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An Italian driver in F1 for 2017?
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Author:  Amon [ Sat Oct 15, 2016 8:27 am ]
Post subject:  An Italian driver in F1 for 2017?

I really hope so. The very first WDC in 1950 was Italian Nino Farina for an Italian team (Alfa Romeo). The first 2 WDC's for Ferrari (1952-1953) were won by Italian Alberto Ascari. No more WDC's for Italian drivers after that but still plenty of Italian drivers often being the nation with most representation on the F1 grid. And yes there would still be some building long (even though maybe not always that successful) F1 careers: Alboreto, Patrese, De Cesaris, Martini and more recently Fisichella and Trulli.
We had 2 Italian GP2 champions but they have been overlooked for a race seat in F1: Pantano and Valsecchi.
Pantano did race for Jordan before F3000 became GP2. When he won GP2 F1 teams probably found him too old already. Valsecchi got a Lotus Renault reseve drive and had a chance to race when Kimi got injured but they opted to sign Heikki Kovalainen who was hopelessly of the pace in the races scoring no points. Even though Valsecchi won GP2 on experience I was still curious what he could have done in an F1 race. After all Palmer won the GP2 series also on experience. I don't think he is good but I have seen worse. I don't think Gutierrez for example is any better.

But here we have a fairly young Italian driver (22) in his rookie season leading the GP2 series ahead of Red Bull hopeful Pierre Gasly. Other hopefuls are Raffaele Marciello currently third (no wins however) and Luca Ghiotto (7th) getting his first win last race.
Last time we had Italian drivers in F1 was in Brazil 2011 (Trulli and Liuzzi) yup 5 freaking years ago already! That's a long drought for such a big racing nation.

I hope one team snatches up Giovinazzi whether he wins the series or not. Or Ferrari do an effort to get him a seat at either Haas or Sauber, a reserve drive anything to not getting him to waste.

Author:  Lotus49 [ Sat Oct 15, 2016 12:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: An Italian driver in F1 for 2017?

Yeah I would like Ferrari to take Giovinazzi on board and get him in at Haas or Sauber, or even Manor like they did with Bianchi because Pascal and Esteban are probably moving up the grid.

Author:  nixxxon [ Sat Oct 15, 2016 3:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: An Italian driver in F1 for 2017?

No matter who he is, he will be ignored by the italian fans unless he drives for Ferrari. :lol:

Author:  Lentulus [ Sat Oct 15, 2016 4:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: An Italian driver in F1 for 2017?

nixxxon wrote:
No matter who he is, he will be ignored by the italian fans unless he drives for Ferrari. :lol:

That's the massive problems that young Italian drivers face.
If they aren't affiliated with Ferrari, Italian companies simply don't want to sponsor them.
Mirko Bortolotti spoke about it a couple of years back.

Author:  Randine [ Sun Oct 16, 2016 9:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: An Italian driver in F1 for 2017?

Ricciardo was born in Australia but his background is 100% Italian.
From Wikipedia: "His father was born in Ficarra, Sicily and his mother was born in Australia, to Italian parents from Calabria."

Author:  Zoue [ Sun Oct 16, 2016 9:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: An Italian driver in F1 for 2017?

Lentulus wrote:
nixxxon wrote:
No matter who he is, he will be ignored by the italian fans unless he drives for Ferrari. :lol:

That's the massive problems that young Italian drivers face.
If they aren't affiliated with Ferrari, Italian companies simply don't want to sponsor them.
Mirko Bortolotti spoke about it a couple of years back.

I don' think it's a purely Italian thing. Chilton didn't get a lot of interest from UK fans and Palmer isn't exactly getting a lot of attention, either. It's not so much who they drive for as whether they have the right talent and whether they are driving for any team that allows that talent to be recognised. I'd be willing to bet if there was an Italian driving for Mercedes right now he'd be getting a lot of attention from the Italian fans...

Author:  mikeyg123 [ Sun Oct 16, 2016 10:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: An Italian driver in F1 for 2017?

Zoue wrote:
Lentulus wrote:
nixxxon wrote:
No matter who he is, he will be ignored by the italian fans unless he drives for Ferrari. :lol:

That's the massive problems that young Italian drivers face.
If they aren't affiliated with Ferrari, Italian companies simply don't want to sponsor them.
Mirko Bortolotti spoke about it a couple of years back.

I don' think it's a purely Italian thing. Chilton didn't get a lot of interest from UK fans and Palmer isn't exactly getting a lot of attention, either. It's not so much who they drive for as whether they have the right talent and whether they are driving for any team that allows that talent to be recognised. I'd be willing to bet if there was an Italian driving for Mercedes right now he'd be getting a lot of attention from the Italian fans...


Historically that's not been really the case. There wasn't much interest in Fissichella when he drove for Renault or Patrese when he was driving for Williams.

