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“HYPE”

August 22, 2014

“Life’s a bitch, eh,” opens a wry and deep Dutch voice. That is one of the markers about Robin Frijns – he is, to say the least, frank.

In the reddish-brown couches in the Caterham motorhome, the Dutch racer exhales deeply.

He has not enjoyed the busiest of times in 2014. Indeed, the life of a reserve driver role at any Formula One squad is rarely filled by seat time and even then the possibility of a drive is slim – just ask Davide Valsecchi.

The drafting of the talented André Lotterer to replace Kamui Kobayashi this weekend has merely drilled that aspect of F1 home. “Formula One is a strange animal,” he continues.

There has been plenty of hype around Frijns in recent seasons. His Formula Renault 3.5 title battle with Jules Bianchi and Sam Bird in 2012 was an epic one, that ended in brutally controversial fashion.

On that day, Frijns was the victor, but at the moment the 23-year-old rests in limbo – a reserve driver for a team less than likely to utilise his talents. “Waiting, it’s the story of my life. Just waiting for an opportunity.”
Bianchi, meanwhile, went straight into a Formula One drive with Marussia, while Bird lingered in GP2 for another season, before departing to the FIA World Endurance Championship.

Lotterer, a well respected driver with three Le Mans 24 Hour victories and former WEC champion, may be bringing some small sponsorship via the HYPE energy drink, but for Frijns it matters little.

Today is just another day where the young man just waits. “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what’s in it,” he notes. The sentiment is obvious, even if the quote is slightly off. “I’m off for some action in the garage,” and with another deep breath, Frijns is up and gone.

Sometimes life can be strange. Formula One moreso.

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