A Daily Round up of Formula One news, inside whispers, opinion and comment. Today,
BMW to write history at Spa Francorchamps
There are four big 24h races in Europe. The most famous one is without a doubt the one at Le Mans, but there are three others on no less classical tracks. Every GT car driver worth his salt has driven the 24h race on the Nürburgring Nordschleife and the Britcar event at Silverstone was put on every petrolhead’s radar by TopGear’s entry a couple years back. The fourth one is the 24h of Spa Francorchamps.
Former F1 driver Timo Glock had a chat with a fellow BMW associated racer last winter in which his companion expressed a wish to run a 24h race, and the German replied that if his conversation partner could pull off a program, he’d not need to think twice before joining the project. And pull it off he did, because he always pulls off what he has in mind. After all, we are talking about none other than Alex Zanardi.
— BMW Motorsport (@BMWMotorsport) April 24, 2015
Double Paralympics and CART champion Zanardi will team up with Glock and 2012 DTM champion Bruno Spengler to drive a modified BMW Z4 GT3 in this years 24h of Spa Francorchamps. The race is run on 25/26 July in the Ardennes and it will be the first time that a disabled driver shares a car with non-disabled drivers in a major race.
Felipe Nasr: Susie Wolff ready for Grand Prix drive
The career of Williams test driver Susie Wolff is a prime example of how careers of women, who dare try their hand at motorsports, are wasted away in obscurity as most people in the male dominated ‘establishment’ still think that if a woman leaves the house, she hasn’t been tethered to the Aga properly.
After promising junior results (5th championship position in Formula Renault), Wolff was parked in the DTM running out-dated Mercedes cars. Her best result was a 7th place – at Hockenheim and the Eurospeedway. That’s the same personal best as David Coulthard. Her fellow Scot managed the feat only once though.
For three years the lady had now been on the payroll of the Williams team and was – with a lot of PR noise – ‘promoted’ from development to test and reserve driver last year. Except that, when the scenario became real after Bottas’ back injury, Williams quickly hired Adrian Sutil and a rather gruff dismissal was delivered by Pat Symmonds, who ruled out running her in a GP.
Former fellow test driver Felipe Nasr, now of Sauber fame, however thinks that she’s ready to step up. “She’s spent enough time in the simulator, I think she’s ready,” the Brazilian told crash.net, but that sentiment is apparently not shared by Williams, even though she has shown decent performances in the few FP1 and test outings she’d had.
Susie Wolff might not instill the fear of god into the Hamiltons and Vettels of this world, but if utter failures like Merhi, Ericsson and Maldonado are allowed to disgrace the grid, the Scottish lady deserves at least a chance. But maybe, just maybe, some people are afraid she might show up some of the riff-raff that was allowed to run in recent years.
The sorry state of F1 in Bahrain radio messages
F1 used to be a sport where a bunch of guys went as fast as they could in a bid to win the race. The Bahrain GP proved: F1 is just a business where everyone goes as fast as allowed to by the pitlane.
We present some “gems” from the race.
The full radio transcripts can be found at fellow independent bloggers F1Fanatic
Tony Ross->Nico Rosberg So just need a little bit of brake management before you attack Vettel.
Peter Bonnington->Lewis Hamilton Vettel 40.2, gap at 1.9, probably afford to go two-tenths faster.
Simon Rennie->Daniel Ricciardo You can save a bit less fuel.
Mark Temple->Fernando Alonso OK Fernando we’re looking at target plus two. Let’s start pushing the tyres.
Peter Bonnington->Lewis Hamilton So you have Nico, Vettel behind, they are racing. (You don’t say?! Racing??)
Lewis Hamilton->Peter Bonnington (Hamilton came close to being jumped by Rosberg and Vettel, who pitted before him.) That’s a little bit close for comfort, right?
Peter Bonnington->Lewis Hamilton Affirm, Lewis, feels that way.
Lewis Hamilton->Peter Bonnington What happened to my gap?
Peter Bonnington->Lewis Hamilton It looks like a bit of a slow stop, Lewis, let’s just manage it now.
Tony Ross->Nico Rosberg So Nico we’ll still need some fuel saving for brakes as you’re getting closer to Lewis. (say what??)
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