Author:  Zoue [ Sun Oct 16, 2016 10:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: An Italian driver in F1 for 2017?

mikeyg123 wrote:
Zoue wrote:
Lentulus wrote:
nixxxon wrote:
No matter who he is, he will be ignored by the italian fans unless he drives for Ferrari. :lol:

That's the massive problems that young Italian drivers face.
If they aren't affiliated with Ferrari, Italian companies simply don't want to sponsor them.
Mirko Bortolotti spoke about it a couple of years back.

I don' think it's a purely Italian thing. Chilton didn't get a lot of interest from UK fans and Palmer isn't exactly getting a lot of attention, either. It's not so much who they drive for as whether they have the right talent and whether they are driving for any team that allows that talent to be recognised. I'd be willing to bet if there was an Italian driving for Mercedes right now he'd be getting a lot of attention from the Italian fans...


Historically that's not been really the case. There wasn't much interest in Fissichella when he drove for Renault or Patrese when he was driving for Williams.

but neither were top flight, either. Does Nico Rosberg have a massive fan base in Germany?

I agree that Italians have a love affair with Ferrari (and not just Italians, either). But since good Italian drivers will probably end up there anyway, it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. And to be fair, Button didn't get anywhere near the interest he did before his 2009 title.

Author:  mikeyg123 [ Sun Oct 16, 2016 10:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: An Italian driver in F1 for 2017?

Zoue wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote:
Zoue wrote:
Lentulus wrote:
nixxxon wrote:
No matter who he is, he will be ignored by the italian fans unless he drives for Ferrari. :lol:

That's the massive problems that young Italian drivers face.
If they aren't affiliated with Ferrari, Italian companies simply don't want to sponsor them.
Mirko Bortolotti spoke about it a couple of years back.

I don' think it's a purely Italian thing. Chilton didn't get a lot of interest from UK fans and Palmer isn't exactly getting a lot of attention, either. It's not so much who they drive for as whether they have the right talent and whether they are driving for any team that allows that talent to be recognised. I'd be willing to bet if there was an Italian driving for Mercedes right now he'd be getting a lot of attention from the Italian fans...


Historically that's not been really the case. There wasn't much interest in Fissichella when he drove for Renault or Patrese when he was driving for Williams.

but neither were top flight, either. Does Nico Rosberg have a massive fan base in Germany?

I agree that Italians have a love affair with Ferrari (and not just Italians, either). But since good Italian drivers will probably end up there anyway, it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. And to be fair, Button didn't get anywhere near the interest he did before his 2009 title.


I don't know. You just said "An Italian driving for Mercedes". I was just making a counter point against that. I didn't know you meant they had to be a top driver in a top car.

We haven't had a top tier Italian driver for decades so I can't really comment on that.

I don't agree with your Button point though. He was the top UK driver for time Pre-Hamilton and he was big news and always very popular.

Author:  Zoue [ Sun Oct 16, 2016 10:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: An Italian driver in F1 for 2017?

mikeyg123 wrote:
Zoue wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote:
Zoue wrote:
Lentulus wrote:
That's the massive problems that young Italian drivers face.
If they aren't affiliated with Ferrari, Italian companies simply don't want to sponsor them.
Mirko Bortolotti spoke about it a couple of years back.

I don' think it's a purely Italian thing. Chilton didn't get a lot of interest from UK fans and Palmer isn't exactly getting a lot of attention, either. It's not so much who they drive for as whether they have the right talent and whether they are driving for any team that allows that talent to be recognised. I'd be willing to bet if there was an Italian driving for Mercedes right now he'd be getting a lot of attention from the Italian fans...


Historically that's not been really the case. There wasn't much interest in Fissichella when he drove for Renault or Patrese when he was driving for Williams.

but neither were top flight, either. Does Nico Rosberg have a massive fan base in Germany?

I agree that Italians have a love affair with Ferrari (and not just Italians, either). But since good Italian drivers will probably end up there anyway, it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. And to be fair, Button didn't get anywhere near the interest he did before his 2009 title.


I don't know. You just said "An Italian driving for Mercedes". I was just making a counter point against that. I didn't know you meant they had to be a top driver in a top car.

We haven't had a top tier Italian driver for decades so I can't really comment on that.

I don't agree with your Button point though. He was the top UK driver for time Pre-Hamilton and he was big news and always very popular.

I did mention "right talent" in the same post. As you say, we haven't had a top tier Italian driver for a good while now, which in turn makes it rather difficult to assess how Italians would view them

I recall Button making waves when he first started, but that quickly dissipated when the results didn't come, only for there to be a resurgence when he won his 2009 title. I don't think that's nation-specific, but fairly universal. Fans tend to gravitate to those who are better than average and nationality alone won't sustain interest for long. How many UK fans are making noises about Palmer?

