x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Twisting tales for five F1 debutant drivers

The new drivers on the Formula One grid in 2011 have had a mixed time of it as they try and establish themselves in the series

Pastor Maldonado has made a promising start for Williams, but has yet to score any points.
Pastor Maldonado has made a promising start for Williams, but has yet to score any points.
The five debutants to F1 this year have had their ups and downs in their attempts to make an immediate impact, writes Gary Meenaghan
Securing a seat in Formula One is a hard task; retaining it is Herculean.
The volumes recording the 61-year history of the F1 World Championship are filled with drivers who managed a year at motorsport's top table before being relieved of their drive and disappearing from the paddock. Names such as Zolt Baumgartner and Jean-Christophe Boullion, Justin Wilson and Siegfried Stohr.
In the past 10 years, 80 drivers have competed in Formula One and in the last two seasons 14 different drivers have taken part in some stage of the championship only to lose their seat soon afterwards.
At the start of the 2011 season, F1's four fresh faces - Pastor Maldonado, Paul di Resta, Jerome D'Ambrosio and Sergio Perez - were only too aware of the burden resting on their eshoulders, with a fifth driver, Daniel Ricciardo, debuting with Hispania earlier this month at Silverstone.
Having arrived from various routes, all four brought with them high hopes but low expectations. They each spoke about "getting to grips" with the car, "learning" and "gaining experience".
Now, following last week's British Grand Prix, the ninth race of a 19-race season, the championship has reached as close to a midway point as is possible.
Perez has the most points of the five, but Di Resta and Maldonado have both had impressive moments as well.