So what do you think of it so far? Rookies on their season to date... 07 May 2005
Five races into the 2005 season over a quarter of the race calendar - what do the new arrivals make of their Formula One experience to date? What surprised them most? What has been the hardest lesson? Was it worth all the hardship to get here? And what, if anything, would they change? We posed these questions to a selection of the rookie team bosses and drivers
Trevor Carlin, Jordans sporting director: The amount of money and investment that lines up on the grid at every race was my big time surprise. I have been in motor racing for so many years but if you are not part of Formula One, its almost beyond imagination. No other sport can remotely compare with it. And sure I had my share of hard lessons so far, but the hardest was and is to be at the back of the grid and know that I cannot do much about it. We capture small victories that are very important for the development of the team but which go rather unnoticed by the public. But these small victories nurture my confidence that we will go strong next season.
Colin Kolles, Managing Director of Jordan, since the takeover by Alex Shnaiders Midland Group: I was not surprised about anything. If you enter Formula One you have to be ready to deal with huge budgets and fast technical development. And there has been no hard lesson as I knew that from now on I would have to learn something new every day and faster than before. Sure it was worth it to enter Formula One otherwise I would not have tried it. You have to be driven by fascination, ambition and success. Changes? The show has to become better but there I say nothing new, this is what a lot of people in the paddock think.
Christian Horner, Red Bulls team manager: The surprise has been that we have scored 13 points. It was a tough winter pulling all the bits together, plenty of long nights, but surprisingly enough, it has all come together and we are turning in a respectable performance. The hardest lesson? A very human one - to recognize 350 people and remember their first names and to get the basics right.
Was the climb to the top of motorsport worth all the hardship? Look, to succeed in F1 is the pinnacle of motorsport achievement. We're on our way and it is gratifying to see all the hard work come together. It's a creation which makes me very satisfied. I would change the qualifying structure. First and foremost, the show has to be interesting to the public. We need to make it more entertaining, more view-worthy.
Robert Doornbos, Jordans third driver: Surprise? The car. Coming from Formula 3000, the category (previously) just below Formula One, it was mind blowing to drive a Formula One car it was the best experience in my life so far.
Hardest lesson? To stay calm and be patient. I know that my time will come. It is worth anything. I would have done anything to come into Formula One. And here I am. Period. Changes? That our guests would look like the grid girls.
And Red Bulls Vitantonio Liuzzi: Surprise? That at Red Bull we have been able to combine fun and highest motivation. We have the coolest motorhome - and were obviously not doing bad on the track this was missing in the paddock for quite some time. And the lesson? It was the fact which I knew before but got demonstrated very clearly that here everybody is on an extremely high level that it really means something to be one out of a handful of guys.
Was it worth it? Nobody starts racing not having Formula One in mind so whatever hardship, its no big deal. And changes? I would not change anything at all but this is because I race for the coolest team.