Johnny Herbert has ripped into the second driver role in F1, saying that it is a very frustrating position to be in.
F1 has two drivers per team, and ideally, the team is supposed to let them race and bring points home. However, for many years, there has been a trend of backing one driver more than the other. It is particularly used by title-challenging teams.
Herbert ripped into the second driver role in F1, and said that it is not a good place to be in at all.
As quoted by Motorsport Magazine, Herbert said, “Just as I did in 1996, Valtteri Bottas will leave a Championship-winning team next year for Sauber – or Alfa Romeo as it is known today.
“In that situation, you’ve still got the desire, you still want to better yourself. But Valtteri is tired of being the guy who has had to play second fiddle, just as it was for me at Benetton with Flavio Briatore and Michael Schumacher. It’s a frustration that sets in, in contrast to the optimism of when you first joined the team.
“In my case Flavio had said, ‘It’s important we have you, we really want you in the team, we want to work together and give you the best chance.’ The main thing for him was the Constructors’ title because they hadn’t won it before.”
Herbert talked about what happened with him, saying, “But as soon as we started it was completely different. At my first test at Jerez, it was supposed to be two days for Michael, then two for me.
“He did his two days, and Ross Brawn said Michael hadn’t quite finished his programme, so he’d do the third day and that I would do Friday. In the end, I got Friday afternoon.
“Then at the second race in Argentina, I was blocked from seeing all the data. That ain’t working together! I only did the one season at Benetton, but as time goes on you do feel alienated.
“Ross tried hard to help me with that sticky position and the decision-making that was coming from Flavio. Now I understand why it happened,” he concluded.
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