The driver market was more surprising this year than any other year that I can remember. The biggest name to lose his drive for the season was Paul Di Resta. This article will try to examine whose fault it really is in why so many drivers moved teams for the 2014 season.
Firstly, looking at Paul Di Resta, we had a young talented driver who at the start of the season showed great promise. This was due to car being much softer on the tyres compared to the other teams. This allowed Di Resta to beat the teams around him such as the Sauber's and the Toro Rosso's. Di Resta was fighting with the top teams at Bahrain where he held third for most of the race until Romain Grosjean on newer tyres overtook him with a few laps to go. Di Resta was also fighting with a recovering Lewis Hamilton after his tyre exploded during the British Grand Prix. The reaction to the numerous amount of tyre blow outs we had in Silverstone was probably the catalyst which cost Paul his 2014 seat.
After Silverstone, Pirelli reverted their tyres back to the 2012 composition. This really affected Force India because they had designed their car to work with the 2013 composition of Pirelli tyres. Therefore, from Germany on-wards Force India found it very difficult to break into the top ten; thus leaving Paul Di Resta in places were mistakes and accidents can happen such as in Belgium when he was taken out by Pastor Maldonado.
After a large amount of good results at the beginning of the season, Paul's confidence seemed to diminish after the change in tyres after Silverstone. This lead Paul into a case of trying to hard which opened him up to mistakes like in Singapore and Korea. However, if the tyres did not change halfway through the season could Paul Di Resta be on the grid this season?
On the other end of the scale was Sergio Perez. We all know that Sergio Perez will perform if he is given a car to do so, like at Sauber in 2012. This was one of the main reasons why McLaren signed him in 2013. However, Perez found himself with one of the most underperforming McLaren cars in 30 years.
At the beginning of the season Perez found it hard to find his feet within the team. However, towards the back end of the season Perez began to out race Jenson Button in the other McLaren, but Perez was unable to keep his seat because McLaren felt that he did not challenge Button enough during the season. This is because Button is about 0.2 tenths of a second behind the fastest drivers on the grid; but he can make up that time if he has a team mate who can push him.
If McLaren provided Perez with a car that could push for wins then Perez could of given Button a run for his money. However, due to McLaren's poor form in 2013 that did not happen. Most people in the paddock felt that McLaren were a little bit guilty about letting Perez go, because they tried hard to find Perez a new team for 2014 which they did with Force India.
To conclude, most people will say that it is the drivers fault because they need to perform and that is what they are paid to do. However, sometimes there are external factors that may cause the driver to look like he is having a poor season when there is not too much they can do about, which comes across in the examples of Perez and Di Resta because they both have proven themselves, but their equipment has let them down and for Paul cost his F1 seat and for Perez it cost him his job at McLaren.
By Jack M Giordmaina