Thursday Thoughts: Team Saltire
This week’s Thursday Thought is that classic off-season question, debated all around the World, the question of your “Ideal Team”: If you were a team boss with 3 vacant seats (2 race seats and 1 test seat), who would you hire? Here’s my choice…
This isn’t as easy a question as it sounds, with so much choice and free reign to pick I’m torn between choosing an ideal team from the past or one from the current batch of drivers. This question is a bit like that classic after dinner party game of name the five F1 personalities you’d love to invite for a meal. At the top of that list would be Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart and Ayrton Senna but for this topic I’ve decided to choose from the 2010 drivers.
My first choice has to be Fernando Alonso. Fernando has had a tumultuous time over the last three seasons since leaving Renault as double world champion in 2006. He certainly seemed to have found his equal in Lewis Hamilton, at McLaren after letting the demons inside his head get the better of him, but, after two less than successful seasons back at Renault he has regained his enthusiasm and thirst for winning. Let’s not forget that he beat Michael Schumacher two seasons running; he has the knowledge, the experience and the desire to win that all champions must have to achieve their goals, so for me, he’s the perfect choice to lead Team Saltire.
Every successful team needs two great drivers. I’d rather have a team of two drivers hungry for victory than one which has a defined number one and number two driver. It may be difficult from a driver management perspective to handle such a pairing but the rewards could be tremendous. For that reason, my second choice would have to be Sebastian Vettel.
In just two years Vettel has had remarkable success; not least for his maiden win at Monza 2008 in the Toro Rosso. Without doubt he is a future WDC in the making, he has the skill, the bravery and the desire to win but at the moment he is still learning, honing his craft and maturing with each race. He can be prone to make rookie errors but I feel we have yet to see the best in Vettel and having someone who can push him to reach his limits is what he needs right now. With this combination of leadership, determination, skill and bravery I reckon I’d have an outstanding team.
But Team Saltire recognises that behind every successful team there has to be a great third driver, someone who is skilled at setting up the car, at giving precise feedback to the race engineers on getting the most from the car and at suggesting improvements. For me, that person should not be a new driver fresh from GP2 or some other feeder series, he should be someone with race wins and experience behind him and someone who could help mentor the race drivers, so my third choice would be Rubens Barrichello. Obviously I’d be sad to see Rubens retire from active racing but I think he could tick all the boxes as a great test and third driver.
So there you have it.. Team Saltire, do you agree with my choices or would you rather go for Team Maverick?