOD: Higher peaks at Caterham, especially in qualifying, and really developed as the year went on.
- BAD: A handful of clunky mistakes, notably in Canada and Japan, and not otherworldly talent-wise.
- VERDICT: Opposite Kovalainen at Caterham makes sense on paper, if the budgets align. Like Pic, would sink or swim in a second year, but did enough to merit a chance.
MAX CHILTON, 23rd in 2013
- GOOD: Finished every race, proof he doesn’t make too many mistakes, and posted a great qualifying effort at Suzuka.
- BAD: Shaded teammate Jules Bianchi by a wide margin, and was consistently the slowest driver in the field.
- VERDICT: Young, reliable and with a hefty budget, all but certain to return to Marussia in 2014. The question is whether he can find anywhere from four to six tenths a lap regularly.
- Sergey Sirotkin: The Russian is still in line for Sauber’s second seat provided the budget comes through and his FIA superlicense is granted, but would face a steep learning curve.
- Marcus Ericsson: The Swede was rumored for a seat at Caterham. Like Chilton, rather underwhelming in his GP2 seasons although he has two feature wins.
- Alexander Rossi: The American, as Caterham’s reserve driver, starred in his FP1 outings in Montreal and Austin this year and won the GP2 finale in Abu Dhabi. Another year as reserve would do him no harm, but would likely need to find budget in order to step up.
- Fabio Leimer: The Swiss driver won this year’s GP2 title but like 2012 champ Davide Valsecchi, doesn’t appear to have a clear path to a race seat with a lack of funding.
- Sam Bird: The Englishman, long Mercedes’ reserve driver, is way too talented to have not had his F1 opp. But not enough of a budget to make it happen.
- James Calado: The Englishman made a handful of FP1 appearances for Force India. Talented enough but like the others, hard to see where he slots in without a budget.
- Robin Frijns: The Dutchman, formerly Sauber’s reserve, seems destined for the same fate as the others – rideless without a budget.
Apr 23, 2014, 7:00 PM EDT
RPM’s Marcos Ambrose on his start to the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.
Apr 23, 2014, 6:53 PM EDT
John Force is your classic workaholic.
Even when he’s on vacation and supposed to be resting and relaxing and taking things slow, the record-setting 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ never stops working. Force was on vacation with his family last weekend in St. Croix, Virgin Islands, a prelude to his upcoming 65th birthday on May 4.
Apr 23, 2014, 6:00 PM EDT
Swan Racing has restructured its two-car Sprint Cup team, the organization announced Wednesday afternoon. Minority owner Anthony Marlowe has merged his ownership stake in the No. 26 Toyota driven by Sprint Cup rookie Cole Whitt with BK Racing, which now expands to a three-car operation. Meanwhile, the No. 30 team has been sold to John Cohen, owner of XxxTreme Motorsports.
Apr 23, 2014, 5:51 PM EDT
IndyCars confirmed to “roar by the shore” through 2018 after Long Beach City Council meeting.
Healed from heart surgery, 4-time NHRA Pro Stock champ Greg Anderson back in the saddle this weekend in Houston
Apr 23, 2014, 5:11 PM EDT
The vacation of sorts is over for drivers in the Pro Stock class of the NHRA. Things are going to get a lot rougher from here on out. The reason? Former Pro Stock world champ Greg Anderson will make his return from off-season surgery at this weekend’s O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals at Houston’s Royal Purple Raceway.
Apr 23, 2014, 4:10 PM EDT
The next time someone says they doubt that NASCAR drivers are athletes, show them this story. NASCAR Nationwide Series driver and 2011 Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne spent the Easter off-weekend competing in a different type of race – and he wound up winning. In just his second career sprint triathlon (also known as a short-distance triathlon that features a 750-meter swim, 20k-bike ride and a 5k-run), Bayne captured the TryCharleston sprint triathlon in South Carolina.
Apr 23, 2014, 3:13 PM EDT
Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III is used to beatin’ and bangin’ on a football field. There certainly will be a lot of that in Saturday night’s Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway. And RG III will have a front row seat to all the action as the track announced Wednesday that the ‘Skins’ QB will serve as honorary pace car driver for the race.
