10-year challenge: Formula One style


Since everybody seems to be doing it, we thought there is no hiding anymore from this ten-year challenge.

But, we wanted to take a different angle on it.

Formula One is forever changing, drivers come and go, along with teams themselves.

You may be surprised to see how drastically the grid has changed from 2009 until now, so we’re going to takea look back at who formed the 2009 Formula 1 grid – and where they all are now.

Luca Badoer

The Italian veteran had appeared before, but unsuccessful stints with Scuderia Italia, Minardi and Forti certainly didn’t catapult him into the elite of Formula 1.

However, having served as Ferrari’s test driver for several years prior, he stepped up in 2009 to replace the injured Felipe Massa. He finished 17th at the Valencia Street Circuit and 14th at Spar. Thankfully for Ferrari, Giancarlo Fisichella was quickly drafted in.

Badoer retired from racing at the end of 2010. He signed off from his 12-year role at Ferrari with a demonstration of the Ferrari F60, the car Badoer raced in 2009 on a Ferrari-themed day at the Bologna Motor Show on 8 December 2010.

Jaime Alguersuari

The Spaniard became the youngest Formula One driver at the time in history – featuring in the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix – at the age of 19 years, 125 days.

Alguersuari would lose his seat at Toro Rosso in late 2011, however, and joined BBC Radio 5 Live to be their Formula 1 expert ahead of the 2012 season.

At the age of 25, Alguersuari officially retired from motorsport to concentrate on his DJ career. He did continue to dabble in racing though, appearing in ADAC GT Masters, Formula E and Stock Car Brasil.

Romain Grosjean

The Frenchman stepped into the Renault to replace Nelson Piquet Jr for the second part of 2009.

Sadly he didn’t manage to score any points and gained a reputation for being a rather explosive guy on the track to say the least.

10 years later- well at least he scores some points now at Haas.

Vitantonio Liuzzi

Fisichella’s switch to Ferrari opened the door for his fellow Italian Liuzzi to drive the Force India in the last five rounds of 2019.

11th in Brazil proved the best finish for this former Toro Rosso driver – but a much better 2010 followed.

He would bow out of the sport for good in 2011 after a stint with strugglers HRT.

We’re not quite sure what he is up to in 2019 – maybe you know?

Nelson Piquet Jr

Son of three-time World Champion Nelson Piquet – we all know what happened to Junior – “crashgate”.

After it came out in 2009 that he deliberately crashed his Renault at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix to benefit teammate and eventual race-winner Fernando Alonso, his time was up.

Piquet lives on, however, driving for Panasonic Jaguar Racing in Formula E.

Kazuki Nakajima

The Japanese driver enjoyed Just over two season’s at Williams, but he could never quite hit the heights expected.

2018 proved a fantastic year from him away from Formula 1- winning the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans, while currently enjoying the joint-lead of the 2018-19 World Endurance Championship.

Sebastien Bourdais

The French racer didn’t have much luck with Toro Rosso, scoring just six points in a season-and-a-half with the team.

He has tried his hand at every series under the sun since, and did win the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans (LMGTE Pro).

Kamui Kobayashi

It’s crazy the amount of ability this guy had – but he sadly faded away from the grid.

Known for his crazy overtakes in the Sauber, Kobayashi eventually ended his tenure in Formula 1 with back-markers Caterham. A huge waste of his talent one feels.

Fear not though – that ability is showing now as he battles the top guns of the World Endurance Championship.

Adrian Sutil

Sutil competed in more races than you may think – 128 to be exact – scoring 124 points in the process.

The former Spyker, Force India and Sauber driver lost his seat at the latter after the 2014 season.

After serving as Williams test driver the following year, he left the sport to pursue life away from the cockpit – we imagine he is enjoying it based on how little you hear of him now.

Sebastian Buemi

Another face pretty well known around the paddock from his Toro Rosso days.

And he can still be seen in 2019 after Red Bull announced they were retaining him as their test driver for the upcoming season.

Giancarlo Fisichella

Simply a veteran of the grid.

Fisi enjoyed 13 years in Formula One – perhaps his fondest memories being the Renault glory days where he partnered Fernando Alonso.

But, he was consistently trounced by Alonso who went on to become a double World Champion with the French manufacturer).

The Italian’s brief stint with Ferrari proved his last offering to Formula One.

But can you guess where he still appears? Yes you guessed it – Le Mans and the World Endurance.

Robert Kubica

We all know the Kubica story and are delighted that he will be back with us in 2019.

2009 saw Kubica in his prime, but the BMW Sauber of that year was a shadow of the car which brought him his first and only win at the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix.

Nick Heidfeld

The German partnered Kubica at BMW Sauber, finishing 13th – one place above him in the 2009 standings.

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