He’s one of the most rated young drivers of recent years yet Robin Frijns is still struggling to make it into F1.
The Dutchman will be in the sport this year after being appointed as reserve driver at Caterham; however, the 22-year-old has seen his chances in two of motorsport’s top categories hampered by a lack of sponsorship.
Last year Frijns was brought in as reserve at Sauber as well as mixing those duties with occasional drives in the GP2 Series but by the end of the year he was out of both seats.
The dominance of so-called ‘pay drivers’ remains high on many people’s list of things they would like to see be eradicated from the top levels of motorsport but, with a GP2 grid filling up with mostly well-backed youngsters, and money playing a vital part in who got various seats in F1, Frijns believes the current situation is not fair.
Referring to what occurred in 2013, he told reporters: “I thought it was not fair, as I had worked so hard for years, winning championships, going to the limit in every race — but for what?
“This world is not fair — it’s about money. It’s like you pay $20 million to the Barcelona (football) team and they put you on the field.
“It has always been about money, but not as much as now. The crisis began four years ago and the teams are really suffering. And with the changes with the V6 this year, it’s costing even more.”
Despite his qualms, Frijns does however have no hard feelings towards Sauber for the situation that saw him leave the team last year.
“At the end of the year the car was very good, but in the middle the team had financial problems that everybody knows about.
“Then came the story with Sirotkin … I couldn’t be in the car. But I don’t regret the experience with Sauber, I know what the circumstances were and I can’t blame them for anything,” he insisted.
And now at Caterham, the Dutchman is hoping this can be start of something bigger for his hopes of making it finally to F1 proper.
“I changed my manager and I got this opportunity with Caterham,” he said.
“I am more involved in the team than I was (at Sauber) last year; I have more time on the track, which is quite rare these days.
“I feel that they believe in me, and that is very important,” added Frijns.
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