Vijay Mallya backs his boy
The F1 world is indeed a strange place for fans. Who would’ve thought that out of the two Force India drivers, Checo ‘the Dick’ Perez would be ahead of Nicolas ‘the Hulk’ Hulkenberg in the 2015 drivers championship? Certainly few would’ve placed money on the current gap of 16 points in favour of Checo with just four races to come.
Team owner Vijay Mallya is positive about the upcoming US Grand Prix. “Austin is one of my favourites and we travel there full of energy and optimism, they always put on a great event and the fans show lots of enthusiasm for our sport. Luck wasn’t on our side there last year, but there is every reason to believe we can be competitive this year and build on the momentum from Sochi.”
Mallya also reflects on Perez fantastic result in Sochi last time out. “The car was strong, our strategy was good, and Checo didn’t put a wheel wrong. You could see from our post-race celebrations just how much the result meant to everyone in the team and it’s a welcome reward for everybody’s hard work this year. It’s very satisfying to get some more silverware for our trophy cabinet at Silverstone.”
Since Silverstone this year, the B-Spec Force India machine has performed admirably, particularly given where they were at the start of the season.
“Over the winter I said that the target was to achieve podiums in 2015. That may have seemed like an over-optimistic objective, but ever since the introduction of the B-spec car I knew that we had the potential to do something special. We may have had a little good fortune in Sochi, but I believe you make your own luck and we worked hard to seize the opportunity and bring the result home.”
One can only wonder what Force India could have achieved had their chassis not been impounded for the early part of the season and had Hulkenberg has a little less bad luck.
Massa says true fans not attending Brazilian GP
Sponsors are buying up most of the tickets for the Brazilian Grand Prix and ‘ordinary fans’ are being excluded, claims Felipe Massa. The irony of this is that the setting of the Interlagos circuit is the backdrop of the Sau Paulo slums, occasionally seen from the TV cameras.
“Most people who come to the circuit are invited by someone”, claims Massa. track to be invited by someone,” said the Williams driver. There is a wooden grandstand facing the pits which shakes during the race and these are the only seats available to ordinary fans Massa suggests because the other tickets “are too expensive”.
Interlagos has been forced to improve is ageing facilities and the result has been a steep hike in ticket prices for the F1 weekend.
Montoya: ‘Hamilton not an exceptional driver’
The ex-F1 Columbian racing driver known for his outspoken nature has criticised Formula One and Lewis Hamilton. “It’s always the same in Formula One,” comments Juan Pablo to RTL. “It’s about the team and not the driver”. Montoya accepts Hamilton is doing a good job, but claims the main reason for his success is less to do with his driving skills than about the timing of his team selection.
Bernie Ecclestone is in agreement with Montoya despite describing Hamilton as a ‘super driver’ with the caveat, “but he is given a hell of a lot of help. “I would like to see him in a GP2 car with the GP2 drivers… I am not saying he would not win, but it would be interesting.”
The suggestion is that the current drivers cannot be considered as ‘great’ like their predecessors because the current F1 is dominated by the engines. “When people say to me who do I think was the best driver the name I come up with, and most people don’t agree with me, I say Alain Prost,” said Ecclestone. “Prost had to look after his brakes, gearbox, everything, and he did a good job. So he finished more races and finished in a better position, whereas today they don’t have that. [Now] They sit there on the starting grid and there is an engineer who starts the race, it is just not on.
“It should be when the lights go off they are on their own. They don’t need somebody telling them your [team-mate] is using that through this corner. It is just not on.
Maybe this is the reason F1 is slowly losing its audience, then again maybe it just isn’t being marketed properly.
Fast Fact US GP
Statistically the most successful driver in United States Grand Prix history is Michael Schumacher with five victories. Jim Clark, Graham Hill and last year’s Austin winner Lewis Hamilton all have three wins on US soil.
F1 stories from the net
‘I’m still learning how to double declutch’: Ross Brawn OBE on veteran cars, Ferraris and Michael Schumacher
After a career littered with Formula One championships, Ross Brawn has retired to some wholly different challenges – among which, learning to drive his pre-war classic cars.
“I have been very lucky,” says Ross Brawn OBE. “I’ve had several moments that I thought were going to be the pinnacle of my career, and as each one came and went I thought ‘That was the one.’”
Lauda slams Sauber over EU complaint
Niki Lauda believes Monisha K’s management decisions on behalf of the Sauber team to be “stupid”.
The Magnussen problem
Among the various organs and devices that make Formula One tick, few are as important as new winners.
The appearance of new faces on the podium is not only exciting in that they herald the arrival of promising young talents who finally get an opportunity to prove their worth, but they are also a sign of regeneration in the driver pool. New winners are evidence of a healthy sport.
This year one such man is likely to have at least pencilled his name into this unfortunate record book is Kevin Magnussen. Once McLaren’s great new hope, now seatless in 2016.
The Dane, son of former Formula One driver Jan Magnussen, found out via email on his birthday that there would be no place for him at the famous English team from 2016 having already stated his non-negotiable preference to race next season rather than have a second consecutive year on the sidelines. The split, in other words, was as mutual as it could be.
F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone to hand out £50m in ‘foolish’ Mercedes gamblegamble
Bernie Ecclestone offered Mercedes an extra £50m if they could repeat their 2014 championship winning performance. He now regrets this.
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