Martin Brundle says famous names left without 2013 seat 'had chances to shine'
High grid turnover topic of discussion on The F1 Show
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 19/02/13 5:18pm
While the driver line-ups at the top end of the grid largely remain static for 2013 - apart the notable arrivals of Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez at Mercedes and McLaren respectively - there have been wholesale changes from the midfield teams downwards with seven further seats already changing hands over the winter, and one more certain to at Force India.
In the majority of cases the places have gone to either rookie, or inexperienced, drivers at the expense of more famous and seasoned veterans with Kamui Kobayashi, Bruno Senna, Heikki Kovalainen, Vitaly Petrov and Timo Glock - who had started a combined total of 363 grands prix - all making way.
But speaking on the subject on the first edition of The F1 Show of 2013, Brundle said the changing of the guard shouldn't be mourned too deeply.
"It's sad isn't it, but it's the business," the veteran of 158 grands prix said. "I've always said: it's really hard to get to Formula 1 and it's even harder to stay there.
"I looked at Gutierrez in his overalls [at Jerez] and I thought, 'well that's going to be interesting, how's he going to go?' If it had been Kobayashi, you'd pretty much know how he was going to go: he'd be amazing from time to time, pull off a few great overtakes, and be on the missing list for the rest of the season.
"They all had their chances to shine. Maybe that sounds a bit brutal, but they had their chances to shine. Just like when I got kicked out of F1, you had your chances, nothing else was there and it's about the fresh blood."
The high turnover of seats in the second half of the grid, and the fact that the majority of the new arrivals enter F1 with some level of financial backing behind them, has heightened the debate surrounding 'pay drivers' - a topic which Martin Whitmarsh and Monisha Kaltenborn have expressed differing views on this week.
New Marussia driver Max Chilton is one of five rookies making his debut on 2013, and appearing alongside Martin on The F1 Show on Friday night, the Briton said drivers having to bring a budget to secure a seat was an age-old F1 issue - but stressed that talent remained the ultimate deciding factor for teams.
"There's plenty of them [pay drivers] on the grid and in my experience the sport has never changed. I think it's always been that way and it probably will always be that way, some of the legends in our sport had to bring backing to get into it," Chilton explained.
"But the one thing I can say is teams will always look at talent first. They want to see you can put it on pole position and then win races in junior categories. Then if you've got both of those in place it's about you use your opportunity in F1, how you learn from the best and become the best driver possible.
"No team's going to let you behind the wheel if you're not up to it."