F1 Fanatic round-up
In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton keeps quiet as Adrian Sutil brands him a “coward” for not appearing as a witness at his trial in Germany.
Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:
“Lewis is a coward, I don’t want to be friends with someone like that. For me, he is not a man. Even his father sent me a (text message) wishing me luck at the trial. I got nothing from Lewis. He changed his mobile number. I couldn’t reach him.”
“A McLaren spokesman intervened and said: ‘We’ve been told Lewis shouldn’t really go there because it might go under appeal, so can we move on to the next question”, to which the 27-year-old Hamilton added: “I’ll listen to him.’”
“Today, there are only four teams that can afford to operate without drivers that bring money. It’s an absurd situation and I don’t think it’s good for F1 and especially the young drivers. Even if you get very good results in the formulas below (F1), you either have to be lucky or have money in order to get a seat. That’s not F1.”
“The latest rumours from the F1 world suggest that Giedo Van der Garde is about to be named as the Caterham F1 Team test driver, unless Vitaly Petrov comes up with money to take over Jarno Trulli’s drive. The word is that there was a deal between Petrov and Caterham, but that the promised money has yet to arrive from Russia. It is said that one of the reasons that Petrov lost his job at Lotus F1 Team (the old Renault F1) was that his money took a long time to appear.”
“It now looks as though there is little chance of carrying out the planned promotional filming featuring action shots of the car at the Fiorano track: even if the snow was to stop it’s hard to imagine that the escape roads could be cleared of their blanket of snow which is gradually building up.”
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Comment of the day
Joey-Poey on Martin Whitmarsh’s hope F1 will crack the American market:
Amusing that he chose to mention both soccer and F1 (and called it soccer, I thought it was football to you guys?).
Neither of those “world sports” have truly permeated the American consciousness yet. We’re aware of them, no doubt, but ask an average person off the street to name one player or driver and you’re likely to get a blank stare.
I do agree with him that if they want to tackle it and really corner the market, they’ve got to promote it more. But more than that, it has to be made more accessible here.
Of course NASCAR is popular when most states have a race and you’re likely to get more than one opportunity to be within driving distance of one. Two races a year will work to start with since the hardcore fans will make the journey.
But if it’s going to get bigger than that, it’s going to take a combination of being accessible by location and mentally/culturally accessible. Drivers don’t live and work over here. They don’t even show up much over here (The Tony Stewart/Lewis Hamilton car swap was a great idea to give F1 presence).
Even the teams rarely have a car over here. Red Bull are the only ones I can think of who’ve brought one for people to see: out at the new Circuit of the Americas and bringing the RB7 at the Detroit Auto Show. Two Grands Prix will at least give them the incentive to improve the accessibility to American fans and I hope they capitalise on it.
From the forum
- Are Lotus spreading themselves too thinly with their sponsorship deals?
- Chevrolet have withdrawn from the BTCC
- Alexandre Premat, who was Lewis Hamilton’s team mate in GP2, has moved to the Australian V8 Supercars series
Happy birthday to Invoke, Oliver Queisser, Sriram and photozen!
On this day in F1
The Lotus T128 was seen in the flesh for the first time on this day last year:
Image © McLaren