Apr 23, 2014, 2:28 PM EDT
NBCSN’s coverage of the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series continues this week with the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET, highlighting more than 15 hours of motorsports coverage this week, which includes Mecum Auctions coverage from Kansas City. NBC Sports Live Extra – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets – will stream coverage of the Indy Grand Prix of Alabama and Mecum Auctions via “TV Everywhere.”
WATCH LIVE: NASCAR AMERICA at 5 pm ET – Hamlin, recap first 8 races, Richmond nuances, Virginia racing history
Apr 23, 2014, 1:44 PM EDT
As the NASCAR world returns from its Easter break, Wednesday on NASCAR AMERICA we start our in-depth focus on this Saturday’s race at Richmond International Raceway. Leigh Diffey and Wally Dallenbach will host from our Stamford, Conn., studios. Remember to tune in at at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra for online or mobile device.
Apr 23, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT
Privateer GTE team forced to pull out of next FIA WEC over financial issues.
Apr 23, 2014, 11:45 AM EDT
Jacques Villeneuve has a sponsor confirmed for his Indianapolis 500 return.
Apr 23, 2014, 11:21 AM EDT
Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud enjoy drifting rides with 2013 FD champion Michael Essa.
Apr 23, 2014, 10:18 AM EDT
Andretti Autosport brings in a talented road-course ringer, Franck Montagny, for the inaugural GP of Indianapolis.
Apr 23, 2014, 10:05 AM EDT
Kimi Raikkonen owns critics who are questioning his motivation in typical Kimi style.
Apr 23, 2014, 9:41 AM EDT
Compass360′s cars will have “Art Car” design as created by an NF hero.
Apr 22, 2014, 9:19 PM EDT
Mike Conway’s come-from-behind IndyCar win at Long Beach nearly two weeks ago may have been a surprise to some. But it wasn’t a surprise to team owner Ed Carpenter or Conway himself. They both had confidence in each other for a strong run and a high finish – and the win was just an added bonus.
‘Rookie’ Kurt Busch, 1995 champ Jacques Villeneuve, three more to undergo Indy 500 orientation/refresher
Apr 22, 2014, 8:21 PM EDT
It’s been 14 years since Kurt Busch was last called a rookie. And even though Busch has a Sprint Cup championship trophy at home, he’s still a rookie open-wheel driver as far as the Indianapolis 500 is concerned.
Apr 22, 2014, 7:12 PM EDT
Red Bull’s anonymous “Spy” says that their main rivals are getting “rattled and sweating a bit.”
NASCAR AMERICA: Scan All 43 – Kurt Busch breaks winless streak, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon still without wins
Apr 22, 2014, 6:46 PM EDT
On Tuesday’s edition of NASCAR AMERICA, Leigh Diffey and Wally Dallenbach took a look back at the March 30th STP 500 at Martinsville Raceway and Kurt Busch’s win, which snapped an 83-race winless streak. We also look back at the rain-postponed Duck Commander 500 at Texas on April 7, as well as how Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson, who have 10 Sprint Cup championships between them, but neither driver has visited victory lane yet in 2014.
- NHRA drag racing superstar John Force goes on vacation — at a dragstrip, of course 0
- Swan Racing restructures, splits up two-car Sprint Cup operation 0
- It’s official: Redskins QB RG III to drive pace car at Richmond for Saturday’s Sprint Cup race 2
- Raikkonen: Yes, he’s still motivated, otherwise he wouldn’t be here 7
- Red Bull tweaks Mercedes over attempt to increase ‘Fuelgate’ punishment 5
More from NASCAR America
- VIDEO: Vettel ignores team orders, telling team “tough luck” (20)
- Alonso’s doing it again – another year outperforming teammate, equipment (12)
- NASCAR still humming along after last fall’s Richmond scandal (9)
- In re-released interview, Brad Keselowski recalls how Rick Hendrick left him heartbroken (8)
- Maldonado brushes off crash and spin in practice (7)