But I do agree that for Italians the Holy Grail is Ferrari. If there were to be an Italian driver with promise, he would definitely be associated with Ferrari at some point. Bit like Bianchi was

Author:  mikeyg123 [ Sun Oct 16, 2016 11:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: An Italian driver in F1 for 2017?

Zoue wrote:
I did mention "right talent" in the same post. As you say, we haven't had a top tier Italian driver for a good while now, which in turn makes it rather difficult to assess how Italians would view them

I recall Button making waves when he first started, but that quickly dissipated when the results didn't come, only for there to be a resurgence when he won his 2009 title. I don't think that's nation-specific, but fairly universal. Fans tend to gravitate to those who are better than average and nationality alone won't sustain interest for long. How many UK fans are making noises about Palmer?

But I do agree that for Italians the Holy Grail is Ferrari. If there were to be an Italian driver with promise, he would definitely be associated with Ferrari at some point. Bit like Bianchi was


Bianchi was French.

Maybe Ferrari have changed but they had no interest in a young Fissichella despite him being very highly rated and very impressive in his early days.

Author:  Zoue [ Sun Oct 16, 2016 11:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: An Italian driver in F1 for 2017?

mikeyg123 wrote:
Zoue wrote:
I did mention "right talent" in the same post. As you say, we haven't had a top tier Italian driver for a good while now, which in turn makes it rather difficult to assess how Italians would view them

I recall Button making waves when he first started, but that quickly dissipated when the results didn't come, only for there to be a resurgence when he won his 2009 title. I don't think that's nation-specific, but fairly universal. Fans tend to gravitate to those who are better than average and nationality alone won't sustain interest for long. How many UK fans are making noises about Palmer?

But I do agree that for Italians the Holy Grail is Ferrari. If there were to be an Italian driver with promise, he would definitely be associated with Ferrari at some point. Bit like Bianchi was


Bianchi was French.

Maybe Ferrari have changed but they had no interest in a young Fissichella despite him being very highly rated and very impressive in his early days.

He had Italian heritage, with an Italian racing pedigree, which in the absence of other "proper" Italians is the closest Italy has come to a rated Italian driver in years. But the point was more about the talent and promise. If Ferrari weren't interested in Fisi, maybe they didn't rate him that highly? Which might also explain why he didn't have a particularly strong Italian following

Author:  jrwb6e [ Sun Oct 16, 2016 12:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: An Italian driver in F1 for 2017?

Was Capelli the last 100% Italian driver for Ferrari?

Author:  mikeyg123 [ Sun Oct 16, 2016 12:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: An Italian driver in F1 for 2017?

jrwb6e wrote:
Was Capelli the last 100% Italian driver for Ferrari?


Fissichella was in 09. The last Italian to complete a full season with Ferrari was Alboreto.

Author:  Amon [ Mon Oct 17, 2016 9:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: An Italian driver in F1 for 2017?

mikeyg123 wrote:
jrwb6e wrote:
Was Capelli the last 100% Italian driver for Ferrari?


Fissichella was in 09. The last Italian to complete a full season with Ferrari was Alboreto.


Which is rather sad. I never understood why they gave Capelli the seat in 1992 while there was more promising Italian drivers like Modena and Martini. Even rehiring Alboreto would have been better seeing he had a strong 1992 season.

After Capelli it were just a handful of races Italian drivers got at Ferrari: Larini, Badoer and Fisi. Morbidelli also never got another shot after replacing Prost for the last race in 1991.

Fisi joined Ferrari at the worst time possible, resulting in the end of his F1 career. He was so full of great potential but it didn't come out when it had to (Renault 2005 and 2006) even though having Briatore as manager and team boss has not actually been good for his career.

Author:  mikeyg123 [ Mon Oct 17, 2016 1:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: An Italian driver in F1 for 2017?

Amon wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote:
jrwb6e wrote:
Was Capelli the last 100% Italian driver for Ferrari?


Fissichella was in 09. The last Italian to complete a full season with Ferrari was Alboreto.


Which is rather sad. I never understood why they gave Capelli the seat in 1992 while there was more promising Italian drivers like Modena and Martini. Even rehiring Alboreto would have been better seeing he had a strong 1992 season.

After Capelli it were just a handful of races Italian drivers got at Ferrari: Larini, Badoer and Fisi. Morbidelli also never got another shot after replacing Prost for the last race in 1991.

Fisi joined Ferrari at the worst time possible, resulting in the end of his F1 career. He was so full of great potential but it didn't come out when it had to (Renault 2005 and 2006) even though having Briatore as manager and team boss has not actually been good for his career.


I'm not sure I would agree. Capelli was as highly rated as Modena and more so than Martini. I don't think either of them would have done a better job. Don't forget Capelli was around the same age as Alesi. He was considered a good prospect.

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