Webber laments young drivers missing Formula 1 shot

By on Monday, August 5, 2013
Red Bull/Getty Images

Red Bull/Getty Images

Outgoing Red Bull driver Mark Webber says several talented young drivers are unable to reach Formula 1, calling the situation a 'sad state'.

Webber, who will retire at the end of the season, pointed to the fate of Dutch driver Robin Frijns as an example.

Frijns won the Formula Renault 3.5 Series as a rookie in 2012 and is currently Sauber's reserve driver, although his Formula 1 race prospects appear limited, a situation Webber blames on a lack of money.

"When I was on the grid at the back with Minardi you had [Eddie] Irvine, [Mika] Salo - all those guys had been on podiums," Webber said.

"The grid was just packed full of guys who had won in F3000 [GP2's predecessor], won a lot of impressive races."

As well as Frijns, last year's GP2 champion Davide Valsecchi and runner-up Luiz Razia also failed to secure Formula 1 seats, with Valsecchi joining Lotus as their reserve driver.

"There are a lot of talented guys out there [now], but a lot are slipping through the net unfortunately. That's a sad state."

"Frijns for example is a phenomenal young talent, [but he] has got no cash."

Webber lamented the challenges facing young drivers, such as his protege Mitch Evans.

Reigning GP3 champion Evans, 19, is racing in GP2 this season and is currently in tenth place in the championship.

"My job is to get Mitch there to show what he can do. [But] there's not much testing going on at the moment [and so] you have to see what they can do in the period they have."

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