F1 2014 Driver Review: Will Stevens


Will Stevens

Team: Caterham F1 Team
Car No.: 46
Races: 1
Wins: 0
Podiums (excluding wins): 0
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 0
Laps Led: 0
Championship Position: 23rd

Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1)

Will Stevens’ appearance as a last-minute entry for Caterham at the final race of the year came as a surprise to the F1 paddock, but the Briton did himself little harm with a solid first outing on a grand prix weekend at Yas Marina. After a shaky start in practice, he was soon on the pace and even felt he should have outqualified Kamui Kobayashi despite the Japanese driver having plenty more experience under his belt.

His race in Abu Dhabi was pretty much the norm for Caterham – that is, circulating at the back – but he did enter a drag race with Fernando Alonso at one point, sparking anger from the Spaniard. Seeing the flag was a major achievement for Stevens, though, and even if he isn’t in the frame to race in F1 next season, it certainly wasn’t a bad outing.

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno)

I made the comparison on Twitter during this year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that Will Stevens’ debut in the race probably best resembles Markus Winkelhock’s in terms of “where the heck did he come from?” Yeah, so Stevens didn’t do an insane last-to-first march as Winkelhock did in the 2007 European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring, but he did mix it up with Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari – for position – with a Renault engine in the back of his Caterham that actually had the measure of the Ferrari. It was a surreal moment.

Stevens won a handful of races in World Series by Renault and no doubt had some financial help to get the opportunity, but he certainly made the most of it. He found several seconds over the weekend, rued not qualifying closer than a half second behind Kamui Kobayashi, finished the race, then banked nearly 200 laps of testing the week after. He may never race in F1 again but his week of glory this November didn’t do him any harm.