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Could Possible Petrov Exit Re-open F1 Door For Rubens?

by on August 30, 2012

Rubens Barrichello was not really ready to leave F1 behind. Until what seemed like the eleventh hour, it appeared that he might have still had a seat in his Williams. Willing to help sponsor his own ride, he was almost desperate to stay in F1. Unfortunately for Rubens, he was ousted by Williams in favor of a driver pairing of Senna and Maldonado who came with tens of millions of dollars of sponsorship.

Recently, Barrichello has stated that he has unfinished business in F1. He feels that he still has more to offer and that perhaps he might have been better at Williams than Maldonando overall. Pastor has won a race though, I’m not certain that Rubens would have. I am certain though that Rubens would be better at giving feedback and being more consistent in terms of results…and perhaps finishing races without incident.

So all three of the drivers in question, can be considered what some call, “pay drivers”. Whomever is sponsoring them is essentially the financial crutch that allows these teams to continue to operate. The more sponsor money brought in by the drivers, the bigger the budget.

So what happens when the financial well runs dry? This is a question that might weigh heavily on Vitaly Petrov’s mind these days. It seems his Russian backers may be re-thinking continuing his sponsorship. While his skills and experience are helpful, one must believe that if Rubens can offer similar financial support, he might be of more value to Caterham. This is not the first time Petrov’s management team has had to negotiate new sponsorship, you might remember back in February, there was a similar panic.

In part, the problem is that the Russian government may be feeling that there isn’t enough interest from the general Russian public in a world-wide perspective to really sell Russians in F1. Petrov’s lack of results might have something to do with the lack of interest. Petrov’s most memorable moments were probably those where he held Alonso behind him in 2010 which helped Vettel claim his first F1 crown. Since then, one might argue that it has been all down hill and he may be at the foot of that hill by the end of this season.

There is a personal side to this, which is that Vitaly isn’t actually earning a living. There is actually nothing in it for him except the possibility of landing a seat that might offer him the opportunity to do so and challenge for a victory or title. There are no shortage of young drivers available even experienced drivers with funding. Some may do it for free as well just for a chance to snag one of the few and coveted F1 seats. Karun Chandhok is one that comes to mind for instance. Is there any value in having Barrichello back? There just might be for Caterham.

Author: Ernie Black
Twitter: @Goggs_on_F1


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